Research Integrity & Compliance

The University of Northern Colorado is dedicated to the highest standards of research integrity. The university's guidelines and procedures are intended to promote those standards in the care for people and animals that are the subjects of research, as well as in maintaining confidentiality, adhering to protocols, and preventing research misconduct.

Institutional Review Board (IRB)

For the Protection of Human Subjects in Research

The use of human subjects in research at the University of Northern Colorado is regulated by University Policy 3-8-104, enacted by the Board of Trustees to ensure that all research carried out under the auspices of UNC conforms to ethical standards.  

3-8-104 Human Subjects. It is the policy of the University that all research and research-related activities, in which humans are used as subjects, shall be subject to review under current Public Health Service regulations by an Institutional Review Board (IRB). The involvement of human subjects in research covered by this policy shall be prohibited until the IRB has reviewed and approved the research protocol.

Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC)

For the Protection of Animal Subjects in Research

The primary function of UNC's IACUC is to assist faculty, students and staff in upholding UNC's commitment to providing the finest care and most humane utilization of laboratory animals. To this end, every research, testing, and teaching project involving the use of vertebrate animals must be reviewed and approved by the IACUC prior to initiation. The IACUC shares with the investigator the responsibility for the ethical decisions made regarding the care and use of animals.

Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI)

Changes in the federal regulations promoting objectivity in sponsored projects required that grant recipient organizations develop compliant policies and implement the changes by August 24, 2012.

The public and the sponsors of the research, educational, and other activities of UNC personnel expect that the design, conduct, and reporting of such externally funded activities are free from bias resulting from investigator financial conflicts of interest. Federal regulations require that the university obtain disclosures of the outside financial interests of those personnel who are, or plan to be, involved in externally funded projects; to determine whether those interests constitute conflicts; and if so, to manage the conflicts in a way to promote objectivity in the sponsored activities.

Before a proposal can be submitted to an external sponsor, and at other times as specified in the UNC FCOI Policy and Implementing Procedures, the Principal Investigator or Project Director and all other individuals responsible for the design, conduct, or reporting of the project must disclose any significant financial interests that could be construed as conflicting with their part in the project.

In addition, personnel involved in projects funded by the Public Health Service (including NIH, CDC, AHRQ, and others) must complete training on financial conflict of interest prior to starting the work. The required training is available as online modules of the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI). While the PHS is the only agency with this requirement as of now, it is recommended that all investigators take advantage of the CITI training.

All project personnel need to be familiar with the FCOI policy and procedures in order to prepare their Significant Financial Interests Disclosures and to comply with pertinent requirements. The policy is published in the University Regulations at Article 3, Part 4, Section 3-3-402(1), and the Implementing Procedures are found in the Policies and Procedures section of this Website.

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) is essential to the conduct of research and teaching at UNC, and federal granting agencies are now requiring that grantees certify to having institutional plans in place to provide training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research to students, faculty and staff members. 

The UNC Plan for the Responsible Conduct of Research provides information about RCR and RCR educational opportunities, and it outlines the roles and responsibilities of the various parties involved in RCR at UNC.  RCR training is available to UNC students, faculty and staff members through online the course modules of the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) of the University of Miami.

UNC Scientific Misconduct Policy (Article 8, 3-8-106)

An Academic Researcher who engages in an act of acts of scientific misconduct while engaged in University Sponsored Research is subject to discipline in accordance with the prescriptions and procedures established in Article 8, 3-8-106 of the University Regulations.