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Florida State University Boilerplate Language

Last updated January 2022

The following boilerplate language has been developed by FSU Office of Research Development (ORD). Investigators are advised to tailor boilerplate language to reflect the specific aims of their research project. In addition, the ORD strongly recommends that investigators directly contact the office or program lead in question when seeking a more in-depth resource description, particularly if a specific resource is integral to the research proposal.

If you need assistance describing the Environmental Support here at FSU for a grant proposal, contact our office at least two workweeks before the university submission deadline to request assistance.  We're happy to help!  If you need assistance with getting a letter of support from one of these areas, contact our office at least three or four workweeks before the university submission deadline.


Florida State University is proud to be recognized as a Preeminent University by the State of Florida. An acknowledged national leader in student retention and graduation, we help our students graduate with focused plans for careers or graduate degrees. Our preeminent faculty earn over $500,000 in external research grants every single day of the year.

Florida State University is a public, fully accredited, coeducational research institution, and one of twelve units within the Florida State University System directed by the Florida Board of Governors. Located in Tallahassee, Florida's capital city, the University affords students and faculty opportunities for interaction with state and federal agencies for internships, research, and part-time employment, as well as a myriad of social, cultural, and recreational activities. The main campus is located on 487.0 acres in Tallahassee with other facilities owned in Leon, Bay, Collier, Franklin, Sarasota, and Gadsden counties, and leased in Escambia, Jackson, Leon, Orange, Palm Beach, St. Lucie, and Volusia counties in Florida, and other locations overseas. The University owns a total of 1,716.8 acres.

Founded in 1851, Florida State University is a comprehensive, national, graduate-research university offering more than 280 outstanding academic and professional degrees in top flight programs ranging from Business and Physics to Music and Creative Writing. Florida State University provides extraordinary opportunities for undergraduate students to build a strong foundation in their chosen fields; study abroad at the University’s overseas campuses; engage in scores of service activities; benefit from world class library and technical facilities; participate in extensive intramural and recreational events; and interact with some of the finest students and faculty in the nation in a distinctive, welcoming environment. The University instills the strength, skill, and character essential for lifelong learning, personal responsibility, and achievement.

With 18 colleges, plus the Graduate School, students may take courses of study leading to the baccalaureate degree in 103 degree programs, to the master's degree in 110 degree programs, to the specialist degree in 6 degree programs, to the doctorate degree in 64 degree programs, and to the professional degree in 4 degree programs. The academic divisions are the Colleges of Applied Studies; Arts & Sciences; Business; Communication & Information; Criminology & Criminal Justice; Education; Entrepreneurship; Engineering; Fine Arts; Hospitality; Human Sciences; Law; Medicine; Motion Picture Arts; Music; Nursing; Social Sciences & Public Policy; and Social Work; plus the Graduate School.

Approximately 81.5 percent of the students enrolled at FSU attend full time. Undergraduates comprise 73.9 percent and graduate students 24.1 percent of the total enrollment of 43,953 students in the Fall of 2020. The remaining 1.9 percent are considered unclassified. The average age of all students is 23.0; of undergraduates, 20.7; and of graduate students, 29.6.

The State University System operates under the supervision of the Board of Governors, State of Florida. Florida State University is governed by a Board of Trustees, which was established in July, 2001. The twelve governor-appointed members of the Board of Trustees are: Edward "Ed" Burr (Chair), Maximo Alvarez, Kathryn Ballard, William “Billy” Buzzett, Peter Collins, Emily Fleming “June” Duda, Jorge Gonzalez, Jim Henderson, Craig Mateer, Deborah Sargeant, Bob Sasser, John Thiel, Eric Chicken (Faculty Representative), and the thirteenth member of Florida State University’s Board of Trustees is the current student body president, Nastassia Janvier.

Florida State University has built a reputation as a strong research center in both the sciences and the humanities. It is expected that more than $228 million in external funds will be generated this year by the faculty and administration as supplements to state funds used for research. These external funds are in the form of contracts and grants from private foundations, industries, and government agencies, and are used to support research, improve research facilities, and provide stipends for graduate students.

Florida State is well known in the natural sciences for its basic research programs in biology, chemistry, meteorology, nuclear science, oceanography, physics, and psychology. Strong basic and applied research programs are also found in computer science, geology, mathematics, and statistics. As a nationally recognized center of excellence in graduate training in the visual and performing arts, the University offers professional training in music, theatre, and dance performance and theory.

