The University publications, policies and guides included here present some of the most comprehensive policies and procedures that govern the Princeton research community, though this list is not exhaustive. The University recognizes that its responsibility and accountability extends to stakeholders outside of academic, including government authorities, sponsors, donors, and the general public, all of whom have vested trust and resources in Princeton’s research endeavors.
The University’s general academic policies, including those that pertain to academic integrity and the use of intellectual property, are intended to support, guide and protect all members of the University community.
Conflict of interest
All members of the University community must be sensitive to conflicts of interest. Both Human Resources and the Dean of the Faculty require the completion of annual disclosure forms identifying conflicts of interest and commitment. Additionally, in light of a variety of formal and informal relationships between external persons and organizations and the University and its personnel, members of the University research community who are funded by external sponsors must be particularly sensitive to any potential conflicts of interest as they pursue their research work. When these relationships intersect in the area of sponsored research, there is a potential for conflicts of interest for faculty and research staff.
All potential conflicts of interest relating to research are reviewed by the Review Panel for Conflict of Interest in Research, chaired by the dean for research. The Conflict of Interest in Research Policy provides general guidance for situations where conflicts of interest may arise as well as the obligations that Princeton researchers have to consider, avoid and, if necessary, disclose any such situations. Any questions regarding a potential conflict of interest should be directed to the dean for research or to the secretary of the Review Panel for Conflict of Interest in Research.
More broad, but equally relevant, the Human Resources Conflict of Interest Policy applies to all University faculty and staff members.
Environmental health and safety
Environmental health and safety is a critical element of research integrity. Principal investigators have primary responsibility for the safe management of University laboratories. A number of University policies are in place to guide the management of a wide range of environmental health and safety issues, including training, chemical disposal, laboratory security, respiratory protection and the presence of minors in the laboratory.
Detailed information about these topics can be found on the Office of Environmental Health and Safety website.
Federal law places restrictions on federal lawmakers and staff and outside entities, including Princeton University, relating to gifts, travel compensation and other transactions directed towards lawmakers and staff. The Office of Government Affairs has outlined Princeton’s responsibilities for compliance with these restrictions in a memo on federal ethics laws.
The prompt and open dissemination of the results of research and the free exchange of information among scholars are essential to Princeton’s continued commitment to excellence in education and research. Commercial transfer of technology is subordinate to Princeton’s education and research missions, and dissemination of information must not be delayed beyond the reasonable period necessary to define and protect the rights of the involved parties.
Rights in inventions, mask works, tangible research property and copyrights, including software, made or created by Princeton faculty, staff, or students are owned by the University in certain circumstances as fully described in the University Intellectual Property policies. The Office of Technology Licensing pursues the commercialization of technology in a manner that does not interfere with the normal flow of technical and academic information through publications and conferences.
As a recipient of federal funding, Princeton is required to report invention disclosures in accordance with the Bayh-Dole Act and to promote technology transfer for the good of society. Further information about invention disclosures, patents and licensing is provided by Technology Licensing.
Misconduct in research
Misconduct in research may include the fabrication or falsification of data, plagiarism, interference with the integrity of the work of others, or misappropriation of the ideas of others in proposing, conducting and reporting research. The Office of the Dean of the Faculty oversees the implementation of Princeton Misconduct in Research Policy as it is presented in the Rules and Procedures of the Faculty of Princeton University.
Additional research-related policies
Additional policies pertaining to research, such as those regarding independent contracting, record management and subawards, can be found on the Office of Research and Project Administration website .