Conduct Compliant Research

All research done under the aegis of Western Michigan University adheres to federal, state, local and University regulations.

Compliance forms

Compliance areas

Researchers should read through the information contained in every area that applies to them and their project.

  • Agency-Required Training—The following participants are required to complete research training if funded by NSF or NIH: faculty investigators (PIs and co-PIs), staff directly involved in the funded project, postdoctoral researchers involved in the funded project, students paid from project funds, students involved in the funded project but not paid from its funds, and students or postdoctoral researchers involved in the subcontract work. Staff indirectly involved in the funded project may be required to complete training at the PI’s discretion. Certain sponsoring agencies have specific training requirements if they are funding a project. Principal investigators are responsible for complying with funding agency requirements.
  • Animal Care—Pertains to all WMU personnel or visitors conducting vertebrate species research or instruction.
  • Biosafety—Pertains to all WMU personnel or visitors conducting microbiology, recombinant or synthetic DNA or life sciences research or instruction.

    This section does not pertain to bloodborne pathogens or the diagnostic activities of Sindecuse Health Center, WMU clinics or athletic trainers.

    The sub-areas are very different from each other. Recombinant DNA does not only cover altering genes of microbes, but may involve altering genes of a fish to make it glow. In the latter, no microbe would be involved, but recombinant or synthetic DNA would be. The opposite is also true; a researcher may be working with a virus to map out its genome with the future intent on developing something that would destroy the virus or alter its reproductive capacity. There is no recombinant or synthetic DNA involvement in this use.
    • Microbiological Safety and Security—Pertains to all personnel in facilities or on property owned or controlled by WMU using or doing research on potentially hazardous microbial agents and/or their products that does not alter the DNA or RNA of the microbes’ genes.
    • Recombinant and Synthetic DNA Biosafety—Pertains to all personnel in facilities or on property owned or controlled by WMU conducting research in which the DNA or RNA of host or target cells are altered and created (synthetic).
  • Export Controls—Pertains to all WMU employees, faculty, students, researchers, collaborators and visitors involved in or exposed to areas in which regulated activities are conducted; controlled technologies or items are in use or can be observed.
  • Human Subjects—Pertains to all WMU employees, faculty, students, researchers and collaborators in facilities, on property owned or controlled by WMU, or acting as a representative of WMU on a collaborative research project involving living individuals in which the investigator obtains data through intervention, interaction or identifiable private information. This section pertains to all human subject research projects, even if the actual location of the activity has its own review board, policy and procedures.
  • Radiation Safety—Pertains to all personnel in facilities or on property owned or controlled by WMU and utilizing radioactive materials or radiation producing devices.
  • Resources for Compliancy—WMU’s Office of the Vice President for Research offers resources across an array of topics to meet both instructional and compliance needs.