FSU International Programs has over 50 years of experience in providing students with extraordinary study abroad experiences. Through our more than 60 academic programs, students can choose to study in over 20 locations throughout the world. Program opportunities include spring, summer and fall semesters at our four study centers, summer terms in additional locations, Spring Break programs, First Year Abroad for incoming freshmen, and international internships. The year-round study centers are located in Florence, Italy; London, England; Panama City, The Republic of Panama; and Valencia, Spain. The centers temporarily closed due to COVID-19 in early academic year 2020-21, however, they were re-opened in Spring 2021. FSU credits are earned for all courses and are transferable within the US university system, in accordance with each student's home university regulations.

FSU operates the Ringling Center for the Cultural Arts in Sarasota, which includes the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, the largest museum/university complex in the nation. Also on the property and operated by FSU is the Florida State University Center
for the Performing Arts, which houses the Asolo Repertory Theatre.

Florida State University has both an Air Force and an Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program. FSU students may apply for admission to the Navy ROTC Program offered through Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee.

FSU is a founding member of the Florida LambdaRail, a consortium of universities created to facilitate advanced research, education, & economic development activities. The network consists of 1,540 miles of dark fiber/optical equipment, operating at 10
gigs/sec. & allowing up to 32 independent networks to exist. FSU has a supercomputing grid that enables researchers to use high capacity computing to support complex investigations.

University Libraries provide collections, resources and services to enhance the learning, teaching, research, and service activities of the Florida State University. The Libraries’ collections includes 4.7 million titles and the web site offers access to more than 600
databases and 378,681 electronic journals. Materials not available online or at the libraries may be requested through interlibrary loan or through the statewide UBorrow system, offering FSU faculty and students millions of books from 40 other state university and college libraries. The Library Express Delivery Service delivers books and articles to faculty, post-docs, graduate, teaching and research assistants on a daily basis. University Libraries had over 1 million visitors between September 2019 through February 2020. In March 2020, FSU Libraries closed their physical locations due to COVID-19. In August 2020, FSU Libraries reopened some of their locations with limited hours, in-person services, and capacity. Strozier Library, FSU’s largest library, is open 134 hours each week, providing around-the-clock research assistance and other services like free academic tutoring and a robust range of academic support throughout the day and late into the night. The FSU Libraries include 7 libraries on campus: the Robert Manning Strozier Library, Paul A. M. Dirac Science Library, Mildred and Claude Pepper Library, Warren Allen Music Library, College of Law Library, College of Medicine Medical Library, and the College of Engineering Library. Library materials and services are also available at the FSU Panama City Campus, as well as International Programs study centers in London, Florence, and Panama, and a collection of art and related materials at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida.

Among the special programs which have won national or international distinction in research are the Program in Nuclear Research, Institute for Molecular Biophysics, FSU Marine Laboratory, Center for Music Research, Learning Systems Institute, FSU Institute of Science and Public Affairs, and the College of Motion Picture Arts.

In 1990, the National Science Foundation announced that FSU would be the home of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory. A joint project with the University of Florida and Los Alamos National Laboratory, the lab became the nation's top center for research on magnets millions of times more powerful than the Earth's magnetic field. This facility is the first national lab to be located in Florida and went into operation in 1994. Research at the lab is conducted in such diverse fields as biology, materials science, medicine, physics, chemistry, engineering, and superconductivity.

The Office of Research Development (ORD) primarily works to enhance the competitiveness of FSU researchers. ORD’s professional development programming covers a wide range of topics including funding and proposal development strategies, science communication best practices, introductions to new research and assessment methodologies, and building connections with industries, government, and communities. All faculty, students, and staff at FSU have access to ORD’s On-Demand Learning portal, where they can view recordings of past workshops, faculty interviews, and recorded trainings. ORD places special emphasis on early-career faculty through individualized support, resources like the Journeys in Research podcast, and training on effective mentoring. In particular, ORD’s Research Mentor Academy provides training in optimizing mentoring relationships for mentors and mentees using an evidence-based curriculum from the NIH NRMN and CIMER. ORD also organizes FSU’s Collaborative Collision program, a networking and team development series that connects researchers across disciplines and positions them to leverage their complementary strengths to solve societal challenges.

