Research Compliance

The office of Research Compliance and Biosafety (RCB) is responsible for providing training and support to faculty, students, and staff in regulatory requirements for research. RCB provides administrative and operational support for Texas A&M’s research compliance review committees as well as other research compliance programs designated at the university.

Projects may require approval through RCB committees if they involve:

  1. Human Subjects: Institutional Review Board (IRB)
  2. Vertebrate Animals: Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)
  3. Biohazards: Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)

Note: Please be aware that projects involving social media and/or online content may be subject to review by the Institutional Review Board (IRB).

Students and faculty advisors should have a conversation very early on in the design of their URS projects to determine whether or not the project may require approval from any of the three research compliance committees.

Beginning in 2020-2021, students in the URS thesis program are required to submit the Research Compliance Acknowledgement page as part of their application and the Research Compliance Certification page as part of their final theses. Faculty advisors are required to review and approve all aspects of URS applications and final theses, including the student’s Research Compliance Acknowledgement page in the application and Research Compliance Certification page in the final thesis.

Note to Students: You must discuss any changes to the direction of your URS project immediately with your faculty advisor to determine if you need to seek research compliance approval and/or training. Remember that you are not allowed to collect data and may not be able to continue work on your URS project until you have received research compliance approval.

No. Students may already be covered if they are a part of an ongoing research project under their faculty advisor(s). However, students still need to complete any required training and must be amended to the existing compliance protocol.

If an existing approval does not exist, students and their faculty advisor(s) will need to determine who will submit the project to the appropriate committee for review, what type of training they need to complete and when, and work with the appropriate committee(s) to submit all required documents and/or revisions to their compliance approval application as requested by the committee(s). Some projects may require approval by more than one committee.

Students may still be able to complete other parts of their URS projects while they are awaiting approval from the appropriate committee(s) in the office of Research Compliance and Biosafety (RCB). Students should talk to their faculty advisor(s) about what portions of their projects they can complete without research compliance approval.

Students may need to postpone their projects if they do not receive research compliance approval from the appropriate RCB committee(s) to successfully complete the URS thesis program. Students may be able to reapply to next year’s program if they are still eligible.

Students may need to revise either the methods or scope of their projects to avoid research compliance issues.

Note to Students: please talk to your faculty advisor about how you might restructure your project to achieve similar or even different research goals. Be advised that you need to contact the RCB office on any changes that you make to a project that is already under review.