Frequently Asked Questions UT Policy on Visitors Engaged in Research
- Why is this policy necessary?
The policy was developed to ensure that visiting researchers are held to the same standards that apply to University of Tennessee faculty, students, and staff with regard to research integrity, regulatory compliance, and intellectual property. This is particularly important for research collaborations that involve access to technology, data, and research materials that may be restricted for reasons of national security or public safety.
- How do I access the online training for this policy?
The training module is available in [email protected] and can be located by searching “UT System Policy on Visitors Engaged in Research.” The training can be completed in approximately 10 minutes.
- What is the effective date of this new policy and procedure?
All new visitors engaged in research at university facilities on or after November 1, 2020 will need to follow the new policy and procedure.
- What do I need to do for visitors who are already engaged in research at UTC?
The effective date of the new policy is November 1, 2020. Any visitors who were engaged in research at university facilities prior to November 1st are not required to follow the new procedure.
- What factors are considered in determining whether this policy applies to a specific individual?
The applicability of the policy depends upon factors including whether the person has a current affiliation with UTC, whether the person will have direct access to research facilities, the level of supervision that will be provided by UTC personnel, and the duration of the person’s engagement in research in university facilities. Please use the visitor policy decision tree to assess a specific situation.
- What about a person who engages in research at UTC remotely?
The policy does not apply to people who will not be physically present in university-owned research facilities, nor who will be remotely accessing research equipment (e.g., computing resources) without needing access to facilities (buildings).
- What about recurring visitors?
If an individual will be accessing university research facilities for a cumulative total of more than 10 days in a one-year period, the policy applies—even if the visitor will be supervised during their visits. The visitor’s application should note the anticipated frequency and dates of visits, including when the recurring visits are expected to end.
- What about students and teachers from other institutions who come to UTC to participate in grant-funded programs that include research, such as Upward Bound Math/Science, or NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates or Research Experiences for Teachers?
Even if these individuals will be conducting supervised research in university facilities for an extended time, this policy is not intended to apply to participants in these programs. Grant-funded research program participants are under the supervision of the grant’s principal investigator/project director and/or a faculty or student mentor and typically are not conducting research independently.
- Does this policy apply to individuals who are renting space in a university building?
The policy does not apply to individuals who are using space within a university building under a lease agreement.
- What if a visitor’s employment or sponsorship circumstances change during the time that they will be engaging in research at university facilities?
Please contact the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) immediately if this happens. The visitor’s access to university research facilities may need to be suspended until ORI is able to review the visitor’s new external affiliation(s).
- If the policy applies to a specific visitor, is there training the individual will need to complete?
Any training that is necessary will be identified by the sponsoring department and the Office of Research Integrity during the review of the visitor’s application packet. Depending on the type of research the visitor will be engaging in, training may be required in the Responsible Conduct of Research, Human Subjects Research, Animal Care and Use in Research, Biosafety, and/or Export Compliance. All research compliance training must be completed before the visitor arrives at UTC. Other training may be assigned by the sponsoring department to ensure compliance with university policies (e.g., Title IX training, FERPA).
- What are the penalties for not complying with the Visitors Policy?
Noncompliance with the policy may result in the visitor being required to immediately cease all work on campus and being denied further access to university laboratories and other research facilities. The university, in its sole discretion, may also take other actions as it deems appropriate, including but not limited to actions consistent with university Human Resources and research policies.
- Who should I contact if I have questions?
If you have questions that are not addressed here or in the online training, please contact David Deardorff or Alexa McClellan in the Office of Research Integrity.