Training & Education
There are numerous training resources available for researchers at Princeton. These educational materials and programs support the University’s mission to create, transmit and preserve knowledge while protecting and serving the public interest. Specialized training programs are required of all faculty, staff and students who work with human subjects and laboratory animals to ensure compliance with all federal and state regulations and University policies. Additionally, researchers who work in certain environments must complete laboratory safety training.
Researchers who work with laboratory animals are required by federal law and by University policy to undergo appropriate training. Mandatory training includes a Web-based program in health and safety for animal workers as well as a number of courses in the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) Learning Library on topics including animal welfare, federal regulations, working with the Institutional Animals Care and Use Committee (IACUC), inspection procedures, occupational health, and biosafety. Additional courses in the AALAS Learning Library that focus on specific animal species are also required, as dictated by the research program. All researchers who work with laboratory animals must receive a facility orientation provided by Laboratory Animal Resources staff, and additional hands-on training to ensure proficiency may also be required.
Any person who works in a laboratory must receive training to become knowledgeable about potential hazards in the laboratory. Laboratory workers must attend a laboratory safety training session given by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety and receive additional, more specific training as dictated by the research needs.
Principal investigators and laboratory managers must attend a laboratory supervisor briefing, provide by Environmental Health and Safety, which outlines their responsibility for safety management in their laboratories.
As required by federal regulation and University policy, all researchers, including students, who use human subjects in their research studies must be certified through the completion of an appropriate training program. This requirement includes all members of the Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects (IRB). The required National Institutes of Health training program is available for completion online, and all researchers must complete the training program and provide the IRB with documentation of certification prior to the start of the project.
Responsible conduct of research
The University believes that training in the responsible conduct of research (RCR) is an essential component of post-graduate education and it is Princeton’s policy to provide RCR education to graduate students and post-doctoral researchers proactively as an important element in their professional scientific training. The University’s approved plan stipulates that all graduate students who receive financial support from federal sources must receive this training, and encourages departments in the natural sciences, social sciences and engineering to extend this training to all their graduate students, irrespective of the source of their financial support. RCR training is also mandated by certain grant awards from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, and Princeton provides RCR training to all researchers on these projects, including undergraduates and other short-term researchers, to comply with the regulations of federal research sponsors.
RCR training courses are offered through academic departments and an online training platform is also available. Academic departments, center and institutes determine which training is appropriate and necessary for their students and post-doctoral researchers. An extensive online RCR resource is maintained by the Office of Research and Project Administration.
For research administrators
Department administrators are key contributors to the University research enterprise. A variety of resources exist to ensure that these essential staff members have the necessary skills and expertise for success.
The Office of Research and Project Administration provides a variety of resources for department administrators, including both Web-based and on-site sponsored research training. The office also hosts Coffee with ORPA, a monthly program held during the academic year that covers a wide range of sponsored research topics in an interactive discussion format. ORPA also provides training resources for Coeus, the grants management database used for administering sponsored research proposals and awards.
More broadly, the University maintains the Employee Learning Center, where employees may view various training and professional development opportunities on campus and register for or cancel from training classes online.