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Princeton University
Office of the Dean of the Faculty

Rules and Procedures of the Faculty of Princeton University and Other Provisions of Concern to the Faculty

Last printed June 1994; Last updated September 2011

CHAPTER VIII: CONDUCT OF RESEARCH

A. University Research Funds

1. UNIVERSITY COMMITTEE ON RESEARCH IN THE HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES

The University Committee on Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences administers, on behalf of the President, a fund established by the Board of Trustees to support the scholarly activities of regular members of the Faculty in the Humanities and Social Sciences. The Committee is composed of three department Chairs in the Humanities and Social Sciences Divisions, appointed to three-year terms by the Dean of the Faculty. It acts to advise the President on awards made to provide funds for research assistance, travel, and publication of results in connection with the scholarship of the faculty in these two Divisions.

2. ENGINEERING RESEARCH FUNDS

Limited research funds are available to the Faculty and Professional Research Staff of the School of Engineering and Applied Science. These funds are composed of several small industrial, foundation, and government grants, and a University allocation, and are intended primarily to facilitate inception of new research by junior Faculty and staff, in areas not readily supported by external agencies. These funds are allocated on recommendation of the Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, based on advice from the Executive Committee or other appropriate advisers.

B. Research Supported by Outside Funds

Although the research funds mentioned in Section VIII.A. continue to be of great importance to the University in a variety of ways, the major expenditures for research now come from current funds supplied by foundations, industries, or government agencies through grants or contracts. The Dean for Research oversees the solicitation and administration of external funds through the Office of Research and Project Administration and the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations.

The Office of Research and Project Administration provides central administration services for all sponsored research projects, including proposal reviews and submission, grant and contract negotiations, and sponsored research award management and maintenance.  The Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations provides central support for developing and stewarding proposals for research funding and gifts from corporations and private foundations.

A general policy statement of the criteria to be considered in accepting grants or contracts for research and the procedure to be followed in obtaining such grants or contracts was approved by the President on 26 April 1960, and later communicated to, and approved by, the Faculty. Since that time the procedure has been amended in several respects; the statement as amended is reproduced in full as follows:

1. POLICIES FOR SPONSORED RESEARCH

Princeton University has based its adoption of these policies for sponsored research upon the fact that it is dedicated to the following primary and essential objectives:

a. The education of undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students.

b. The advancement of knowledge through research and scholarship.

c. The advancement, preservation, and dissemination of knowledge.

d. The advancement and protection of the public interest and public welfare.

2. THE OBLIGATIONS OF SPONSORED RESEARCH

In accepting a grant or contract for research, Princeton University, the departments, and the members of the Faculty or staff involved have accepted obligations to furnish:

a. An appropriate share of the time and talent of those members of the Faculty and staff who are committed to perform the research.

b. An appropriate share of the University's administration, both at the general administrative and departmental levels, services such as library assistance, shop and secretarial services, and general guidance to the extent needed.

c. Reports and publications describing the research performed and the results achieved.

d. Compliance with any terms and conditions of the grant or contract, such as those covering patents, copyrights, fiscal requirements, and so forth.

3. ADMINISTRATION AND PROCEDURES

The Dean for Research with the advice of the University Research Board is charged with the formulation of policy for the solicitation, acceptance, and administration of research grants and contracts throughout the University. The University Research Board is composed of six members of the Faculty.  The Dean for Research serves as Chair and the Director of the Office of Research and Project Administration serves as Administrative Officer.  An administrator from the Office of the Dean for Research serves as Secretary.The Treasurer and the Dean of the Graduate School also sit on the Board. When necessary, the Provost, Dean of the Faculty, Vice President for Development, General Counsel, and Director of Environmental Health and Safety meet with the Board.  Other individuals may sit with the Board as needed. The University Research Board is advisory to the President of the University.

The following procedures are to be followed with regard to sponsored research:

a. Every application or proposal for sponsorship, renewal, or expansion of research within the University, with funds to be furnished by an outside source, but administered by the University, should be submitted with the approval of the Chair(s) of the department(s) involved to the Office of Research and Project Administration before any formal proposals are transmitted to the outside source or any commitments are made. This is not to be construed, however, as limiting the freedom to discuss possible research sponsorship on an informal basis with outside individuals or organizations. The Office of Research and Project Administration will be available for assistance with the preparation of proposals and the location of receptive sponsors. Excluded from the requirement for processing through the Office of Research and Project Administration are awards or gifts to individuals, such as Guggenheim Fellowships, etc., where the University has no responsibilities for administering the funds.

b. After the proposal has been reviewed and approved by the Department Chair(s) and the appropriate administrative review committee to ensure its compliance with established University policies, formal proposals to outside sponsors will normally be transmitted through the Office of Research and Project Administration. Any arrangement or contract negotiation with the sponsor will normally be handled through that office.

c. The acceptance of grants or gifts designated to be used for research, where no proposal from the University is involved, will be coordinated through both the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations and the Office of Research and Project Administration in accordance with policies adopted by the University Research Board.

d. Proposals for gifts and the acceptance of gifts from corporations and foundations that are not specific to sponsored research are normally handled through the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations.

