University of Vermont

Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR)

Investigator Responsibilities

UVM Research triggers oversight by federal and state government agencies as well as the granting agencies.  This page lists the most common of those responsibilities as well as the programs that help you comply.

Protection of Research Subjects
Protection of Research


Protection of Researchers
Lab Safety

Each UVM employee conducting research or academic activities in any UVM owned or operated space that may expose humans, animals or the environment to hazards or hazardous materials must comply with UVM's Policy for Laboratory Health and Safety.

Labs that do not conform to the program are identified during lab audits or other interactions.

What You Need To Do
  1. Register your lab. This includes assigning a lab supervisor and a lab safety officer and completing an online inventory of the hazardous chemicals of concern.
  2. Complete Lab Roles and Responsibilities Training along with Annual Refresher (online).
  3. Complete Emergency Response for Laboratory Workers and Keeping Your Lab Safe (classroom).
  4. Identify lab hazards and implement appropriate controls and training. Lab hazards may include: chemicals, biological materials, radioactive isotopes, flammable materials, lasers, nano particle generation, compressed gases, magnets, autoclaves, hand & power tools, machinery, cryogens and more.
Contact

Department of Risk Management & Safety at safety@uvm.edu


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Biosafety

Investigators working with micro-organisms that have the potential to cause disease as well as with biologically derived toxins must submit a protocol to the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), which is responsible for ensuring that the use of biohazardous materials in research is done safely.

UVM's IBC operates in compliance with the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules.

What You Need to Do
  1. Complete required Safety Training Modules (approximately 60 minutes).
  2. Register and complete "Biosafety for Work at BSL-2 Containment Level" classroom training (approximately 1.5 hours).
  3. Complete "Protocol Form" located at IBC Forms Library.
  4. Submit protocol to UVM Biological Safety Officer (BSO) for required pre-submission review and risk assessment. See BSO submission review dates.
  5. Once reviewed by BSO, follow instructions for IBC submission located at IBC Meeting Dates, Requirements and Submission Deadlines.
Timeline for Reviews

Pre-submission review by the BSO typically requires 3 – 4 days, but may take as long as 1 week.

The BSO will make an initial determination as to whether the project requires full Committee review, designated review or review may be conducted simultaneously with activation:

  • Full Committee review meetings are monthly.
  • Designated projects have no submission deadlines, are reviewed on a first-come first-served basis, and take a minimum of 5 working days.
  • Simultaneous reviews can be processed in approximately 1 week's time and are administratively added to the next available agenda for full Committee discussion.
Contact

For assistance with training or scheduling a risk assessment, contact Jeff LaBossiere, Biological Safety Officer, at safety@uvm.edu.

For assistance with submissions, contact the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) at ibc@uvm.edu or 656-5040.


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Bloodborne Pathogens

OSHA's Bloodborne Pathogen Standard requires that every employee working with blood, blood products or "other potentially infectious materials" be designated as "at risk," offered the Hepatitis B vaccine, and receive annual training in recognizing the associated hazards along with protective measures.

Labs that do not conform to the program are identified during lab audits or other interactions.

What You Need To Do
  1. Identify BBP risks and designate at-risk personnel. See Bloodborne Pathogens and Exposure Control Plan.
  2. Document risks using Infectious Materials Risk Designation Form and Hepatitis B Vaccine Consent/Refusal Form.
  3. Complete on-line trainings:
    • Basic Laboratory Biosafety
    • Biowaste Management Procedures
    • Safety Around Bloodborne Pathogens
    • (if appropriate) Safe Use of Biosafety Cabinets
  4. If respirator use is indicated, contact the Department of Risk Management & Safety at safety@uvm.edu for additional requirements.
Timeline for Completion

Completing at-risk determination, Hepatitis B vaccine consent/refusal form, and on-line training usually requires 1 hour.

If a researcher elects to receive the vaccine, then additional time is needed to receive the 3 shots at an off-campus clinic.

Contact

Investigators are invited to contact the Department of Risk Management & Safety at safety@uvm.edu to assess hazards.


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Chemical Safety

Investigators are responsible to assess, reduce, communicate and mitigate hazards associated with any hazardous chemical with which they work. Investigators are also responsible for ensuring that lab personnel are trained to recognize the hazards of their chemicals and effects of over-exposure, as well as proper use of hazard controls, emergency procedures and waste disposal.