Sponsored Research Administration (SRA), a unit under the purview of the Vice President for Research, is responsible for pre- and post-award administrative functions of the university for awards with public funding (federal, state, and local governments) and public funding that is flowed through private organizations.  The SRA mission is to provide the university community with client-centered, professional, and appropriate administrative expertise to support the responsible management of sponsored projects. In carrying out this mission, our goal is to provide responsive administrative guidance and education for our constituents in order to facilitate Florida State University's teaching, research, and service missions. (updated December, 2019)

The FSU Office for Clinical Research Advancement (OCRA) provides guidance, tools, resources and facilitation to help faculty, staff and students successfully navigate clinical and translational research at FSU and with its community healthcare partners.

The office manages the FSU Clinical Research and Trials Unit, a 2,200-square foot facility designed to support clinical research and clinical trials in advancing the understanding, prevention and treatment of human diseases and health conditions. Collectively, services and personnel provided to FSU researchers include research design and study consultation; clinical research coordination; assistance with participant recruitment; biostatistical, data analysis and regulatory support; phlebotomy services; and medical oversight for applicable studies.

The outpatient research space has private exam rooms, interview/testing and consultation rooms, and vital signs/phlebotomy space with processing and specimen storage capabilities. An open area provides flexible, multi-use space that can be reconfigured to accommodate different studies. The unit is equipped to be adaptive and supportive for a variety of clinical research needs.

Collaborative Collision was created by the Office of Research Development (formerly the Office of Proposal Development) in 2016 to help build connections between faculty from different academic disciplines. Since then, the program has grown from an annual event in 2016 to now regularly holding two or more events each semester in 2021. The introduction of a virtual format in 2020 has allowed us to welcome more researchers than ever, expanding access to researchers not only in Tallahassee, but also FSU’s Panama City Campus and the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, as well several individuals located as far away as Europe and Africa.

As of April 2021, our 15 events have featured 774 research profile presentations and had over 1000 total participants joining from every college, and most departments at FSU. We have also welcomed colleagues from Florida A&M University and the Mayo Clinic to join us, as well as with distinguished guests from funding agencies, policy makers, implementation experts, and members of the Tallahassee community. Collaborative Collision has featured keynote presentations by leaders at the Department of Defense, Florida Division of Emergency Management, the Library of Congress, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health.

FSU offers an online series is designed to build the knowledge base for effective team science. Scholars will gain understanding of teaming in research and identify ways to improve how scientists interact and integrate across disciplinary, professional, and institutional boundaries. Seven modules are available for self-study and can be completed in any order: Introduction to Team Science, Navigating Networks, Building Research Teams, Nurturing Partnerships, Managing Research Teams, Conflict Resolution and Credit and Sharing.

The FSU Research Mentor Academy, conducted by the Office of Research Development, promotes a culture of support for research mentoring and provides training in optimizing mentoring relationships for mentors at all levels of their research careers. Our training uses an evidence-based curriculum from the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER), applying an interactive approach that allows participants to explore an intellectual framework for research mentoring within a community of their peers. This approach provides mentors with opportunities for reflection and a forum to solve mentoring dilemmas and share successful mentorship strategies and addresses guidelines regarding the preparation of mentors often necessary for training grants and programs. The training covers topics related to research mentoring relationships, such as: Aligning Expectations, Addressing Equity and Inclusion, Assessing Understanding, Fostering Independence, Maintaining Effective Communication, Promoting Professional Development, Cultivating Ethical Behaviors, Promoting Mentee Research Self-Efficacy, Enhancing Work-Life Integration, and Articulating Your Mentoring Philosophy and Action Plan.

(Contact us if you need further information, regarding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion metrics at FSU.)

At Florida State University, we recognize that every competitive advantage begins with people. By valuing, celebrating and leveraging the differences and similarities of our students, faculty and staff, FSU inspires an environment of innovation and passion – one that enables us to create a teaching, research and service environment that better reflects the needs of our students, faculty, staff, customers, constituents, communities and other key stakeholders.

More than a decade ago, Florida State crafted a comprehensive plan to unite efforts for diversity and inclusion across all areas of the campus. Through that effort, the President’s Council on Diversity and Inclusion was formed, comprising a group of faculty, staff and students committed to championing diversity, inclusion and social justice. Members of the Council work on a number of initiatives, including efforts to recruit and retain a diverse faculty, staff and student body.