4. CRITERIA APPLICABLE TO SPONSORED RESEARCH

It will be the policy of the University, the University Research Board, the departments, and members of the Faculty involved to consider the merits of any proposal for sponsored research based upon the following criteria:

a. The research should fit within the framework of the four primary and essential objectives of the University cited earlier.

b. The research should be soundly based; its primary goal should be a significant contribution to knowledge rather than product development; and the personnel involved should be qualified to perform the project.

c. The research should be proposed and carried out within a regular department of the University, within an interdepartmental center or institute, or through the cooperation of several departments, and be led by a member of the Faculty or professional research staff. The provisions of the research agreement should not grant the sponsor or any other external party a continuing role in the scientific direction of the research.

d. Major research projects should be clearly related to the academic programs of the department or departments involved, and provide opportunities for graduate or undergraduate research training. Projects which do not meet these requirements shall be considered by the Executive Committee of the Council of the Princeton University Community. In no case shall the research extend the activities of a department to an extent that the quality of the educational programs is compromised.

e. Adequate facilities should be available or provisions should be made for funds to make them available.

f. There should be a good prospect of employing any additional professional or nonprofessional personnel required within the limits of existing salary scales and personnel policy.

g. The budget should be adequate for the work proposed, including allowance for contingencies and possible salary increases.

h. Provision should be made for any University funds required, either in the form of direct costs or indirect expenses computed in accordance with usual University practice.

i. Contracts or grants for research expected to generate classified information are accepted by the University only under unusual conditions and with specific approval in each case by the University Research Board--see section VIII.D. below. No such research has been carried on by Princeton University for a number of years.

j. The terms of any contract, grant, or gift to cover the research should, insofar as possible, permit flexible operation under regular University policies end procedures, permit free publication of results (except where the requirements of national security dictate otherwise), reimburse the indirect expenses as well as the direct costs of the research, conform to the principles of the University Patent Policy, and in general permit the University to exercise administrative control and responsibility for the work.

k. As a matter of policy the University does not administer funds whose purpose and the character of whose sponsorship cannot be publicly disclosed. In the particular case of research abroad, Faculty, research staff, graduate students and undergraduates receiving grants for this purpose from funds administered by the University are requested not to accept additional support from agencies of the government for purposes that cannot be disclosed.

Members of the Faculty considering the solicitation of outside funds for research in which they are interested are urged to study the above statement and to consult with the Office of Research and Project Administration.


5. PROCEDURES FOR REVIEWING INDIVIDUAL PROJECTS AND DEPARTMENTALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH PROGRAMS

a. The University Research Board will periodically review and discuss with representatives of the departments involved all sponsored research within each department or area of the University.

b. The URB has oversight responsibility for sponsored research grants as a whole. It sets the policies and criteria for the processing of proposals for sponsored research by the Office of Research and Project Administration, and participates in the review of selected proposals with broad or unusual implications for the University.

c. The Chair of the Research Board shall from time to time report to the Council of the Princeton University Community on issues of policy before the Board.

C. Committees Governing Research

The University committees charged with oversight of research projects at the University and their compliance with federal, state, and University regulations report to the Dean for Research. This reporting structure facilitates the development of an integrated and effective institutional compliance program covering all facets of research. The committees are comprised in compliance with federal regulations and consist of faculty members, staff members with expertise in the particular area of each committee, and, where appropriate, community representatives. Please refer to the Office of the Dean for Research for current committee membership.  New members are recruited through the Office of the Dean for Research in consultation with the chair of the Committee and are appointed by the Dean for Research. Committee terms are normally for three-year terms.

In addition to their oversight responsibilities, these committees advise the Dean for Research in their respective areas of oversight and relevant policy. The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, Biosafety Committee, and Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects are administered through the Office of Research and Project Administration. The Radiation Safety Committee is administered through the Office for Environmental Health and Safety.

