Research Compliance (Graduate School) – LR 509.14

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University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Policy Name: Research Compliance
Policy Number: LR 509.14
Effective Date: August 15, 2011
Revised Dates:
Most Recent Review Date: 

Policy Statement

A core principle of the Graduate School at UA Little Rock is that every graduate student will perform his/her academic, research, artistic, scholarly, and other creative activities in a manner compliant with all federal, state, and local laws, rules, and regulations, and also, in a fashion reflective of the highest standards of the university, his/her profession and a functional civil society. Fundamental to this principle is the responsible and judicious treatment of humans and vertebrate animals and ensuring safety in dealing with biological materials (e.g., rDNA, living tissue, pathogens, etc.) in research.


  1. Institutional Review Board (IRB), also known as an independent ethics committee or ethical review board, is an institutional committee that has been formally designated to approve, monitor, and review biomedical and behavioral research involving humans with the aim to protect the rights and welfare of the research subjects. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration and the Office for Human Research Protections of the Department of Health and Human Services regulations have empowered IRBs to approve, require modifications in planned research prior to approval, or disapprove research. An IRB performs critical oversight functions for research conducted on human subjects that are scientific, ethical, and regulatory.
  2. Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is an institutional committee designed to oversee and evaluate all aspects of the institution’s animal care and use program mandated for all institutions that use live vertebrate animals in research, teaching, research training, and/or biological testing. The IACUC is a self-regulating entity with authority that is derived from two sources: (1) federal legislation administered through USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), and (2) the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) of National Institutes of Health. The IACUC reviews activities involving animals for compliance with federal, state and local laws, regulations and guidelines. Legislation passed in 1985 assigns a training function to the IACUC to ensure that appropriate training is provided to staff who care for animals and for animal users.
  3. Institutional Bio-Safety Committee (IBC) is an institutional committee created under the guidelines set by the National Institutes of Health to review research involving recombinant DNA. The IBC’s role has evolved over time, and many committees also review protocols for other forms of research that entail bio-hazardous risks as part of their institutionally assigned responsibilities.

Graduate Student Responsibilities

When graduate students are involved in research, it is their responsibility and obligation to consult with their faculty advisor/mentor and the UA Little Rock Research Compliance Officer (RCO) to have all protocols related to their research reviewed and approved by the appropriate institutional compliance committee prior to the initiation of the project and collection of data. The IRB for human subjects, IACUC for animal subjects, and IBC for biological research are the appropriate protocol approval bodies at UA Little Rock.

Failure to Obtain Compliance Approval

Failure to obtain compliance approval prior to the onset of research activities constitutes a breach of research ethics and federal law and regulations and, as such, may lead to disciplinary action, including dismissal from the Graduate School.  In addition, without prior compliance committee approval, no paper may be published in the public domain literature; no oral presentation made at a public conference, workshop, or other venue; and perhaps most importantly, no thesis/dissertation containing data collected prior to or without appropriate compliance approval will be submitted into the public domain by the Graduate School in any hard-copy or electronic publication media.  It is critically important to note, under no circumstances can compliance approval be given retroactively.

Reporting Suspected Research Compliance Violations

Legitimate suspicions of possible research compliance violations should be reported to the UA Little Rock Research Compliance Officer and will be dealt with in a manner consistent with institutional policies related to research and academic integrity.

Additional Information

Information related to UA Little Rock research compliance may be obtained from the UA Little Rock Research Compliance Officer, Ottenheimer Library – 5th Floor, 2801 S. University Ave., Little Rock, AR  72004.  The Research Compliance Officer can be contacted at 501-569-8583.

Status: Active
Approved by: Graduate Council
Custodian: Office of the Vice Provost for Research and Dean of the Graduate School