UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH POLICY 11-01-02

CATEGORY:              RESEARCH ADMINISTRATION

SECTION:                  Research

SUBJECT:                 Rights, Roles, and Responsibilities of Sponsored Research

                                      Investigators

EFFECTIVE DATE:   April 3, 1992

PAGE(S):                   4

I.    SCOPE

      This policy establishes the roles, rights, and responsibilities of faculty investigators in the

      management of sponsored research projects, the protection of the academic and

      research integrity of such projects, and the resolution of conflicts with colleagues and

      administrative supervisors.

II.   POLICY

      The University should not accept awards or enter into agreements for the support of

      research which confer upon another party the power to censor or exercise effective veto

      over the dissemination of results and conclusions arising from research.  Short delays,

      usually up to six months, may be permitted to allow industrial sponsors to take out

      patent applications; these conditions must be specified in the initial awards.

      -     No agreement should preclude the right of researchers to publish the results of their

            research.  See Policy 11-02- 01, Patent Rights and Technology Transfer and

            University policy on Secret Research for certain exceptions.

      A member of a research team who questions in good faith the handling of a research

      project should be protected from reprisals by other researchers or administrators.  On

      the other hand, researchers require equal protection from unsupported charges or

      charges made out of ignorance, misinterpretation, or malice.

      The University and its agents will operate under University policies on Sponsored

      Projects or revision of those policies.  It is understood that all the rights and

      responsibilities set forth in these policies are subject to any legal constraints, to the

      availability of sufficient resources to meet these and competing demands, and all

      existing University policies.

      Investigators have basic rights to an environment that facilitates research, and the

      University should encourage and facilitate research.  On all sponsored projects, the

      University shall make reasonable efforts to:

      -     Expedite hiring of staff and faculty to enable work to proceed from the start of the

            award

      -     Assist departments, schools, the Office of Research, and the Office of Research

            Accounting to facilitate administrative tasks

      -     Meet the terms and conditions of the sponsored award in collaboration with the

            Investigators

      -     Disseminate to appropriate staff and faculty this document as well as more detailed

            procedures, methods, and responsibilities, and including checklists of administrative

            procedures and timetables

      -     Improve and expedite the delivery of essential university services to Investigators by

            facilitating communication between Investigators and administrators to solve

            problems related to sponsored research

      -     Provide timely notice of all awards to Investigators and to provide notice to

            investigators of special conditions that require University and/or Investigator acceptance

      -     Provide timely and accurate monthly accounting reports to Investigators

      Investigators have the following responsibilities:

      -     To create the project

      -     To inform all responsible administrative persons of the aims, needs, and expectations

            of the project early enough so that all parties understand the full implications and

            meanings of the award

      -     To avoid conflict of interest

      -     To maintain academic and research integrity

      -     To ensure that research is conducted safely and in compliance with all state and

            federal health and safety regulations

      -     To conduct the work supported by the award in a timely and professional manner

      -     To conduct the project in a manner consonant with the teaching and research

            mission of the University

      -     To submit progress and final reports as may be required under the terms of the award

      -     To follow University and sponsoring agency guidelines for the use of animal and

            human subjects in research

      -     To report patentable and other commercially valuable findings in accordance with the

            University Patent Policy

      -     To acknowledge all sponsors of the research project in any official communication

            regarding the research

      The Principal Investigator has the following additional responsibilities:

      -     In collaboration with Co-Principal Investigators, to develop the project, allowing

            adequate time for review and comments by department and school officers, relevant

            research review committees, and the Office of Research

      -     To share with all Co-Principal Investigators the planning and development of the

            project to meet the objectives of the award

      -     To take appropriate action so that the Office of Human Resources clearly states the

            terms of appointment of non- signatory staff members, including secretaries and

            research staff

      -     To follow the guidelines on appointment and termination for all research associates

            and research fellows

      -     To ensure compliance with the specific terms and conditions of each award as

            stated in the contract or grant documents and with all administrative requirements

      -     To manage all budgetary matters relating to the project, among those including:

            incurring expenditures made prior to the receipt of a fully executed award only after

            obtaining specific authorized approval, controlling expenditures so as not to exceed

            the total amount of funds awarded, and adhering to specific budget category

            expenditure limits; obtaining prior approvals (from the agency and the University) for

            budget changes; reviewing monthly accounting reports and, upon expiration of the

            contract, making adjustments to clear all expenses

      Investigators have the following rights:

      -     The individual Investigator should not be the subject of institutional coercion with

            respect to particular research projects

      -     Once signed and submitted, the University should not modify or change the proposal

            without consultation with Investigators

      -     Once accepted by the University, the University must not change the condition of the

            award unless unusual or extenuating circumstances arise; and in such circumstances

            changes will be made with full consultation of the Investigators; Investigators have the

            right to appeal such decisions

      -     Investigators have full right to publish their findings, except as provided under the

            University Patent Policy and Policy on Secret Research. Authorship credit should

            reflect the relative contribution of research team members, should be determined as

            early as possible in the project, and should be given only to active participants in the

            project

      Settling Disputes

      Investigators should attempt to resolve disputes with administrative officers or among

      professionals engaged in research by informal means.  Disputes may arise because of

      interpretation of this policy or other reasons involved in the project.  All parties should

      present their views to the next higher level administrator in an effort to achieve mutually

      agreeable solutions.

      Procedure 02-03-01, Faculty Grievances, (or its revision) establishes the procedure for

      settling disputes that arise under this policy or disputes arising for other reasons involved

      in the project.  Investigators (including research associates) who are unable to achieve

      a mutually agreeable solution on their own initiative will then invoke the Faculty Grievance

      Procedure for settling the dispute.

      Disputes over research issues require evaluation by persons familiar with the scientific,

      intellectual, or managerial issues involved.  In disputes on research awards, especially

      when there are accusations of disputed ownership of data, misuse of funds or violations

      of accepted practice, review panels must include persons with specific intellectual or

      scientific qualifications.

      In cases of alleged scientific, intellectual misjudgment, or fraudulent reporting or any

      other matters subject to Policy 11-01-10, Research Integrity, the University will follow

      this policy or its revision.

      Implementation

      Concerns and problems of Investigators arising from issues addressed in this policy

      should be reported to the University Senate Executive Committee for referral to

      appropriate Senate committees and/or to the University Research Council.

      Review

      The University Senate Executive Committee and the University Research Council should

      evaluate the operation of this policy biannually.

III.  REFERENCES

      Policy 11-02-01, Patent Rights and Technology Transfer

      Policy 11-01-01, Research Integrity

      Policy 11-01-03, Conflict of Interest Policy for Faculty, Scholars, Researchers, Research

      Staff/Coordinators

      Procedure 02-03-01, Faculty Grievances