Introduction

At a minimum, UROP requires the following training and research compliance requirements to all UROP Project/Presentation funding recipients to ensure research/creative work is conducted responsibly:

  1. Responsible Conduct of Research (REQUIRED of all recipients): Complete at least one of the following Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) online training modules that is most applicable to the proposed project/presentation:
    • Biomedical and Biological
    • Social and Behavioral
    • Physical Science
    • Humanities
    • Engineers
  2. Safety (REQUIRED of all recipients): Complete at least one of the following safety checklists/plans most applicable to the proposed project/presentation:
  3. Research Compliance (May be required): Complete all applicable research compliance requirements for the proposed project/presentation from the following list:
    • IRB
    • IACUC
    • IBC
    • Diving

Prior to submitting their Project/Presentation Funding Application, all applicants should work with their faculty mentor/faculty recommendation provider to determine the training and research compliance needed for their proposed project/presentation based on the requirements above. Additionally, all applicants must indicate in their Project/Presentation Funding Application how they will satisfy each of the three requirements. Once selected for funding, applicants must complete the requirements and submit documentation as proof of completion. Note that more could be required by the faculty mentor, Office of Research Compliance (ORC)UHM Environmental Health & Safety Office (EHSO), and/or John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) EHSO.

Project Funding Applicants

UROP highly recommends applicants to complete all training and research compliance requirements within one month of submitting the Project Funding Application (November for Fall applicants and April for Spring applicants) even if they have not heard back on the funding decision. The deadline to submit training and research compliance documents is about two weeks after UROP notifies applicants on the funding decision, and at least some of these items (e.g., research compliance) will take much longer than two weeks to complete.

Presentation Funding Applicants

Ideally, applicants should have completed all of the training and research compliance requirements already, as these are required by UHM to start the project. If not, UROP highly recommends applicants to complete all training and research compliance requirements within one month of submitting the Presentation Funding Application. The deadline to submit training and research compliance documents is one week after UROP notifies applicants on the funding decision, and at least some of these items (e.g., research compliance) will take much longer than one week to complete.

UROP will withhold funding until all documentation on training and research compliance is received. If this requirement is not met within the designated deadline, UROP may rescind the funding offer unless there is evidence of significant progress towards satisfying the requirement (e.g., a pending approval email).

See below for more details on each requirement. Note that they are not comprehensive as different offices are responsible for providing/granting different types of training and research compliance approvals. UROP is not responsible for providing training and granting research compliance approvals; however, UROP is required to ensure that UROP funding recipients have completed these items.

1. Responsible Conduct of Research Training (RCR)

UROP requires all funding recipients to select and complete at least one RCR training, in consultation with their faculty mentor, that is most relevant to their project through the online Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Program (free to UHM students, staff and faculty). Follow the guidelines below to complete an RCR training:

  1. Log into the CITI Program website. Register through the University of Hawai‘i affiliation to avoid any fees
  2. Click on the blue “Add a Course” button
  3. Select “Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)” in Question 1
  4. In Question 7 that immediately follows Question 1, select and complete at least one of the five available RCR training modules (Biomedical and Biological, Social and Behavioral, Physical Science, Humanities, and Engineers) that is the most relevant to your project. Please do not select “Responsible Conduct of Research for Administrators”
  5. After completing the training, you will be issued a completion report from CITI
  6. Send the completion report to urop@hawaii.edu as an attachment. Copy the faculty mentor and all group members, if any

2. Safety Training and Checklist

UROP requires all funding recipients and their faculty mentor to select and complete at least one safety checklist most relevant to their project discipline. All checklists require both the funding recipient’s and the faculty mentor’s signature. Once completed, send the checklist to UROP via email as an attachment. Copy the faculty mentor and all group members, if any.

The goal of these checklists is to ensure a safe work environment for the undergraduate student by requiring them to discuss safety with their faculty mentor prior to starting their project.

2.a. General Personnel Safety Checklist

  • Who needs to complete a General Personnel Safety Checklist?: All personnel conducting research or creative work in a non-lab or non-field work setting
  • Estimated Timeline to Completion: 2 weeks
  • Required Training: Not required unless otherwise indicated by the mentor
  • Website: none
  • Contact: UROP: urop@hawaii.edu
  • Document required by UROP at the time of funding: Current (within 1 year) UROP General Personnel Safety Checklist

2.b. Laboratory Safety Checklist

2.c. Field Research Safety Plan

  • Who needs to complete a Field Research Safety Plan?: All personnel conducting research that involves isolated or remote locations, extreme weather conditions, hazardous terrain, harmful wildlife, or lack of ready access to emergency services; Can expose participants to significant risks to their health, safety or well-being; At locations outside the direct supervisory control of the University
  • Estimated Timeline to Completion: 2 weeks
  • Website: Field Research Safety Plan
  • Required Training: Not required unless otherwise indicated by the mentor
  • Contact: UHM EHSO: hansn@hawaii.edu
  • Document required by UROP at the time of funding: Current (within 1 year) Field Research Safety Plan

3. Research Compliance & Certification

All funding recipients must consult with their faculty mentor for guidance on research compliance and determine which research compliance the proposed project must meet, if any.

The Office of Research Compliance (ORC) website provides procedures on how funding recipients and their faculty mentor can obtain IRB, IACUC, and IBC approval. The EHSO website provides procedures on the compressed gas (e.g. SCUBA) diving certification.