The university, with the help of the council and in support of the strategic plan, has implemented a number of initiatives to improve diversity and inclusion on campus. They include the Student Diversity and Inclusion Council, seven employee affinity groups, the President’s Diversity and Inclusion Mini-Grant Program, the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI), Seminole Allies and Safe Zone Training and the Diversity and Inclusion Certificate Series.

As detailed in the Strategic Plan, FSU’s approach starts with a belief that diversity is about more than a particular head count: it must reflect the quality and depths of interactions.  With programs like Unconquered Scholars, FSU is redefining what inclusion means on college campuses- which has led to our being named one of only 10 “Diversity Champion” universities nationally recognized by INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine.

By valuing, celebrating and leveraging the differences and similarities within our community, we create a fertile environment for problem-solving- one that is more inventive and compassionate.  We’re proud that our cohesive community has become a signature of the FSU experience. We will remain focused on doing all we can to ensure FSU is the university of choice for our faculty, staff and students.

FSU’s first-time-in-college (“freshman”) four-year graduation rates have increased to 74% while FSU simultaneously erased disparities between underrepresented and traditional student populations.
The Department of Education’s Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) designation requires 25% of the student body to identify as Hispanic or Latino in ethnicity or culture. The designation is an impetus for institutions to provide additional pathways, resources, and services to Hispanic and Latino-identifying students. With a student body comprised of 21% Hispanic and/or Latino-identifying students, FSU is poised to become a designated HSI in the near future.
FSU’s highly-acclaimed Center for Academic Retention and Enhancement (CARE) program operates to provide equity and access to traditionally underrepresented students disadvantaged by virtue of educational (first generation students) and socioeconomic reasons. The CARE program contributes to the successful retention and graduation of underrepresented students through targeted programming, mentoring programs, transition assistance, and scholarships. FSU recently received a $1.3 million grant from the US Department of Education to launch pre-college programs.
FSU’s High School Partners Program, under the auspices of CARE, is an initiative that aims to reduce the college access gap for historically underrepresented students from poorly performing schools in counties surrounding Tallahassee. This program has resulted in exponential growth in applications, acceptances, and enrollment due to intentional strategies that increased visibility, reduced financial barriers, and provided equitable representation to students in rural and traditionally underserved area high schools.
Ensuring equity through minority representation and inclusive recruiting and teaching practices is a distinct value in FSU’s health, medical, and data science majors. Seventy-three percent of students enrolled in these types of majors (such as Biomedical Engineering, Clinical Professions, Health Informatics, and Data Science) identify as female while 45% identify as a diverse race or ethnicity (see graphs below).

FSU’s highly-acclaimed Center for Academic Retention and Enhancement (CARE) program operates to provide equity and access to traditionally underrepresented students disadvantaged by virtue of educational (first generation students) and socioeconomic reasons. The CARE program contributes to the successful retention and graduation of underrepresented students through targeted programming, mentoring programs, transition assistance, and scholarships. FSU recently received a $1.3 million grant from the US Department of Education to launch pre-college programs.
FSU’s High School Partners Program, under the auspices of CARE, is an initiative that aims to reduce the college access gap for historically underrepresented students from poorly performing schools in counties surrounding Tallahassee. This program has resulted in exponential growth in applications, acceptances, and enrollment due to intentional strategies that increased visibility, reduced financial barriers, and provided equitable representation to students in rural and traditionally underserved area high schools.
Ensuring equity through minority representation and inclusive recruiting and teaching practices is a distinct value in FSU’s health, medical, and data science majors. Seventy-three percent of students enrolled in these types of majors (such as Biomedical Engineering, Clinical Professions, Health Informatics, and Data Science) identify as female while 45% identify as a diverse race or ethnicity (see graphs below).
FSU recently received a $12.8M grant from NIH to recruit underrepresented minority researchers committed to promoting diversity and inclusion. These faculty will be recruited to serve in our Colleges of Nursing, Medicine and Psychology.
FSU’s Arts & Sciences, Medicine and Nursing Colleges have received a $14.5 million NIH grant to build a diverse community of early career researchers committed to improving mental health and chronic disease prevention and management.
The NIH Transformative Research Award from the NIH Office of the Director was awarded to FSU Researchers in the Colleges of Social Work and Medicine to use systems science to transform anti-racism interventions in primary care. These T01 awards are seldom awarded in the behavioral and social science area.

