Full Text: Institute Policies and Procedures Manual C1.0 (Adopted Jan 16, 2007, replaces the Research Oversight Policy of 1993)
Procedures for Implementing and Administering the Oversight Policy for Externally Sponsored Projects (Adopted March 15, 2012)
The increasing extent and complexity of scholarship at RIT, especially as it involves student participation, underscores the importance of the university’s general commitment to openness in scholarship. Of particular concern to the RIT community are projects that receive funds from external sources. To the extent that external funding sources are involved, projects need to be governed by a university oversight policy.
External funding sources may have interests that do not coincide with those of the university. In addition, the interests of individual faculty, who as professionals judge what scholarship ought to be pursued and how best to pursue it, may not always coincide with those of the university or with the interests of students or others. Establishing the Oversight Policy for Externally Sponsored Projects (the Policy) thus requires striking a balance among the sometimes contending interests of the individual scholar, the external funding source, students and other participants, and the university. Externally sponsored projects must also conform to professional, ethical, financial and legal standards, as well as contractual conditions specified by the university. Beyond that, no single set of interests can be fully satisfied; at best one can try to further the most important interests while doing minimal harm to the others. To facilitate this process of optimization, there is need for a clear, written policy for externally funded projects based on the principles listed in Section B.
The Policy uses the following terms (defined in Section E): Agreement, Classified Information, Externally Sponsored Projects, University Subsidiary, Pertinent Details, Proprietary Information, and RIT Community.
The Policy shall be implemented and administered on the basis of each of the following principles, balanced against one another in a manner best suited to the RIT community:
(1) That there be openness in scholarship -- The principle of freedom of access by all interested members of the RIT community to the underlying data, to the methodologies, and to the final results of scholarship is important; such data, methodologies, and results should be disseminated through normal scholarly means;
(2) That students and other participants be informed -- Students and any other participants, whether paid or unpaid, shall be informed of the pertinent details of externally sponsored projects with which they are involved;
(3) That there be freedom of choice -- Individual faculty, staff, and students shall have the freedom to pursue external funding and to select the projects with which they are involved, including ones that involve proprietary or classified information;
(4) That there be maximum disclosure -- All agreements involving externally sponsored projects are to be written, with pertinent details made a matter of record for the RIT community;
(5) That there be minimum intrusion -- Any disclosure or review process of externally sponsored projects shall minimize the burden on normal university processes and procedures;
(6) That scholars be responsible -- Those engaged in scholarship are to abide by the University policies and procedures, which includes the definition of scholarship at RIT. They are also to make clear in any publication or scholarly communication the source(s) of funding that made their work possible; they are to honor the terms of the agreement(s) the university entered into on their behalf; and they are to ensure that the underlying data, methodologies, and results of their scholarship are not represented as having RIT endorsement; and
(7) That there be independent oversight -- A university-wide committee called the Oversight Committee for Externally Sponsored Projects (the Committee) shall ensure compliance with the Policy. This includes reviewing pertinent details of all externally sponsored projects, considering issues arising under the Policy, reviewing the Policy as needed, and reporting to the RIT community annually.
The Notice of Award is the mechanism by which Principal Investigators (PIs) and Project Personnel are advised of the Pertinent Details of funded Sponsored Projects.
Electronic records of NOAs completed since February 2008 are available to the RIT Community in the RITRapid system. Records of prior year NOAs are filed annually and made available to the RIT Community in the Wallace Library archives at the Reserve Desk.
The Oversight Committee for Externally Sponsored Projects ("OC", formerly the Research Oversight Committee) comprises faculty, staff, and student government representatives. The OC's mission is to ensure campus-wide compliance with the Oversight Policy. It oversees and reviews the Notice of Award process by which Principal Investigators (PIs) and Project Personnel are advised of the Pertinent Details of funded Sponsored Projects.
The OC conducts Prior Reviews of Projects in which a) a Sponsor seeks to contractually limit disclosure of Project Pertinent Details; b) a Sponsor seeks to contractually limit RIT's right to publish Project results; or c) a Project involves information designated as Classified under Federal guidelines.
Before a contract between RIT and the Sponsor is signed, the Committee reviews information provided by the PI on the Request for Prior Review Form, paying particular attention to the Project's involvement of and impact on students. Once the Committee reaches a decision, it forwards its recommendation to the Provost for official action.