1. INSTITUTIONAL ANIMAL CARE AND USE COMMITTEE

The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee is responsible for ensuring appropriate care and use of animals involved in the University's research, educational, and training activities.  The Committee is also responsible for University compliance with federal policies and procedures governing the care and welfare of animals. The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee is comprised in a manner that complies with current federal regulations and that provides the breadth of expertise necessary for adequate review of the range of research involving animals at the University.  At the discretion of the Committee, appropriate individuals, including the Environmental Health and Biosafety Officer, are invited to sit with the Committee without a vote.

2. BIOSAFETY COMMITTEE

The Biosafety Committee is responsible for the review and oversight of a variety of projects that involve biological materials, including recombinant DNA, infectious agents, and biohazardous material. The Biosafety Committee is comprised in a manner that complies with current federal regulations. There must be sufficient collective expertise on the Committee to conduct an effective review of the full range of projects at the University that involve recombinant DNA, infectious agents, and other biohazardous material. The review should ensure that the project is conducted with appropriate containment levels, practices, facilities, and expertise. The Committee should also have expertise in the risk to the environment and to public health. At the discretion of the Committee, appropriate individuals, including departmental safety officers and individuals with specific appropriate expertise, are invited to sit with the Committee without a vote.

3. INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD FOR HUMAN SUBJECTS

By federal mandate, the Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects (the IRB) is responsible for reviewing research projects involving human subjects to ensure that such research activity at the University does not expose any research subject to an unjustifiable risk or unduly invade their privacy. The Board ensures that each research proposal contains provisions for securing the informed consent of participants, free from undue pressure, prior to the start of research. All members of the University community, including students, must obtain approval from the Board before initiating any research project involving human subjects. The Board also ensures that the policies and procedures of the University with regard to research involving human subjects comply with federal and other government requirements. The membership of the IRB is composed in a manner that complies with current federal regulations.  At the discretion of the Board, appropriate individuals, including ad hoc experts or consultants, may be invited to sit with the Board without the ability to vote.

4. RADIATION SAFETY COMMITTEE

The Radiation Safety Committee is responsible for oversight of the University's radiation safety program. It grants authorization to principal investigators and other senior staff members who plan to work with radioactive materials, reviews incidents involving radioactive materials, sets policies for the use of sources of radiation, and gives general supervision for the implementation of those policies. The Radiation Safety Committee is chaired by a senior faculty member and is composed of various faculty members, the Director of Environmental Health and Safety, the University Radiation Safety Officer, and other relevant personnel.

D. Intellectual Property

1. GUIDING PRINCIPLE

The University's policies concerning intellectual property are intended to further its central mission--the sustained production, preservation, and dissemination of knowledge--while exercising due care for its fiduciary responsibility for the resources it administers.

2. PATENT POLICY

a. Basic Objectives

Patents are created by the Constitution and the Laws of the United States "to promote the progress of science and useful arts by securing for limited times to...inventors the exclusive right to their...discoveries." The basic objectives of Princeton University's policy include the following:

1) To maintain the University's policy of encouraging research and scholarship without regard to potential gain from royalties or other such income.

2) To make inventions developed in the course of University research available under conditions that will promote their effective development and utilization in the public interest.

3) To provide adequate recognition and incentive to inventors through a share in any proceeds from their inventions since University salaries are not based on the expectation of income from inventions.

4) To advance and encourage research and scholarly endeavors within the University with any funds accruing to the University from patents.

5) To recognize the equity of outside sponsors in the endeavors of the University by granting appropriate limited rights to the sponsors, consistent with the University's basic objectives outlined above.

b. The University Research Board, the Dean for Research, and the Office of Technology Transfer

The University Research Board is responsible for general oversight and administration of the University's Patent Policy as regards the University, its Faculty, employees, students, and outside sponsors.

The Dean for Research is responsible for the implementation of the Patent Policy under general oversight of the University Research Board. The Office of Technology Licensing, reporting to the Dean for Research, is responsible for the University's Technology Transfer Program, providing management of inventions and patenting and licensing services for inventions developed by members of the Princeton University community.

c. Relationship Between the University and Faculty, Employees, and Students

All Faculty members, employees, and students, in consideration of their membership in the academic community and upon the approval of this policy by the Trustees and the Faculty of Princeton University, agree to handle inventions and patents resulting therefrom as follows:

1) The University shall own all rights in any discovery or invention resulting from research carried on by any Faculty member, employee, or student

a) in which all or part of the cost thereof is paid from University funds or from funds administered by the University, or

b) which is made as a direct result of University duties, or

c) which has been developed in whole or in part through the utilization of University resources.