Office of Faculty Development and Advancement (OFDA) works to foster a collegial and inclusive work environment that enables all faculty members to succeed in research, creative works, teaching and service. Through OFDA, faculty have online and on-demand access to mentoring and resources from the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD). Many faculty, not just junior faculty, use this resource (free through our institutional membership) to locate academic coaches, to provide accountability peers, to attend writing challenges, and to develop core professional skills that help them to thrive in academia.  Additionally, OFDA provides writing accountability groups and consultations and support for faculty awards and fellowship applications.

Eight campus libraries offer many of the same services and resources customized to complement the disciplines they serve: Robert Manning Strozier Library, Paul A. M. Dirac Science Library, Mildred and Claude Pepper Library, Warren Allen Music Library, College of Law Legal Research Center, College of Medicine Medical Library, Innovation Hub, and the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering Library. Library materials and services are also available at the FSU Panama City campus, the Ringling campus in Sarasota, and International Programs study centers in London, Florence, Valencia, and Panama. University Libraries provide collections, resources, and services to enhance the learning, teaching, research, and service activities of the Florida State University. The Libraries’ collections include over 4.7 million titles, and the website offers access to 632 databases and more than 378,681 electronic journals. Materials not available online or at the Libraries may be requested through interlibrary loan or the statewide UBorrow system, offering FSU faculty and students access to millions of books from 39 other state university and college libraries. The Library Express Delivery Service delivers books and articles to faculty, post-docs, graduate, teaching, and research assistants daily. The library is a member of the Association of Research Libraries, the Center for Research Libraries, and the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries.

Florida State University is committed to providing a quality education to all qualified students and does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, veteran’s status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or any other legally protected group status. Providing services to more than 6000 students, the Office of Accessibility Services (OAS) is committed to ensuring universal access for each Florida State University student. The OAS creates an environment of success through the provision of academic, housing, and dining accommodations. Additionally, OAS provides testing support, assistive technologies, and space for students to feel they are part of the FSU community.

The FSU Office of Distance Learning (ODL) serves as a steward of distance education at FSU, implementing university initiatives that promote student achievement in the distance learning environment. In addition to providing leadership and administrative oversight for online programs, ODL supports the faculty who develop and teach FSU’s online courses. This support includes guidance on evidence-based instructional principles and strategies, online course quality reviews, and training on the effective use of academic technologies. ODL also manages the university’s learning management system (LMS), provides technical support for the LMS and its integrated technologies, offers proctored testing services, and administers course evaluations on behalf of the university. 

The Florida State University Center for Academic & Professional Development (CAPD) is the continuing education and academic program outreach entity for the campus, the community, and students. Housed in the new Augustus B. Turnbull III Florida State Conference Center, the experienced staff of CAPD support a variety of learning opportunities as they provide services to colleges, departments, and students on campus and online. 

The FSU Center for the Advancement of Teaching provides a space for collegial exchange about teaching and learning, bringing together faculty at all levels and across disciplines, to hone their expertise in facilitating learning and to promote our collective project of providing our students with a preeminent education. We curate research on how humans learn and provide programming and services to help our colleagues apply it in their own classroom practice. CAT promotes student success at FSU by supporting the faculty in the important and challenging work of crafting transformative learning experiences, and by fostering a culture in which effective teaching is valued and rewarded.

Funded by the National Institutes of Health National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, the UF-FSU Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Program hub is one of two hubs in Florida, and is part of a national network of more than 50 hubs nationwide. The CTSA Program is designed to develop innovative solutions that will improve the efficiency, quality and impact of the process for turning observations in the laboratory, clinic and community into interventions that improve the health of individuals and the public. A CTSA Program hub is an integrated research and training environment for translational and clinical science that catalyzes the development, demonstration and dissemination of methods and technologies that dramatically improve efficiency and quality across the translational research spectrum. Translational science at Florida State University engages communities in developing and testing biobehavioral interventions across the translational spectrum to address sociocultural determinants of health.
https://ctsa.research.fsu.edu/about/

FSU's CTSA Programs include Translational Workforce Development, Community Engagement, Network Science, and an Institutionally-Supported Translational Health Research Seed Grant Program. Under the Translational Workforce Development Program fall two additional programs: the FSU K Scholar Program and Team Science. The FSU CTSA Program is based in the College of Medicine’s Division of Research and Graduate Programs with a Steering Committee with membership from 7 Colleges.
https://ctsa.research.fsu.edu/programs/

For boilerplate language for the various Center and Institutes at FSU, see the centers' or institutes' director (listed on this Office of the Provost webpage): https://www.fsu.edu/academics/centers.html.