Labs that do not conform to the program are identified during lab audits or other interactions.

What You Need To Do
  1. Identify chemical hazards and determine appropriate controls: see Chemical Safety.
  2. Document hazards using Chemical Use Planning Form and/or Standard Operating Procedures.
  3. Complete on-line trainings:
    • Chemical Safety in the Laboratory
    • Chemical Waste Disposal Training
    • Laboratory Ventilation and Chemical Fume Hoods
  4. If respirator use is indicated, contact the Department of Risk Management & Safety at safety@uvm.edu for additional requirements.
Contact

Investigators are invited to contact the Department of Risk Management & Safety at safety@uvm.edu to assess hazards.


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Field & Travel Safety

Researchers are responsible for assessing and controlling hazards encountered during field research.  They must ensure personnel are trained to recognize hazards of their environment, as well as proper use of hazard controls, emergency procedures and waste disposal.

Labs that do not conform to the program are identified during lab audits or other interactions.

What You Need To Do
  1. Develop a detailed schedule and plan for field trip activities.
  2. Have each participant complete the Acknowledgment of Risk and Consent for Treatment during Field Laboratories & Field Trips form.
  3. Identify hazards specific to the activity as well as generic field hazards such as: bees, ticks, poisonous plants and lightning. See Field Safety for more information.
  4. Some UVM facilities have online resources to communicate hazards and controls. These include the Horticultural Research and Education Center and the Miller Farm.
  5. Operation of boats, tractors or other equipment requires additional training and documention. Contact Department of Risk Management & Safety at safety@uvm.edu.
Contact

Investigators are invited to contact the Department of Risk Management & Safety at safety@uvm.edu to assess hazards.


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Lasers

Investigators who wish to use class 3B and/or 4 lasers must receive prior approval from the Laser Safety Office.

What You Need To Do
  1. Contact the Radiation Safety Officer (see "Contact," below) for a laser user application.
  2. Complete online training for Laser Safety.

The Radiation Safety Officer will schedule a time to meet with you in your lab to further discuss any laser issues.

Timeline for Approval

Approval process usually takes less than 1 week.

Contact

Tom Kellogg, Radiation Safety Officer, at radsafe@uvm.edu or 656-2570


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Radiation

Faculty who need to procure radiation sources must be formally approved by the Radiation Safety Committee (RSC). No radiation sources can be used until approval is granted.

The Approval Process

Approval will be granted if the applicant has the credentials and previous on-the-job experience handling radionuclides of a similar nature and quantity. Applicants who are deficient in experience may be asked to work under an authorized Principal Investigator's (PI) approval for at least 6 months before being granted their own approval. For further information about investigator approval, see the RSO's Procedure for Approval of Investigators.

What You Need To Do
  1. Complete Application for New Investigators to Purchase and Use Radiation and submit to Radiation Safety Office (RSO).
  2. Take 44-question multiple-choice exam. See How to Prepare for the Certification Exam?
  3. Attend 30-minute meeting with Radiation Safety Office to further discuss proposed use and location of radiation source.
Timeline for Approval

The approval process may take 1 - 2 weeks to be completed.

Contact

Tom Kellogg, Radiation Safety Officer, at radsafe@uvm.edu or 656-2570


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Protection of Research Subjects
Animal Research

There are two separate organizational components at UVM designated to ensure appropriate implementation of all aspects of the animal care and use program. Researchers intending to use vertebrate animals in their research must gain approval from both before beginning research:

  • IACUC - The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee is UVM's central review body for matters relating to the care, use and treatment of animals in these areas and is located in the Research Protections Office.
  • OACM - The Office of Animal Care Management, with the University Veterinarian as its director, is responsible for the oversight of all animal care and use and for ensuring compliance with federal, state and local regulations.
What You Need to Do
  1. Complete training requirements and Occupational Health and Safety Program registration:
  2. Complete IACUC Animal Use Protocol Form.
  3. Submit draft of IACUC Protocol to University Veterinarian for required pre-submission review. See Veterinarian submission review dates.
  4. Once reviewed by University Veterinarian, follow instructions for IACUC submission located at Meeting Dates, Veterinarian Reviews, Submission Deadlines.
  5. After IACUC Protocol is approved:
Timeline for Reviews

Pre-submission review typically requires 3 – 4 days, but may take as long as 1 week.

