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UD Research Compliance & Ethics Program

The University of Delaware (UD or University), its faculty, staff and students are committed to conducting their research and scholarly endeavors with the highest ethical standards. Consistent with Federal Government guidelines and requirements, and with widely-recognized best practices to achieve the responsible conduct of research, the University has developed, conducts and maintains current an effective Research Compliance & Ethics Program (RCEP). In doing so, UD exercises due diligence to prevent, detect and correct any research-related conduct that is not consistent Government and best-practice collective tenets. Additionally, the University creates and promotes (in an ongoing fashion) an institution-wide culture that encourages behavior/conduct that is ethical and complaint, and in accord with applicable research-related requirements, guidelines and best practices.

To those ends, the University established and maintains standards and procedures to prevent, detect and correct research-related behaviors that may be (or have the potential to become) aberrant. Methods to keep UD executive leadership knowledgeable with regard to the University RCEP are in place and maintained, so as to accommodate oversight of Program efficacy. Program standards, guidance and training extend to research efforts that include (or potentially include) matters concerning 1) animal care & use, 2) conflict of interest, 3) confidentiality, 4) cost accounting 5) data management, 6) export controls & trade sanctions, 7) freedom-of-information requests, 8) human subject protection, 9) intellectual property, 10) research integrity and misconduct, 11) research-related agreements, and 12) research-related safety (bio-, chemical & hygiene, hazardous substances, radiation and LASER).

The UD Vice Provost for Research (VPR) is the University’s Chief Research Administrator & Advocate. The VPR office ensures the presence and maintenance of an adequately-funded and effective research RCEP. Day-to-day operational responsibility for the Program is delegated to the Associate Vice Provost for Research and Regulatory Affairs, who with colleagues and in cooperation with UD faculty who serve on and chair University compliance and safety committees are tasked to knowledgeably and competently perform the multi-disciplinary duties needed to ensure that the UD research community goes about its work in a compliant and responsible manner. All University persons performing day-to-day operations aimed at maintaining the integrity of the RCEP 1) have no-known transgressions (past or current) from Program tenets, and 2) have direct access to the office of the University VPR.

In order to maintain Program effectiveness, the office of the University VPR oversees and provides a wide spectrum of research-related compliance and ethics training. Training media include web-based presentations and face-to-face presentations. Face-to-face training is offered for groups or individuals, and is offered on regularly scheduled intervals and upon request. Training is typically tailored for students, research-support staff, faculty and other research professionals, across the full spectrum of research-related RCEP topics.

To ensure that UD’s research community adheres to the requirements of the Program, provisions for periodic monitoring and audit are in place. Additionally, the Program offers anonymous avenues for the reporting of University-research activities that may be suspected of being inconsistent with the responsible conduct of research. As a result of an institutional-wide adherence to a Program of recognized and required research-related compliance and ethical morays, UD maintains an ability to provide an open and supportive environment for the conduct of research, while remaining able to quickly identify abhorrent behavior and suspend offenders.

Finally, to help ensure (and confirm) institutional commitment to providing an effective RCEP, the UD Program is periodically assessed internally (with the assistance non-Program University personnel), and modified as necessary to remain aligned with, and responsive to, modifications in Federal Government and best-practice standards.

Additional information regarding the University RCEP may be accessed by sending an email request to udresearch@udel.edu.