Research Ethics and Compliance


Undergraduate Research and scholarly projects may require compliance to meet state and federal regulations. Please keep in mind that some research compliance issues may take 6 - 8 weeks to be resolved. We highly suggest students conducting any research or scholarly activities participate in CITI – the Collaborative Inter-Institutional Training Initiative training. This provides access to courses that are designed to be used by institutions and organizations to provide comprehensive training in a variety of areas such as Institutional Review Board (IRB), Good Clinical Practices, Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) and other areas.

Working with Minors and non-FAU students

Here you will find a series of resources for faculty who intend to work with minors and non-FAU students interested in working with them on academic or summer research projects.

About the use of Generative AI

FAU keeps a list of resources for using AI ethically, including AI tools and appropriate citation formats for a variety of disciplines. The Office of Undergraduate Research and Inquiry has additional policies on the use of generative AI, outlined here .

OURI recognizes the value generative AI can have in facilitating creativity and assisting in the process of application development. Applicant writers/submitters should be transparent, and “disclose the extent to which, if any, generative AI technology was used, and how it was used to develop their proposal”. Authors should take steps to avoid plagiarism in AI generated text and should cite and attribute appropriately if any materials are quoted. Ultimately, applicants are responsible and accountable for the accuracy, integrity, and authenticity of their proposal submission including content developed in consideration for peer review. 

To protect the intellectual confidentiality of the proposals submitted, OURI does not promote the use of generative AI tools during the peer-review process for analyzing or formulating peer-review critiques of grant applications. Reviewers are asked to refrain from uploading any content from proposals submitted to any generative AI technology. 


Florida Atlantic University’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) has been established in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act and Public Health Service Policy on the Humane Care and Use of Animals. The committee is composed of individuals dedicated to the humane care of animals used in research and teaching, and provides oversight and assistance in ensuring compliance to all laws, regulations, and policies governing the care and use of research and teaching animals. FAU's IACUC is composed of scientists, non-scientists, veterinarians and community members who are appointed by the Vice President for Research, the Institutional Official responsible for the animal care and use program. FAU's animal care and use program is regulated by both the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Public Health Service. University faculty, staff, and students using animals in research, teaching or display must have IACUC approval to do so.

About IRB

Florida Atlantic University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) is a federally-mandated committee that oversees the ethical conduct of human subjects research at an institution. Florida Atlantic University’s IRB serves an important role in the protection of the rights and welfare of human subjects involved in research. The IRB reviews and approves protocols for research involving humans and ensures that appropriate steps are taken to protect their rights and welfare. FAU’s IRB is comprised of faculty members representing a variety of backgrounds, training and experience, as well as community members who are appointed by the Vice President for Research, the Institutional Official.

If your research meets the following two definitions then you are involved in research with human subjects: "Research" means a systematic investigation designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge. "Human subject" means a living individual about whom an investigator conducting research obtains: 1.) data through intervention or interaction with the individual, or 2.) identifiable private information.

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

Institutional Review Board (IRB)

Include but are not limited to:

  • Rodents (mice, rats)
  • Marine Mammals
  • Sharks
  • Fish
  • Birds
  • Non-human primates
  • Turtles and Tortoises
  • Rabbits

Subjects that do not need IACUC approval include but are not limited to:

  • Amoebas
  • Clams
  • Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly)
  • In vitro cell preparations using established cell lines
  • Insects, worms, jellyfish, starfish

Human subjects research can take many forms. Some examples include:

  • Interviews
  • Surveys
  • Focus groups
  • Medical chart reviews
  • Participant observation studies
  • Data and tissue banks
  • Clinical or exercise studies

For more information visit FAU’s Research Integrity website

About EH&S

The goal of Florida Atlantic University’s Environmental Health and Safety is to provide and ensure a safe and healthy environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors through comprehensive service oriented programs. EH&S is also the primary contact for federal, state, and local regulatory agencies regarding matters of health, safety and the environment.

With regard to Undergraduate Research, undergraduate compliance checks will be limited to training requirements, and any occupational health program requirements, i.e. bloodborne pathogens (HBV vaccination), respiratory protection (doctor’s clearance), etc. related to the research to be completed. Additionally, during compliance checks of research laboratories EH&S will ask for a list of all personnel in the lab so that training status can be verified.

Many safety training courses are available through EH&S to assist in developing safety skills that will help when conducting research when using animals, chemicals, biological materials and much more. For most training classes, EH&S requires that initial training be done in-person in the classroom; thereafter, most refresher training can be accomplished online. Unless it is an extreme hardship, online training will not be allowed prior to classroom training; however, approval of the project can be granted upon the individual registering for the next available required classroom training(s).

Questions to ask about your research project to determine if you may need EH&S review/certification/trainings:

  1. Does your research involve Biological Materials/Toxins, Human Blood, Select Agents or Recombinant DNA?
  2. Does your research involve radioactive materials, X-rays or lasers?
  3. Does the project involve Diving, Snorkeling or the use of Boats?
  4. Does the project involve the use of Hazardous Chemicals or Nanomaterials?
  5. Does the project involve the production of flame, smoke or heat or any combination of the three?
  6. Does the project involve field work (contact
  7. Does the project involve the use of chartered Helicopters or Airplanes (contact
  8. Does the project involve the use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), or drones (contact

For more information please visit FAU's EH&S website

About Classroom Research

Classroom research focused on developing students' research and inquiry skills may require IRB approval depending on the types of data collected and whether the project is intended for dissemination.

FAU's Research Integrity unit in the Division of Research has an IRB toolkit for researchers that includes the obligations of Principal Investigators (PIs) when conducting human subjects research, and guidance for investigators outlining exempt forms of classroom research here.