Montana State University

Justin Cook, Director

Kirk Lubick, Biosafety Officer

Curtis Hofer, Radiation Safety Officer

Elizabeth Nicholas, Committees Coordinator

Diane Harn, Compliance Specialist

Jerome Dixon, Computer Sftwr Eng/Appl II


Comments or Concerns



Research Compliance

Research Compliance Principles

Montana State University is a comprehensive, research university offering undergraduate, graduate, advanced graduate and professional programs of study, maintaining an extensive research program, and providing service to the public. MSU emphasizes the integration of research and learning in undergraduate programs. The Research Compliance Committee oversees University programs designed to promote compliance with federal, state, and local regulation of research, creates and supports an environment that furthers the ethical and responsible conduct of research, and facilitates and coordinates effective educational programs that enhance responsible conduct and integrity in scientific research.

Human Subjects in Research
The University is committed to the responsible and ethical conduct of research involving human subjects.  Any member of the Montana State University faculty, staff, and student body who plans to initiate research involving human subjects must submit a protocol application for review and approval by the Human Subjects Institutional Review Board prior to beginning the project.

Animal Care and Use in Research
The University is committed to the responsible and ethical care and use of animals in research. The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee ensures the health, well-being and humane use of animals in research at MSU, following the regulations and guidance of the USDepartment of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Environmental Health and Safety
MSU is committed to research practices which are safe and environmentally sound.  MSU’s  Safety and Risk Management Department and its Biosafety Officer provide compliance tools to optimize laboratory and facility conditions across research projects, including safe handling of potentially hazardous materials and bio and radiation safety. They  also provide guidance in environmental compliance with local, state, or federal laws, emergency response and preparation, and lab equipment use.

Openness in Research and Export Controls
MSU adheres to the principle of openness in research in support of its missions of education, research and public service.  Therefore, MSU does not generally conduct classified or secret research or under a grant administered by MSU.
Generally, researchers must be free to publish the result of their research without prior approval of a sponsor or third party.
MSU strives to create an open and collaborative research and teaching environment.  However, in some limited circumstances, publication or other security restrictions imposed on research may require compliance with Federal regulations controlling the export of certain technology and information.  MSU has an export control review and approval process and education and training program.

Responsible Conduct of Research
MSU encourages research and scholarly activities and considers such activities crucial to the teaching of students, the advancement of knowledge, and the intellectual growth of the faculty.  MSU expects that research and scholarly activities will be conducted with the highest ethical and professional standards as described in the Faculty Handbook. MSU requires all research to be carried out in a manner reflective of these principles.  Allegations of scientific misconduct are handled in accordance with the University’s Scientific Misconduct Policy found in the Faculty Handbook.

Conflict of Interest
MSU’s mission is enhanced by the active involvement of members of the university community with business, government, non-for-profit groups, professional societies, academic institutions, and other individuals and organizations.  And, MSU encourages entrepreneurial activities that support its mission.  These many interactions and activities can, however, create the potential for conflict of interest in which University employees’ external activities or interests affect—or appear to affect—the manner or extent to which those individuals carry out their University responsibilities.   Such conflicts—real or apparent—may undermine public and professional confidence in the University, diminish its ability to accomplish its mission, and violate federal law.  Therefore, MSU expects all employees to comply with MSU Policy and state and federal laws and regulations governing conflicts of interest and ethical conduct by employees and researchers.   MSU’s Conflict of Interest Policy provides the university’s policies and procedures concerning conflict of interest and establishes the disclosures required for MSU faculty and staff.  Click here to see the full policy.

Integrity in Cost Accounting
Much of MSU’s sponsored research is supported under Federal and other sponsor cost-reimbursement grants or contracts requiring strict adherence to Federal laws, regulations, and policies in submitting costs for reimbursement.  MSU is committed to ensuring that its accounting and billing practices are fully compliant with applicable law through sound accounting systems, training programs, and auditing plans.