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Research Compliance

Florida State / Office of Research / Overview

Mission Statement

The Florida State University is a comprehensive, graduate-research university offering undergraduate, graduate, advanced graduate and professional programs of study, conducting extensive research, and providing service to the public. Its primary role is to serve as a center for advanced graduate and professional studies while emphasizing research and providing excellence in undergraduate programs. The Office of Research ensures University compliance with federal, state and local regulations with regard to research, creates and supports an environment that promotes the ethical and responsible conduct of research, and develops and implements effective educational programs that enhance responsible conduct and integrity in scientific research.

This website contains information, resources, and educational opportunities for conducting research within the University community. Please visit this site regularly and/or contact our staff to learn about research compliance activities and education/training programming.

Human Subjects Committee

Any member of the Florida State University faculty, staff, post-doctoral, and student body who plans to initiate research involving human subjects must submit a protocol application for review and approval by the Human Subjects Committee (Institutional Review Board) prior to beginning the project.

Animal Care and Use Committee (Laboratory Animal Resources)

The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee ensures the health, well-being and humane use of animals used in research at FSU, following the regulations and guidance of the US Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Office of Environmental Health and Safety

The Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) at FSU provides compliance tools to optimize laboratory and facility conditions across research projects, from the safe handling of potentially hazardous materials to biosafety and radiation safety training. EHS also provides guidance in environmental compliance with local, state, or federal laws, emergency response and preparation, and lab equipment use.

Export Controls

Federal regulations control the export of certain technology and information, for national security reasons, and FSU strives to be fully compliant while maintaining an open and collaborative campus. FSU has an export control review and approval process and education and training program.

Misconduct in Science

FSU strives to promote an atmosphere of honesty and integrity among its faculty, students, and staff and requires all research to be carried out in a manner reflective of these principles. Allegations of misconduct are handled in accordance with the University's Policy for Responding to Allegations of Scientific Misconduct. See Faculty Handbook 6.20 through 6.20.7

Conflict of Interest

FSU's Conflict of Interest policy discusses conflict of interest, conflict of commitment, and various issues of concern for a research university, and describes the disclosure process required for FSU faculty and staff. See Faculty Handbook 7.45 through 7.48.

Intellectual Property

FSU's Patent and Invention Policy and Copyright Policy are intended to further the University's key missions of education and the production, preservation, and dissemination of knowledge. These policies are designed to maintain the University's general philosophy regarding the open dissemination of research results, and the encouragement of research and scholarship without regard to potential financial gain, while recognizing that commercialization of intellectual property is the means to achieve the maximal benefit to society of certain research. See Faculty Handbook 6.19.

Research Compliance Functions within the Office of Research:

The Office of Research shall:

  • Develop, publish, and implement written policies and procedures regarding the responsible conduct of research;
  • Oversee the development and implementation of ongoing compliance educational training activities for all personnel involved in research;
  • Monitor and alert research compliance areas regarding regulatory updates;
  • Maintain a confidential hotline for the reporting of concerns involving the responsible conduct of research;
  • Review and act upon concerns related to the responsible conduct of research;
  • Conduct internal audits to monitor research compliance and assist in the reduction of identified problem areas.

Research Compliance Hotline:

If you have a concern about non-compliance with laws, regulations, University policy, or inappropriate financial activity in regard to research activities, you may go through regular management channels. If that is not applicable or advisable, contact the Research Compliance Hotline at Research Non-Compliance Online Reporting Tool, or by telephone at 644-8836 or fax at 644-4392. The Compliance hotline will provide you with anonymous reporting, if desired, maintain confidentiality, and facilitate resolution by knowledgeable individuals.

All Office of Research employees are expected to adhere to all relevant federal, state, or local laws and regulations, and University rules, policies and procedures in the performance of their professional duties and responsibilities at FSU. Research activities conducted by faculty or staff at FSU must be conducted in an ethical and responsible manner following applicable federal or other governmental requirements, sponsor requirements, and University policies and procedures.

Reference Sites for Research Compliance:

Conflicts of Interest

Chapter 112 Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees
NSF - financial conflict of interests
PHS/NIH - financial conflict of interests
FSU Conflict of Interest Policy
FSU Significant Financial Interest Disclosure Form
FSU Outside Employment Form for Faculty
FSU Outside Employment Form for Staff

Misconduct in Science:

FSU Policy
ORI Model Policies and Procedures
ORI Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research
FSU Responsible Conduct of Research Course

Other important reference links:

FSU Faculty Handbook - contains the Constitution and Bylaws of the University, standards, policies, history and government, organization and administration, academic units and policies and other general information. Note: The Handbook contains the conflict of interest, research misconduct, copyright, invention and patent policies of the University.

FSU Online Policies and Procedure - provides the policies and procedures relating to business operations, facilities and space, faculty and staff, human resources, financial matters, records and information, safety and insurance, and technology. Note: This site also contains the policies that relate to drug use, sexual harassment, workplace violence, sexual battery, and fraudulent, unethical, another dishonest acts.

FSU Human Resources - contains pertinent information regarding new and existing employees, international employees, policies and procedures relating to standards of conduct, and required forms at the University.

FSU Purchasing Services - contains policies and guidelines relating to procurement requirements at FSU, vendor information, contract requirements, purchasing training, and MBE requirements.

FSU Audit Services - provides training in ethics, internal controls, fraud awareness, prevention, and detection. Also responsible for sexual harassment procedures and posts general copyright information as applicable to the university setting.

FSU Office of Controller - provides periodic training regarding fiscal compliance and contains policies and procedures ranging from payroll to travel requirements and restrictions.

FSU Office of Information Technology Services - provides guidance on data management and computer security, FSU's confidential records policy, wireless communications policy, recovery and data backup policy, and guidelines for safeguarding confidential information.