2) All such discoveries or inventions must be disclosed to the Office of Technology Licensing as soon as practicable.

3) The Office of Technology Licensing shall determine that such discovery or invention be either:

a) assigned outright to the discoverer or inventor in the event the discovery or invention does not meet any of the criteria set forth in paragraph 1) above;

b) assigned outright to the discoverer or inventor if determination is made that commercial exploitation is not warranted

c) transferred to one or more patent management organizations with which the University has contracted for commercial development or marketed by the Office of Technology Transfer;

d) forwarded to the outside sponsor if such action is required under the terms of a sponsored project agreement or by law.

4) No Faculty member, employee, or student may assign or license or agree to assign or license an invention developed under the criteria listed in c.1. above without prior written consent of the Office of Technology Licensing.

5) When the University and an outside sponsor enter into an agreement for research or other scholarly endeavor to be conducted with funds or facilities provided by said sponsor, Faculty members, employees or students who utilize such funds or facilities shall comply with the conditions pertaining to inventions and patents contained in said agreement and may be required to agree in writing that they will so comply.

6) If a dispute should arise between an inventor and the University with respect to the provisions of this Section c., questions shall be referred for decision to the University Research Board.

d. Distribution of Income

Any income realized by the University from its equity in an invention will be used for the purpose of research or scholarly activity, with the preferential consideration being given to the field of activity in which the invention was made.

1) For an invention in which the University owns all rights in accordance with Section c. above, the inventor will be paid the following percentages of the net income realized by the University: fifty percent (50%) of the first $100,000; forty percent (40%) of the next $400,000; and thirty percent (30%) of the amount in excess of$500,000.

2) For inventions which the University releases outright to the discoverer or inventor under the provision of Section c. above, the University may also release all claims to any subsequent income received by the discoverer or inventor.

e. Relations with Outside Sponsors

Research supported by outside funds is governed by the Policies for Sponsored Research which are set forth in the Rules and Procedures of the Faculty of Princeton University and also in the Rules and Procedures of the Professional Researchers and Professional Specialists of Princeton University.

When a sponsor of research at Princeton University desires a formal agreement that includes conditions applicable to inventions and patents, the provisions of such agreements will be negotiated giving full consideration to this Patent Policy and to the objectives cited in Section a. hereof.  

3. COPYRIGHT POLICY

a. Basic Objectives

Copyrights are created by the Constitution and the Laws of the United States "to promote the progress of science and useful arts by securing for limited times to authors ... the exclusive right to their writings." The basic objectives of Princeton University's policy as to copyrights include the following:

1) To maintain the University's policy of encouraging research and scholarship without regard to potential gain from royalties or other such income.

2) To maintain the basic right of any individual within the University community to write and publish.

3) To encourage the dissemination of copyrightable materials developed in the course of University activities.

4) To recognize each individual's right to all income resulting from her or his writings except as stated herein.

5) To disavow any claim of equity on the part of the University in the writings of any individual simply because of the individual's membership in the University community.

6) To advance and encourage research and scholarly endeavor within the University with any funds accruing to the University from copyrights.

7) To recognize the equity of outside sponsors in the endeavors of the University by granting appropriate limited rights to sponsors, consistent with the University's basic objectives outlined above.

b. University Research Board, the Dean for Research, and the Office of Technology Licensing

The University Research Board is responsible for general oversight and administration of the University's Copyright Policy as regards the University, its faculty, employees, students and outside sponsors.

The Dean for Research is responsible for the implementation of the Copyright Policy under general oversight of the University Research Board. The Office of Technology Licensing is responsible for the providing management of copyrights and licensing services for the University community.

c. Relationship Between the University and its Faculty, Employees and Students

All faculty members, employees, and students, in consideration of their membership in the academic community and upon the approval of this policy by the Trustees and the Faculty of Princeton University, agree to handle material subject to copyright as follows:

1) The members of the Faculty of Princeton University strive to make their publications openly accessible to the public. To that end, each Faculty member hereby grants to The Trustees of Princeton University a nonexclusive, irrevocable, worldwide license to exercise any and all copyrights in his or her scholarly articles published in any medium, whether now known or later invented, provided the articles are not sold by the University for a profit, and to authorize others to do the same. This grant applies to all scholarly articles that any person authors or co-authors while appointed as a member of the Faculty, except for any such articles authored or co-authored before the adoption of this policy or subject to a conflicting agreement formed before the adoption of this policy. Upon the express direction of a Faculty member, the Provost or the Provost’s designate will waive or suspend application of this license for a particular article authored or co-authored by that Faculty member.

