Texas Tech University
TTU Guide to Research

Research Integrity: Safety & Responssible Conduct of Research

At Texas Tech, the Office of the Vice President for Research is responsible for overseeing Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR), compliance issues, human subjects and animal use, and the Office of Environmental Health and Safety.

Responsible Research Training

Texas Tech encourages all faculty, students and staff to participate in discussions and training about responsible conduct of research (RCR).  A variety training opportunities are available to all members of the Texas Tech community.

There also are select activities and courses that count toward RCR training requirements. For information or questions, please contact the Office of Responsible Research.

iThenticate Service

To support responsible research practices at Texas Tech, the OVPR encourages use of iThenticate software to screen grant proposals and scholarly papers for plagiarism or misuse of text.

Investigator Financial Disclosure

Federal regulations require that Texas Tech have policies and procedures in place to ensure that employees disclose any significant financial interests that may represent an actual or potential conflict of interest in relationship to externally sponsored projects.

All investigators need to annually disclose significant financial interests with Texas Tech. The Investigator Financial Disclosure website provides forms and instructions. For those who have NIH or other Public Health Service grants, Texas Tech follows National Institutes of Health guidelines for financial disclosure. If a researcher needs to update or amend the financial disclosure form, contact Amy Baugh, submit a new form or complete the online questionaire.

Faculty or other personnel who have applied or plan to apply for NIH or other PHS funding must complete training and disclose business or financial interests before submitting proposals or receiving funds. Texas Tech's Financial Disclosure office offers assistance, information and training options.

Texas Tech Operating Policy 70.37 outlines the general university regulations and procedures regarding annual disclosure of significant business and financial interests as well as the identification of conflicts or potential conflicts of interest, which serve to protect the credibility and the integrity of the university's faculty and staff, as well as the institution, so that public trust and confidence in its sponsored activities are not compromised.

The National Institutes of Health and other Public Health Service (PHS) agencies have made major changes in financial disclosure requirements for all investigators and personnel involved in funded projects. Faculty or other personnel who have applied or plan to apply for NIH or other PHS funding must complete training and disclose business or financial interests before submitting proposals or receiving funds. Texas Tech’s Financial Disclosure office offers assistance, information and training options.

Human Research Protection Program

The Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) is the office that coordinates with the Texas Tech University Institutional Review Board (IRB).

All research involving human subjects at Texas Tech must be reviewed by the IRB. The IRB recommends that researchers conducting human subjects studies complete some form of training.

Not all studies require approval by the full IRB. The HRPP has created an interactive module to help determine if IRB review is needed. Step-by-step instructions and forms are available for requesting an exemption, an expedited review or review by the full board.

The Texas Tech HRPP office may conduct post-approvals review of human subjects work.

Please note that Texas Tech’s policies on human subjects may be different than your previous institution.

Animal Care Services

The Animal Care Services (ACS) office is charged with providing for the physical and psychological well-being of animals used in research and teaching. The office also aids investigators in obtaining and properly using animals.

ACS maintains responsibilities in animal procurement, animal housing and daily care, the provision of veterinary care, health surveillance and preventative care, assisting investigators and their staff with animal procedures, and the care, maintenance and replacement of equipment and facilities.

Please note that animal use and care policies at Texas Tech may be different than your previous institution.

Laboratory Safety

Laboratory safety is a major focus at Texas Tech. As a result of a serious accident in 2010, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) conducted an investigation. Texas Tech is working to fulfill the CSB recommendations as well as self-imposed recommendations to ensure a culture of safety on the university campus. A Web site dedicated to the investigations and the university’s response has been created. The university also maintains a Lessons Learned web page of incidents at Texas Tech and other institutions.

A vareity of online safety training is available through Environmental Health and Safety.

All faculty, staff and students who work with chemicals and/or other hazards in our laboratories, studios, shops and other facilities must complete a short, open-book assessment to verify that they have reviewed the new Chemical Hygiene Plan.

Environmental Health and Safety

The Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) is responsible for a variety of safety, health and environmental issues at Texas Tech. Staff members have been assigned to specific areas to assist faculty, staff and students. The office also is responsible for hazardous and radioactive waste removal.

EH&S has created a variety of online training and laboratory safety materials to help researchers and lab managers, including a laboratory safety checklist.

The university’s Chemical Hygiene Plan was revised in early 2013. The Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) online assessment training module must be completed by all faculty, staff and students who work with chemicals and/or hazards in laboratories, studios, shops and other facilities.

Chemical Hygiene Plan

The university’s Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) was revised in early 2013 by the ILSC and EHS. The CHP clearly defines roles, responsibilities and procedures around laboratory and workplace safety. The revised the CHP and verification program are a result of a U.S. Chemical Safety Board investigation into a 2010 incident in a TTU chemistry laboratory that left a graduate student seriously injured. Following its investigation, the CSB recommended that Texas Tech revise and expand its CHP to ensure that physical safety hazards are addressed and controlled, and develop a verification program that ensures that the safety provisions of the CHP are communicated, followed and enforced at all levels within the university.

All faculty, staff and students who work with chemicals and/or hazards in our laboratories, studios, shops and other facilities must complete a short, open-book assessment to verify that they have reviewed the new CHP. The assessment is available on the EH&S online training website.

Institutional Biosafety Committee

The Institutional Biosafety Committee is charged with reviewing and approving research conducted with microorganisms pathogenic to humans, plants, or animals.

Radiation/Laser Safety Committee

The Radiation/Laser Safety Committee is charged with establishing policies and procedures in accordance with current regulations established by the Texas Bureau of Radiation Control (BRC), as well as provide administrative advice regarding radiation safety and approving all applications, amendments and sublicense renewals relating to the use of radiation safety.

Radiation Safety

The Radiation Protection Program serves a radiation-use program that is overseen by a Radioactive Materials Broad License issued to the university by the Texas Bureau of Radiation. Most of the radiation-use program currently consists of researchers using radioisotopes to label amino acids on proteins, nucleic acids, sugars and other molecules; and researchers using X-ray diffraction machines and small sealed sources. The use of ionizing radiation is important to academic research, and using these materials and instruments safely is obviously of equal importance.

Training

EHS offers a variety of online training opportunities for university faculty, staff and students.

Forms

Faculty and staff may obtain Asbestos Compliance Management, Environmental Protection and Radiation/Lab Safety forms here. Hazardous Material Shipping Declaration Forms are available here.

Vice President for Research

Office of the Vice President for Research
169 Administration Building
Box 41075
Lubbock, TX 79409-1075
(806)742-3904 ofc | (806)742-3959 fax

Webmaster

OVPR Staff
361 Administration Building
Box 41075
Lubbock, TX 79409-1075
(806)742-3905 ofc | (806)742-3947 fax