If you feel that you will not be able to have your research compliance requirements ready by the UROP’s set deadline, please acknowledge the following via email, in place of the research compliance documents, by the indicated deadline:

  1. You are aware of your research compliance requirements
  2. You (and your group members, if any) are working with your faculty mentor to obtain the necessary research compliance requirements
  3. The date you anticipate being able to submit the required documentation
  4. You will update UROP on the 5th and 20th of every month via email on the progress on obtaining the research compliance

3.a. Human Studies

If your research involves collecting data from living human beings (human studies), or analyzing identifiable data or specimens from people, you are required to obtain approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) UH Human Studies Program prior to beginning your research. The Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) is an institutional-wide program administered by the UH Human Studies Program (HSP) under the Office of Research Compliance. The HSP works together with the UH research community to ensure the health, welfare, rights, and dignity of people who participate in UH research.

  • Who can submit an IRB eProtocol application?: Faculty, with student as a Co-Investigator
  • General Timeline: 2+ months. The IRB schedule submission deadlines only pertain to submissions that require review by the full convened board. All other submissions are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. The speed of review depends upon a number of factors, most importantly, the complete and detailed quality of the application and attachments (e.g., consent forms, questionnaires, etc.). In general, but not always, the turnaround time from start of review to final decision is as follows:
    • Exempt: 2-3 weeks
    • Expedited: 3-4 weeks
    • Full-Board: 4-8 weeks

Turnaround time may be longer during busy months (October-November, March-April) when the Human Studies Program receives a higher volume of applications. Also, due to variable IRB member reviewer availability in the Summer months, plan ahead and submit as early as possible. This means, earlier than you might imagine.

  • Website: Human Studies Program. Also, see a brief step-by-step guideline here.
  • Required Training: CITI Training. Must be completed successfully prior to application submission. Principal Investigators, Co-Investigators, Student Investigators, and Key Personnel. Key Personnel include those who will interact with participants for the research project or who will work with identifiable participant data or biospecimens. If you are conducting in-person research, please also see HSP Response to COVID-19, as you are required to follow the safety guidelines and forms.
  • Contact: uhirb@hawaii.edu (if your inquiry is related to UROP funding, indicate so in the email).
  • Document required by UROP at the time of funding: Send a current Notice of Approval for Human Research via email to UROP

For your reference, the below table shows hypothetical situations that require and do not require IRB approval:

Require IRB ApprovalDoes Not Require IRB Approval
Intending to answer research questions through intervention or interaction with people (survey, interview, focus group, observation in a private setting), and publishing or publicly presenting the results (including thesis and dissertation).Analysis of public information such as Census data, large public survey data, or public information that is available to anyone with access to the internet. Submit an eProtocol application for Not Human Subjects Research confirmation.
Analysis of identifiable data or biospecimens. 

3.b. Animal Subjects

If your research involves working with vertebrate animal subjects (mice, rabbit, fish, frog, etc.), you must obtain approval from the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). The goal of the IACUC is to ensure that all research, testing, and management of vertebrate subjects are done in an ethical and humane manner. The IACUC will review the protocols of the research, conduct inspections, and review the facilities that house the vertebrate animals to ensure that all animal subjects are treated as humanely as possible.

  • Who can submit an IACUC protocol: Faculty
  • General Timeline: 2+ months (check IACUC schedule)
  • Website: Animal Welfare Program
  • Required Training: CITI Program Investigators, Staff and Students Basic Course (at minimum). Check with your mentor for protocol-specific training requirements
  • Contact: awp@hawaii.edu (if your inquiry is related to UROP funding indicate so in the email)
  • Document required by UROP at the time of funding: Send a current (expirations range from 1 to 3 years) animal use protocol certification letter from the Animal Care & Use Committee via email to UROP

For your reference, the below table shows hypothetical situations that may or may not require IACUC protocol:

Require IACUC ProtocolDoes Not Require IACUC Protocol
Use of vertebrate animals for research, testing, or teachingUse of lower level invertebrate species such as snails, nematodes, flies and other insects besides all cephalopods
Use of invertebrate animals from the Class Cephalopoda

3.c. Biological Safety

If your research involves working with microorganisms, select agents and toxins, blood specimens, contagious or infectious agents, blood borne pathogens, or recombinant genetic materials, you must acquire approval from the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) prior to research. The goal of the IBC is to protect Hawai‘i’s natural environment from exposure to dangerous agents and to ensure that recombinant synthetic nucleic acid molecules are handled safely in research laboratories.

  • Who can submit an IBC registration: Faculty
  • General Timeline: 2+ months (check IBC schedule)
  • Website: Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)
  • Required Training: UH Biosafety and UH Bloodborne Pathogens (at minimum)
  • Contact: uhibc@hawaii.edu (if your inquiry is related to UROP funding indicate so in the email)
  • Document required by UROP at the time of funding: Send a current (within 3 years) IBC registration approval letter via email to UROP

3.d. Diving

If your research involves compressed gas diving (e.g. SCUBA, rebreathers, hookah, surface supplied, etc.), you must acquire certification from the Diving Safety Program prior to performing any dives. The Diving Safety Program is responsible for the authorization of UH scientific divers, evaluation and approval of dive plans, training and program support for UH-authorized divers, coordination of diver medical exam scheduling, and investigation of SCUBA diving accidents.

If you are conducting snorkeling, skin diving or other breath hold diving, please review the Field Research Safety Manual and contact your department for compliance requirements.

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