Research - Policies and Compliance

The tables below provides commonly referenced research policies and compliance topics.

Research Policies and Compliance Resources

The policies that govern research at the university come from several sources: State of Wisconsin statutory provisions, the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System policies, either directly overseen or through delegation to the university Chancellor, and university shared governance processes.

While not a policy, another important set of requirements pertaining to sponsored (i.e., funded) research, the Code of Federal Regulations (aka "Uniform Guidance"), outlines the administrative requirements, cost principles, and audit requirements for an entity receiving a federal award.

The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education (VCRGE) maintains a comprehensive list of Research Policies, as does the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (RSP).

University Policies

Research PolicySummary
Data Security, Management and RetentionRequirements for researchers in order to i) safeguard the integrity of research data and ii) restrict access to sensitive information.
Data Transfer to Other InstitutionWhat to do if you are either giving research data to or receiving research data from an individual or institution outside of UW.
Export ControlFederal policies must be followed when U.S. researchers are traveling to or collaborating with individuals from certain non-U.S. countries.
Human Research Protection Program (HRPP)Numerous policies govern the use of human subjects or human subjects data in research.
Intellectual Property (IP)

Requirements for disclosure of intellectual property and the role of WARF as the University's patent management organization.

Research EthicsUniversity policies regarding ethical conduct of research and reporting scientific misconduct.
Outside Activities Reporting (OAR)All faculty and academic staff (0.5 FTE or greater appointment) and all individuals listed as participants on human subject protocols or on federal grants are required to fill out an annual OAR and update it whenever new outside activities are undertaken.
Principal Investigator (PI) StatusEligibility criteria and process for obtaining PI status for non-faculty members.
Conflict of Commitment (COC)
COC is a type of conflict of interest resulting from outside professional activities interfering with an employee’s ability to fulfill university expectations, obligations, and responsibilities. All faculty and academic staff (0.5 FTE or greater appointment) must request approval for COC activities that exceed allowable time limits.
Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI)What constitutes a financial conflict of interest, who must report, how often, etc., including ensuring compliance with Wisconsin Statute 946.13 pertaining to contractual self-dealing.
Principal Investigator (PI) Status
Eligibility criteria and process for obtaining PI status for non-faculty members.
Bayh-Dole Act Compliance
What are faculty, staff, student responsibilities for Bayh-Dole Act compliance.
Gifts vs Sponsored Projects
Determining whether funds should be handled as a gift vs sponsored project.
Hosting Meetings/Conferences on sponsored projects
Guidance about how to budget and pay for hosted meetings for sponsored projects.
What is needed to include a Subaward on your project.
Indirect Costs
Campus indirect cost rate policy.
Tuition Remission
Tuition remission requirements and rates for Student Assistants
Effort Reporting
Why effort must be reported, by whom, and how it is reported.
Cost Sharing Policy
Outlines when cost sharing commitments may be made and the acceptable sources of funding to use to meet cost share commitments.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act 
Numerous policies govern how researchers must ensure health information of research participants is be protected.
Cross Unit Grant Expenditures
Policy and process for ensuring collaborating departments allocate funding to participating units for expenses and indirect cost recovery allocations.
Disclosure of Other Support
What University researchers must disclose to sponsors related to non-University activities and other support for their research.

UW System Policies

UW Board of Regents Policy 342: Extramural Support AdministrationUW System policy that drives many of the University's policies pertaining to research, including the protection of researchers' academic freedom.
UW Board of Regents Policy 13-1: Contract Approval, Signature Authority, and Reporting
UW System policy that outlines who may sign contracts on behalf of the University

SoHE Guidance and Processes

Guidance or Process
Principal Investigator (PI) Status
SoHE process document outlining the steps for obtaining PI Status by non-faculty members in SoHE.
Limited Competition
SoHE process for conducting a limited competition. This process will be used when a sponsor or OVCRGE limits the number of applications from a School/College or academic unit.
Conflict of Interest Oversight and Management, SoHE Process
SoHE process for review of Outside Activity Reports (OAR) and management of Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment.
FAQs on Conflict of Interest (COI) and Conflict of Commitment (COC)
SoHE-relevant FAQs about different types of outside activities and in what circumstances they must be reported.
Conflict of Commitment Prompt Questions, SoHE Guidance
Prompt questions to help SoHE Chairs and Dean's Office reviewers evaluate instances of COI and/or COC.
Outside Activity Report (OAR) Review
instructions for reviewers of Outside Activity Reports (OAR)