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When submitting a proposal or accepting an award, you as the investigator as well as UWA as the fiscal agent, are committing to a number of assurances, certifications, terms, and conditions. It is very important that the investigator understand these compliance issues before submission and before award. Below is a link to a number of common compliance concerns that the investigator should be aware of, including those handled internally, like human/animal subjects and biosafety. For related forms and policy, please refer to the Policies/Procedures/Forms page.


The Internal Review Board (IRB) is comprised of UWA faculty, staff and external representatives who review proposed research studies involving living persons.

The IRB ensures that the basic rights and welfare of research participants are fostered and protected. The IRB supports researchers through its coordinated activities in education, regulatory compliance oversight, and post approval monitoring. All research involving human subjects performed at UWA and/or by UWA students, staff, and/or faculty must be reviewed and approved by the Internal Review Board prior to beginning the research.


The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) oversees the use of animals for research, teaching, and testing conducted at or by UWA. UWA has an agreement with the University of Alabama to perform IACUC review protocols and conducts evaluations of the institution’s animal care. The Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare defines an animal as any live, vertebrate animal used or intended for use in research, research training, experimentation, or biological testing or for related purposes. If your research includes live vertebrae animals please contact OSPR for up to date procedures for approval.


The University of West Alabama has an institutional biosafety training program established to ensure that all research, testing and teaching activities involving the use of biohazardous materials and the facilities used to conduct such work are in compliance with all external regulations and applicable University policies. Applicable regulations and guidelines include but not limited to:

  • Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories, 5th edition

The University of West Alabama reserves the right and the obligation to impose additional terms and conditions on investigators who conduct research or testing or engage in teaching activities that involve microorganisms harmful to humans, animals, or the environment. UWA has purchased a Biosafety Training Module from the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) in order to train students, faculty and staff on the issues of biosafety. This module is ready for use campus-wide.

Responsible Conduct of Research

The University of West Alabama is committed to creating a research climate that promotes faithful adherence to high ethical standards in the conduct of research and scholarships without inhibiting the productivity and creativity of persons involved in research. Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training plans are required by both NSF and NIH and UWA is in the process of developing a new RCR plan to describe the requirements for training and to provide information related to the fundamental areas of RCR. The University of West Alabama has selected the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) online training to meet federal requirements in RCR. The CITI online courses are designed for faculty, staff (e.g. post docs), graduate students, and undergraduate students who have an interest or focus in the research areas targeted by federal support and serve to satisfy federal regulations that require RCR training as a part of grant. The modules contain information about responsible conduct in research, case studies and quizzes related to each of the areas. Expect more information regarding the upcoming UWA RCR Plan soon.

Data Management Plans

Some funders now require that researchers supplement their grant proposals with a Data Management Plan (DMP). DMPs are short, formal documents that outline, at the onset of a new project, how you will handle your data both during your research and after the project is completed. They help to ensure that, in the present, your data are collected and analyzed in an intelligent and sustainable way, and that your data are able to be shared and preserved for future use and re-use.

Data often have a longer lifespan than the research project that creates them. Researchers may continue to work on data after funding has ceased, follow-up projects may analyze or add to the data and data may be re-used by other researchers. Well organized, well documented, preserved and shared data are invaluable to advance scientific inquiry and to increase opportunities for learning and innovation.

Export Controls

The U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Commerce regulate technology and/or information that is export controlled under either the State Department's International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) or the U.S. Department of Commerce Export Administration Regulation (EAR). Export controlled technology and/or information includes activities, items, and information related to the design, development, engineering, manufacture, production, assembly, testing, repair, maintenance, operation, modification, demilitarization, destruction, processing, or use of items with a capacity for military operations. Usually this does not include basic marketing information on function or purpose; general system description, or information concerning general scientific, mathematical, or engineering principles commonly taught in schools, colleges, and universities or information in the public domain.

Under ITAR and EAR regulations it is unlawful to send or take export controlled technology and/or information out the United States; disclose orally or visually, or transfer export controlled technology and/or information to the foreign person inside or outside the United States without proper authorization. A license may be required for foreign nationals to access export controlled technology and/or information. A foreign national is a person who is not a U. S. citizen or permanent resident alien of the United States, and makes no exceptions for foreign students.

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