Ethics and compliance

The following resources aim to help investigators conduct research responsibly.

Extramural Funder Discrimination, Harassment, and Misconduct Reporting

Many sponsors have issued policies and guidance on how and where to submit reports when incidents of discrimination, harassment and misconduct are believed to have occurred.

Including, but not limited to:

Additional resources are also available from our colleagues. 


Safety is the University’s top priority throughout research, scholarship, and teaching.

Ethics policies

The University strives to maintain the highest standards of ethics for academic research.

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)

RCR training is required if your research is funded by any of the following:

  • National Science Foundation
  • United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)/National Institute of Food and Agriculture
  • National Institutes of Health

Human subject protection program

Human subject research at WSU must be reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB safeguards human subjects in compliance with federal, state and university regulations.

Animals at WSU

All WSU research involving animals adheres to the stringent requirements of federal law.

If you work under the auspices of the University and plan to do research, teaching, or breeding that involves live vertebrate animals, you must first obtain approval from the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).

IACUC provides oversight to protect animals, as well as training and informational resources.

Biotechnology and biosafety

The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) advises the University community regarding safe use and handling of biological materials on the WSU campus.

Hazardous materials shipping

A hazardous material is any substance that could endanger the public, handlers or carriers during transportation. Examples of materials that are regulated for shipment include various types of batteries, fuel containers, solvents, biological samples, and cleaning products. Find out what you need to know when shipping hazardous materials.

Conflict of interest

Examine the policies, procedures, and information resources used to manage potential conflicts of interest of faculty, administrators, and staff.

Radiation safety

WSU is committed to the safe and compliant use of sources of ionizing radiation for research, instruction, and the benefit of the community.

Export controls and Insider threats

Complex federal regulations restrict exports of goods and technology to foreign nationals in the United States and abroad. While most activities at WSU are not subject to export control restrictions or licensing requirements, each member of the university community has a responsibility to be aware of these restrictions.

Insider Threat Awareness is an essential component of a comprehensive security program. With a theme of “if you see something, say something,” this course promotes the reporting of suspicious activities observed within the workplace. You can access the course at:

Controlled substances policies

Use of controlled substances in research must comply with state and federal law and meet applicable safety standards.

Pesticide policies

Faculty and staff whose work involves pesticides must comply with University policies, as well as state and federal laws.

Contact us

Direct your questions about ethics and compliance to the Office of Research Assurances.

Office of the Campus Veterinarian

The campus veterinarian supports WSU research and teaching with a complete program of animal care.

Research support and operations

The Office of Research Support and Operations serves as the central hub for managing all research proposals and award acceptances throughout the WSU system.

Compliance hotline

If you suspect that a research program is in violation of legal or ethical standards, please call or email the compliance hotline. You do not need to identify yourself to make a report.