Protocols may require full Committee review or review may be conducted by designated review.

  • Full Committee reviews (pain levels D &E) are the only projects that have an IACUC submission deadline date as these projects have to be sent to a convened meeting of the IACUC. These meetings are monthly.
  • Designated review timelines (pain levels C or lower) are reviewed on a first-come first-served basis and take a minimum of 5 working days.
Contact

Dr. Ruth Blauwiekel, University Veterinarian, at drruth@med.uvm.edu or 656-0459

For assistance with protocol submissions, contact IACUC at iacuc@uvm.edu or 656-5040.

For questions about husbandry or animal orders, contact OACM at oacm@uvm.edu or 656-0459.


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Human Subjects

Researchers intending to conduct research using human subjects must first gain approval from the Institutional Review Boards (IRBs). UVM's IRBs serve both UVM and the University of Vermont Medical Center and are entitled "The Committees on Human Research in the Medical Sciences" (CHRMS) and "The Committee on Human Research in the Behavioral Science" (CHRBSS). The IRBs operate in compliance with the US Department of Health and Human Service (DHHS) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

What You Need to Do
  1. Complete Human Subject Research Training (approximately 30 minutes).
  2. Submit protocol by following the Steps to Develop and Submit a Protocol ApplicationNOTE: Full Committee review protocols have a deadline for submission to the Committee.
Timeline for Reviews

The final determination of level of review is made by the IRB upon receipt of the protocol application:

Contact

Human Subjects Research/Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) at IRB@uvm.edu or 656-5040


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Protection of Research
Export Control Regulations

Export control laws and regulations protect the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States.

The export controls rules extensively apply when there is a risk that sensitive equipment, software, technology or information leave the national territory by any means, e.g., a consequence of a travel abroad, a shipment abroad, or contact with foreign persons or entities in the U.S.

What You Need to Do

If you are about to engage in an activity related to export-controlled items which bears the risk of involving a travel abroad, a shipment abroad or contact with foreign persons or entities in the U.S., contact the UVM Associate Vice President for Research Administration to determine to what extent the export control rules would apply, and the consequences in terms of licensing, restriction and protection.

Contact

For more information, contact Victoria Jones, LL.M., Research Compliance Officer, at Victoria.Jones.1@uvm.edu or 656-1329.


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Financial Conflict of Interest in Sponsored Research

The UVM Financial Conflict of Interest in Sponsored Research policy promotes objectivity in research. It manages the risk of outside financial interests affecting the design, conduct or reporting of funded research.

What You Need to Do
  1. Complete Conflict of Interest (COI) training (approximately 30 minutes):

  2. Disclose outside financial interests related to your responsibilities at UVM:
Timelines for Training and Disclosure

An investigator must be trained: (1) before submitting a proposal for external funding, and (2) every 4 years thereafter.

An investigator must disclose his or her outside financial interests: (1) before submitting a proposal for external funding; (2) annually thereafter during the period of research activity; and (3) 30 days after the discovery or acquisition of a new outside financial interest during the period of research activity.

Contact

For more information, contact Victoria Jones, LL.M., Research Compliance Officer, at Victoria.Jones.1@uvm.edu or 656-1329.


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Responsible Conduct of Research

Some sponsoring agencies (in particular, NSF and NIFA and in limited cases, NIH) require that grant participants receive a training in Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). There are nine core instructional areas that are important for RCR.

What You Need to Do
Timeline for Completion

RCR training should be completed as soon as possible after the grant is awarded.

Contact

For more information, contact Victoria Jones, LL.M., Research Compliance Officer, at Victoria.Jones.1@uvm.edu or 656-1329.


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Technology Commercialization

iEdison reporting requires that researchers disclose results of federally funded research to the granting agency.

What You Need to Do
Timeline for Completion

The Invention Disclosure Form should be completed as soon as the grant is completed.

Contact

Office of Technology Commercialization at innovate@uvm.edu or 656-8780


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