The Office of Research Integrity continues to make strides in strengthening the infrastructure for responsible conduct of research oversight and support on campus. As part of this effort, three new staff have been hired to form the University of Tennessee, Knoxville Human Research Protection Program (HRPP).
The HRPP is the administrative arm of UT’s infrastructure to protect human participants in research. This unit, in partnership with the faculty-led Institutional Review Board (IRB) and the research community, is responsible for ensuring the safety and welfare of participants in human research projects conducted under the UT Federalwide Assurance. It provides the campus and the IRB with professional guidance and administrative support.
In response to an incident involving a high pressure system, the Department of Materials Science and Engineering conducted a daylong training exercise in high pressure safety. During this training, numerous processes were observed and suggestions for adding additional layers of safety were made by an expert from Los Alamos National Lab.
Marlys Staudt, associate professor of social work, has been named vice chair of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Institutional Review Board (IRB).
The IRB regulates all research activities involving human subjects for UT Knoxville and the UT Institute of Agriculture, UT Institute for Public Service, and UT Space Institute.
In addition to serving as acting chair when appropriate and as a member of the board, Staudt will serve on the leadership team to identify needs and plan initiatives to help increase the IRB’s effectiveness.
“I believe it is important that we build a leadership infrastructure for the IRB that includes persons with diverse backgrounds that help us support the research diversity of the entire UT Knoxville research community,” said Colleen Gilrane, IRB chair and associate professor of theory and practice in teacher education. “Her experiences as a researcher, an advisor of student research, and a member of the IRB combine to make her especially qualified to contribute to the IRB in a leadership position.”
The concept of shared governance is a unifying principle for many academic institutions that promotes transparency, accessibility, timeliness, collaboration, and consistency in university operations. University of Tennessee, Knoxville, faculty are encouraged to participate in institutional governance in a variety of ways. Two of the most visible means are through either the Faculty Senate or established faculty-led committees.
Laboratory accidents are not only a threat to the safety of our students, faculty and staff, but the media exposure can be a threat to the reputation of an institution as well.
January 7, 2010, chemistry laboratory explosion at Texas Tech University. Photo by U.S. Chemical Safety Board
Texas Tech University
Four people were taken to the hospital for minor injuries following a chemical explosion at a Texas Tech University chemistry building on February 2, 2015. A university spokesperson confirmed that the explosion was caused by chemical waste products.
The Minors in Laboratories and Shops safety policy went into effect two years ago, was recently updated, and is found in the online safety manual. It was developed in response to an increase in high school students on campus. The policy covers individuals less than 18 years of age who are in engaged in university-sponsored activities in laboratories and shops.