Let us know if you need assistance with locating information to describe any of these centers or institutes in your grant proposals.

Please contact our office at least one workweek before you need information about a department of college, and we will work to get you that content.

The Office of Research Compliance in collaboration with the Office of Research Development, the Graduate School, the College of Medicine, and the Office of Human Subjects Protection offer multiple opportunities for training in the responsible conduct of research, including the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) online coursework will be completed immediately after hire. The Office of Research Compliance’s Responsible Conduct of Research offers a course that complies with NIH expectations. The training is a 5-week series of online interactive sessions and provides eight (8) hours of instruction and discussion.

For more information visit https://www.research.fsu.edu/research-compliance/rcr/

Here's a template that might be helpful for training grant or fellowship proposals: RCR template

FSU maintains an Assurance (D16-00491) with the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare and adheres to standards prescribed in the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Care and Use of Laboratory Animals for all activities involving animals. Additionally, FSU is a USDA registered facility (58-R-0001) and complies with provisions of the Animal Welfare Act and Regulations for all activities involving regulated species. The FSU Animal Care and Use Program has been continuously accredited by AAALAC International since 2002.

The Mission of the Office for Human Subjects Protection & the Florida State University (FSU) Institutional Review Board (IRB) is to protect the rights and welfare of human subject research participants by adherence to ethical principles and compliance with applicable laws governing the protection of human subjects.  The single and central IRB committee is composed of scientists and non-scientists including other professionally trained and lay individuals, as well as unaffiliated members. The scientist committee members come from diverse backgrounds (related to race, gender, and culture) and academic disciplines (e.g., Medicine, Economics, Social Work, Nursing, Music, Human Sciences, Education, Philosophy, Psychology and Environmental Health & Safety). The diversity in FSU’s single IRB is especially advantageous for the review of team science applications. FSU maintains a Federal wide Assurance with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) (FWA00000168), and the FSU IRB is registered with the DHHS Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (IRB00000446).  

Human Research Protections and Related Regulatory Compliance. Florida State University (FSU) has a Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) and related policies and standard operating procedures, within which program are included an internal Institutional Review Board (IRB) and the Office for Human Subjects Protection (OHSP). Pursuant to FSU policy (7-IRB-0) the HRPP, IRB and OHSP operate under the auspices of the FSU Office for the Vice President of Research (OVPR). Collectively the IRB and OHSP provide human research regulatory oversight for more than 2,000 active human research studies. These studies comprise wide range of social, behavioral and educational research as well as biomedical, health and other human sciences, including clinical trials, that reflect the extensive breadth and depth of FSU research and creative arts.

The FSU maintains an active Federalwide Assurance (FWA) agreement (FWA00000168) with the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The FWA is recognized under federal law by other U.S. regulatory and sponsoring agencies for the purpose of indicating and documenting FSU’s adherence to applicable tribal, local, federal and international laws and ethical principals for the protection of human subjects from research risks. These laws include the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects (“Common Rule”), as well as related laws that provide vulnerable human subjects with additional protection against research risks. Ethical principles to which FSU adheres are embodied in the Belmont Report: Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research (“Belmont Report”).

In compliance with the Common Rule, other laws and the Belmont Report, the IRB and OHSP provide the required review and on-going oversight of human research, and the IRB is registered with OHRP and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to demonstrate that the IRB satisfies the qualifications for safeguarding the rights and welfare of human subjects. Aside from internal human research, the IRB also serves as the IRB of record for other institutions engaged with FSU in cooperative research and is prepared to serve as the Single IRB for cooperative research as may be required by federal law and study sponsors. In the discharge of its responsibilities, the IRB is composed of scientists, non-scientists and laypersons, including faculty and staff who are drawn from across FSU academic and other units as well as community members not affiliated with FSU but who represent the perspectives of the community from which human subjects may be drawn. Composition of the IRB is diverse with regard to race, gender, ethnicity and cultural background, and their academic backgrounds and affiliations reflect the nature and scope of FSU human research to ensure that the necessary experienced and expertise is brought to bear on the IRB’s review and on-going oversight of human research.

