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Washington State University Graduate School

Special Issues Concerning Research

Research is an integral part of graduate student training. The Graduate School promotes high ethical standards among graduate students engaged in research activities and supports faculty in their efforts to educate students in the responsible conduct of research. Responsible research involves establishing an environment that fosters open communications, promotes best practices, and establishes a culture of integrity and scholarship. Information on human subjects; animal welfare; conflicts of interest; data acquisition, management, sharing and ownership; and publication practices and responsible authorship provide guidance to graduate students as they learn to become responsible researchers. This section of the policies and procedures manual provides an overview of links to policies, procedures, and resources that graduate students should access to be responsible researchers at WSU.

A. Research Conduct

All graduate students are required to complete training on Responsible Conduct of Research during their first semester as a graduate student; the training is a requirement for graduate assistants. Students should take this training as soon as possible, and will need to retake it after a five-year period. This web-based training is located on-line. Additional information regarding research ethics may be found at the following sites.

B. Grants to Graduate Students

The WSU Policy Statement for graduate students seeking support from foundations, federal agencies, or other sources outside the university may be found here .

C. Patents and Copyrights

Graduate students should expect that advisors and mentors will acknowledge student contributions to research presented at conferences, in professional publications, or in applications for copyrights and patents. State and university policy and other information regarding patents and copyrights may be found at the following sites.

D. Research Involving Animal Subjects

All vetebrate animal use in research, teaching and testing must comply with all university, state, and federal requirements as stated by the university Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). Faculty and graduate students can find additional information regarding these obligations and requirements Here.

E. Research Involving Human Subjects

All research involving human subjects must be approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB), a Presidential committee within the Office of Research Compliance. Additional information regarding these obligations and requirements may be found at the Human Subjects Institutional Review Board website.

F. Research Involving the Use of Biohazards

Potentially biohazardous materials include (but are not limited to) recombinant DNA, genetically modified organisms, select biological agents and toxins as well as infectious agents or pathogens (human, animal, or plant). Information regarding biosafety requirements for use of biohazards in research may be obtained at the following sites.

G. Research Involving the Use of Hazardous Chemicals

Information regarding the use of hazardous chemicals (i.e. chemicals that may be carcinogens, teratogens, mutagens, flammable, corrosive, explosive, etc.) in research may be obtained at the web site of the Environmental Health and Safety, Laboratory Safety.

If you need to ship hazardous chemicals or chemicals that you think may be hazardous, refer to the Hazardous Materials Shipping website or call the shipping cell number (509) 432-3869 to reach a coordinator.

H. Research Involving the Use of Ionizing Radiation

Information regarding possession and use of sources of ionizing radiation, including materials or machines for research, teaching or service under the authority of the University may be obtained at the following sites:

I. Conflict of Interest

Conflicts of Interest (COI) and Commitment Conflicts of Interest are not necessarily good or bad. What is important is how they are managed, and such conflicts must be acknowledged. A COI occurs when the personal and professional interests of a researcher, trainees, and collaborators conflict in certain areas. For example, these areas may include financial gain, work commitments, intellectual property and personal matters. The Conflict of Interest Committee reviews conflicts and helps researchers devise plans to manage or eliminate conflicts. If you have a question or a concern about a potential conflict in your work group, contact the COI coordinator at WSU’s Executive Policy 27 describes WSU’s Conflict of Interest policy.

J. Export Controls

The U.S. export control laws and associated regulations govern release of technology, technical data, software, and information to foreign nationals within or outside the U.S., and the ability to export or otherwise transact with certain individuals, entities and countries. Most projects at WSU are covered under a Fundamental Research Exemption, but research that has been limited by publication restrictions or foreign national exclusions is not exempted. Instruments and software are not exempted, even if the research that they are used to carry out is exempted. Please read the guidance offered Here to learn more about export controls.

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