25. Responsibilities: Responsible Official

Updated May 27, 2021

Deans, Chairs, and other departmental authorities including those from affiliate sites (AKA Responsible Officials (RO)) are responsible for ensuring subordinates (e.g., faculty, students, staff, physicians) adhere to University policies for human research protection, including funding agency requirements for same. If necessary, upon agreement with the Director of Research Integrity, another official may substitute in this capacity.

For all greater than minimal risk protocols and upon request by the IRB or Research Integrity for minimal risk protocols, these responsible officials must verify the following:

  • the design for the proposed research is sound and scientifically valid,
  • the principal investigator has the knowledge, experience, and qualifications necessary to conduct the research and manage research personnel,
  • the principal investigator has the resources necessary to conduct and complete the research as approved by the IRB,
  • the conduct of the research and oversight of research personnel are within the scope of the principal investigator’s employment, and
  • the principal investigator has the resources necessary to protect participants during and after the conduct of the research.

If an RO has a potential, perceived, or actual conflict of interests related to a research project, she/he must inform the PI a conflict may exist and defer to another person with the requisite signature authority to assume the RO responsibilities for the project.