The University hereby authorizes each member of the Faculty to exercise any and all copyrights I his or her scholarly articles that are subject to the terms and conditions of the grant set forth above. This authorization is irrevocable, non-assignable, and may be amended by written agreement in the interest of further protecting and promoting the spirit of open access.

2) The University shall, except as provided by specific contract between the author and the University, have the right to obtain and own copyright and to retain any income from copyrightable material which is developed by individuals whose specifically assigned duties include the preparation of that material.

3) The University supports the normal teaching and research efforts of its faculty in a variety of ways. The University considers these allocations appropriate to further the individual scholarly activities of the members of the University community and, except as provided above in paragraph 1, makes no claim to the copyrights from products of these activities. However, under some conditions, this support may include substantial resources specifically designated for the development of intellectual property from which a faculty or staff member may derive personal income from the outside. In such cases, the University considers it has some equity and part of the income received should be used to reimburse the University for use of its resources.

4) When the University and an outside sponsor enter into an agreement for research or other scholarly endeavor to be conducted with funds or facilities provided by said sponsor, faculty members, employees or students who utilize such funds or facilities shall comply with the conditions pertaining to copyrights contained in said agreement and may be required to agree in writing that they will so comply. Where the University is the recipient of sponsored research funding it will generally retain ownership of copyrights, especially of technical data and patentable computer programs but not generally literary, artistic scholarly, or educational works (even if embodied in computer software or programs). Income realized by the University from such copyrights shall be distributed in accordance with the formulas in 2.d above unless the written agreement requires otherwise.

5) The University shall not, except as provided by specific contract between the author and the University, claim any equity in or right to the copyrights in material other than that covered by paragraphs 1, 2, 3, and 4 above.

6) If a dispute should arise between an author and the University with respect to the provision of this Section c., questions shall be referred for decision to the University Research Board.

7) Ownership of the copyright in computer software shall be in accordance with the provisions laid out above. However, because the analysis underlying the University's decision as to whether it will assert rights to any software may be more complex than the analysis with respect to other works, software is subject to special disclosure requirements. Specifically, if the faculty member or other creator believes the software has commercial potential or wishes to license or otherwise commercialize the software developed, whether or not the creator believes the University would assert rights to it, he or she must disclose the software to the University for a determination of ownership of the respective intellectual property.

d. Materials Subject to Copyright

The types of material that may be subject to copyright include the following:

  • Literary Works, such as books, journal articles, texts, glossaries, bibliographies, periodicals, manuscripts, study guides, laboratory materials, syllabi, and tests.
  • Musical works, including any accompanying words.
  • Dramatic works, including any accompanying music.
  • Pantomimes and choreographic works.
  • Motion pictures and other audio-visual works.
  • Sound recordings.
  • Architectural works.
  • Computer software.

e. Distribution of Income

Any income realized by the University from its equity in copyrightable material will be used for the purpose of research or scholarly activity, with preferential consideration being given to the field of activity in which the copyrightable material is generated.

E. Classified Research

Resolution

(Adopted by the Faculty on 4 May 1953, as revised on 5 February 1968 and on 1 February 1971)

Whereas,
Security regulations and classification of information are at variance with the basic objectives of a University, and

Whereas,
The proper performance of any research contracts or grants involving classified information places on the University obligations which should be carefully controlled to avoid jeopardizing the fulfillment of the University's educational responsibilities,

Therefore,
Be it resolved that the University be guided by the following principles in its relations with the Government on research contracts and grants:

1) The University will not, as a matter of policy, accept any contracts or grants for the support of classified research.

2) If any portion of the research carried out under a contract or grant is classified by the government, that portion shall be terminated as soon as possible.

3) Exceptions to these policies shall be authorized by the University Research Board only under extraordinary conditions to be determined by the special review in which the Board, the Faculty, and the Council of the Princeton University Community shall participate.

4) Classified information shall be stored and classified research shall be conducted in such physical quarters, and under such contractual requirements, that the free functioning of the educational operations of the University will not be hampered.

5) No outside agency shall have the right to determine that any individual employed by the University shall be excluded from participating in work which does not involve classified information.

6) Government attempts to restrict the free flow of unclassified information, or to restrict participation of personnel in work which does not involve classified information, by termination of contracts or by other means, should be resisted and deplored.