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Princeton University
Office of the Dean of the Faculty

Rules and Procedures of the Professional Researchers and Professional Specialists of Princeton University and Other Provisions of Concern to These Personnel

Last printed Fall 1996; Revised August 2011

II. THE UNIVERSITY RESEARCH ORGANIZATIONS

A. University Research Board (URB)

The University Research Board (URB) is advisory to the president on all matters concerning research performed at the University. Its primary responsibility is to make policy for the solicitation, acceptance, and administration of research grants and contracts, and to monitor the implementation of such policies. The URB meets on a regular basis during the academic year.

The University Research Board consists of six members of the faculty. Two faculty members are elected by the faculty at large by a system of the alternative vote and four faculty members are appointed by the president. Each of the University's four divisions is represented by at least one member. Faculty members normally serve four year terms and are not eligible for immediate re-election or reappointment after serving a full four year term, except in unusual circumstances.

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 dean of the Graduate School also sit on the committee. 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 URB advises the dean for research and the president on matters pertaining to research administration and policy.

B. Office of the Dean for Research

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.

Four committees of the faculty are organized under the dean for research to perform oversight mandated by the federal government.

Committees Governing Research

The committees charged with oversight of research projects 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 relevant committee and are appointed by the dean for research. Committee terms are normally for three years.

In addition to oversight responsibilities in their respective areas, these committees advise the dean for research on 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.

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 University sanitarian, are invited to sit with the committee without a vote.

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.

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 IRB 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 IRB 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.

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’s radiation safety officer, and other relevant personnel.

C. Committee on Appointments and Advancements for the Professional Researchers and Professional Specialists

The Committee on Appointments and Advancements for the Professional Researchers and Professional Specialists (C/7) advises the dean of the faculty on policies relating to appointments, promotions, salaries, and terminations of professional researchers and professional specialists. In particular, the committee reviews and advises the dean of the faculty on all appointments and promotions to positions carrying continuing appointment and reviews the salaries of individuals with the rank of senior research (by discipline), research (by discipline), and senior professional specialist. Its members are ex officio members of the Professional Researcher and Professional Specialist Grievance Panel to review and advise the dean of the faculty on any grievances concerning appointment, reappointment, promotions, and salary changes.

The Committee on Appointments and Advancements has six members appointed by the dean of the faculty. The dean for research serves as chair and an associate dean of the faculty serves (without vote) as secretary. The associate dean for research also sits with the committee (without vote).The six appointed members serve for staggered three-year terms and are selected from among members of the faculty, the professional researchers, the professional specialists, and members of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory scientific staff. There must be at least one member from each of these three groups.