In accordance with applicable law, the IRB is also supported by OHSP staff, who provide a range of HRPP subject matter expertise, guidance, and pre- and well as post-review and compliance monitoring of IRB approved human research. OHSP maintains the regulatory documentation required for human research, and provides the research community with professional, administrative and technical support in the submission and review of their human research studies. The OHSP staff hold various professional certifications and completion of related HRPP training to demonstrate their advanced human research compliance knowledge, skills and abilities, and participate in professional development in order to maintain and advance their credential. The OHSP staff also arrange for initial and continuing human research protections education and training for the FSU research community, including education and training provided by regulatory agencies and leading organizations in the field.  

FSU IRB - Selection as the Single Institutional Review Board. Should the FSU IRB be selected to serve as the Single IRB (sIRB) for non-exempt human research, the appropriate IRB reliance arrangement to document this selection and responsibility will be executed before human research may be conducted at a cooperative research site. Under a cooperative research arrangement, participating domestic sites will agree to rely on the FSU IRB; any domestic sites added after an award for which sIRB is required will be required to agree to this reliance arrangement unless they meet the federal regulatory criteria for exception to the policy. Provided below is an outline of FSU’s statement of sIRB compliance and qualifications, reliance agreement documentation plans, and the communication plan between the local sites, local IRB, lead site, and sIRB. Where FSU will rely upon an external sIRB, the converse will apply.

FSU IRB - Reliance Agreements. Before initiating the study, each participating site will execute a IRB reliance agreement with the sIRB; the reliance agreement will designate the sIRB as well as clarify the roles and responsibilities of the sIRB and the site. FSU has significant experience processing, executing and exercising oversight for many different types of reliance agreements, and is a signatory to the SMART IRB Agreement and other cooperatives to reduce IRB regulatory burden. The OHSP will maintain a copy of all reliance documentation for which the FSU IRB has sIRB responsibility or for which FSU is a participating study site. This documentation will also be made available to the lead PI and all cooperative research sites relying on the sIRB.

FSU IRB - Communication Plan. The FSU IRB uses an electronic protocol management system that is accessible online by FSU employees and agents (RAMP IRB) and by site PIs. All human research application materials must be submitted for human research regulatory review by the FSU PI or other FSU study team members designated by the PI, using the RAMP IRB system. Participating sites will provide necessary information or assurances to the FSU study team for submission to the FSU IRB for its review. The FSU OHSP office will communicate directly with the FSU study team as the proxy for all participating sites. Participating sites are required to follow their local procedures for dissemination of information and documentation (e.g., if the local IRB office or ancillary services require copies of the IRB approval). When appropriate, the FSU OHSP will communicate directly with participating site Human Research Protection Program offices.

The FSU study team, under the supervision of the lead PI, will provide coordination services in order to:

Coordinate communications with partnering sites

  • Request and receive information and documentation from partnering sites
  • Develop template materials for review by the FSU IRB and for limited modification by participating sites
  • Submit materials from all sites to the FSU IRB and coordinate responses to any IRB queries
  • Provide documentation to participating sites

Participating sites will follow their own local institutional procedures to coordinate, collect and verify information such as:

  • Local context
  • Site variations in areas such as recruiting, informed consent, HIPAA, populations
  • Conflict of Interest disclosure and management
  • Completion of ancillary reviews
  • Training and qualifications of study team
  • Continuing Review or Closure information
  • Reportable Events

The lead PI will maintain a copy of this communication plan and any other communication plans that are developed. Copies will be made available to the participating sites as appropriate.

CreateFSU allows faculty, students and staff to host and publish websites related to their digital research and pedagogy projects using cutting-edge and industry-standard web publishing tools. Created to supplement FSU’s existing web-hosting services for faculty, students and departments, CreateFSU provides researchers and instructors with the ability to build a digital presence for projects spanning from interactive maps and visualizations to collaborative course blogs and digital museum exhibits.