Kennesaw State UniversityKennesaw State University

Office of Research

Research Compliance

Abstract Lab Work

Responsible Conduct of Research and Scholarly Misconduct


Federal regulations define research misconduct as “fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results.” Faculty, staff, and students of KSU are expected to conform to the highest ethical and legal standards in research and creative activities. The scholarly misconduct policy is located in the KSU University Handbook.

KSU Policy on RCR Training for Students Paid with NSF Funds

KSU students (undergraduate and Graduate) must complete the CITI online Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training for their respective discipline. The PI needs to attach the curriculum completion report to the hiring paperwork and submit the package to the Office of Research at The Office of Research will approve and forward the paperwork to HR. No student will be approved for hire without verification of this training. In addition to this online training, students will complete a face-to-face training segment with the faculty member under whose direction they are conducting research. Office of Research staff will work with the faculty member on this segment. Possibilities include having students read On Being a Scientist or The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and then discuss the reading with their faculty member. Office of Research staff will follow-up with the faculty member on this face-to-face training.

  • Begin CITI online training
  • Register to become a New User
  • Select "Kennesaw State University" under the Participating Institutions tab.
  • Create a username, password, security question and enter your name and e-mail address.
  • Select "No" for requesting CME/CEU credits for the course(s) you are about to complete.
  • Professional Certifications are not required for the Responsible Conduct of Research training modules.
  • Under Course Registration, select “Responsible Conduct of Research” course.
  • If you are not conducting research on Animals, you may omit question #3 on the curriculum page.
  • When you have completed the registration, the courses that you selected should be listed under the "My Courses" banner.
  • You may start and stop the course at any time and your progress will be saved.
  • To complete an Responsible Conduct of Research training module, you must score an aggregate 80% or higher on the quizzes.
  • Make sure to print your Responsible Conduct of Research Curriculum Completion Report when finished and give a copy of it to your faculty member.

Conflicts of Interest in Research and Sponsored Programs

Kennesaw State University complies with federal regulations ensuring that sponsored activities will not be compromised by investigators’ financial interests that could be reasonably expected to bias the design, conduct, or reporting of the research. In accordance with these regulations, the University has the responsibility to disclose, manage, reduce, or eliminate any actual or potential conflicts of interest that may be presented by a financial interest of an investigator.

Federal government policy on disclosure of financial conflict of interest differs among the various agencies. To meet the different requirements, two policies are currently in use. Select and follow the appropriate path.

Click here for the National Science Foundation (NSF) policy and forms.

Click here for the following agency policies and forms:

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
  • National Institute for Justice (NIJ)

Institutional Review Board

The Institutional Review Board Administrator is located with the Office of Research in the administration wing of Kennesaw Hall, Room 3426.

Purpose of the IRB

The IRB's purpose is to regulate all research activities involving human subjects on the campus of Kennesaw State University, ensuring that people who participate in research are treated ethically and in compliance with all federal and state laws and regulations.

What is Research?

Research is defined as a planned investigation designed to test a hypothesis, permit conclusions to be drawn, and thereby to develop or to contribute to generalizable knowledge. Generalizable knowledge is knowledge that has implications for a broader group of people or that will be used to influence policy or practice.

What must the IRB Review?

KSU requires prior review and approval to be obtained from the IRB for all research involving human participants, including plans to gather data from participants for master’s theses and other student projects. Any administration of a substance or stimulus, interview, test, use of records that identify living individuals, or observations of non-public behavior must be approved by the IRB. To determine if a project requires IRB Review, complete the IRB Oversight Decision Tree.

The IRB has the authority to approve, require modifications (to secure approval), and disapprove research proposals and to suspend or terminate research that is not conducted in accordance with the IRB's requirements or that has been associated with any possible harm to subjects. IRB review standards are based on federal regulations and guidelines.

Details about IRB policies and procedures can be found on the Institutional Review Board homepage.

Animal Care and Use

Kennesaw State University complies with all applicable provisions of the Animal Welfare Act and other state and federal statutes and regulations related to animals. In meeting these obligations Kennesaw State University is guided by the “U.S. Government Principles for the Utilization and Care of Vertebrate Animals Used in Testing, Research, and Training.”

The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), appointed by the KSU President, is qualified through the experience and expertise of its members to oversee the University's animal care and use program and facilities. The IACUC advises the Vice President for Research (the University’s Institutional Official) about problems or deficiencies and recommends steps for correction. The IACUC also reviews all animal use protocols for consideration of humane animal care and use and performs semiannual reviews of the animal care and use program and facilities as required by federal regulations and Kennesaw State University policy.

Details about IACUC policies and procedures can be found on the IACUC homepage.

Drug-Free Workplace

As a recipient of Federal funds, Kennesaw State University supports and complies with the provisions of the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989 and the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988. Kennesaw State University’s policy is described in the KSU Faculty Handbook.

Completion of an online training program is required of all Kennesaw State University employees included in federally sponsored proposals.

Export Controls

The federal government has recognized fundamental research as “basic and applied research in science and engineering where the resulting information is to be shared broadly within the scientific community” (National Security Decision Directive 189). Restricted or classified research produces results that are not shared broadly. Fundamental research is not subject to export controls when conducted within the borders of the United States. However, fundamental research of any kind occurring abroad is subject to export controls if restricted equipment, software, or information is shipped outside the United States.

Export controls are restrictions imposed by the federal government on access to, dissemination of, and transfers of some equipment, software, and data. Providing access to restricted technology or information to those who are not either American citizens, legal residents, or other protected persons while in the United States or while abroad may be considered as an export, re-export, or deemed export. Any item that is sent from the United States to a foreign destination is an export, including software or other technology, design plans, and technical information. The term “deemed export” refers to the disclosure or release of such items or information to a foreign national within the United States.

Principal investigators of projects involving foreign nationals or travel outside the United States must consider whether or not their work is subject to export control restrictions. The implications of federal law governing restricted technologies and the involvement of foreign nationals in research should be discussed with the Office of Research during the early stages of proposal planning. Violations of export controls can result in major fines against the institution and individuals found guilty and imprisonment of those held responsible.

Laboratory Safety


The Department of Environmental Health & Safety has developed generic standard operating procedures relevant to safety and health considerations when working with hazardous chemicals in a laboratory setting. Where the scope of hazards are not adequately addressed in this general document, departments, supervisors, and/or principal investigators must develop written standard operating procedures for work area specific operations. The standard operating procedures in this document specify minimum regulations and recommendations and apply to all laboratory workers. Please consult the Department of Environmental Health & Safety for additional information.

General Safety Guidelines

KSU employees working in laboratory and lab areas will understand and observe the following general rules:

View General Safety Guidelines

  • Know the hazards, precautions, and procedures to use when working with a particular chemical. Carefully read the label before using an unknown chemical. Whenever appropriate, review the MSDS for special handling instructions.
  • Be alert to unsafe acts and unsafe conditions that may develop in the laboratory. Instruct and encourage safe work practices.
  • Never leave students unsupervised during labs or laboratory work. Students are not accustomed to recognizing unsafe acts and conditions, nor are they sure of safe lab practices.
  • Be familiar with the location of emergency equipment- fire alarms, fire extinguishers, and fire blankets, emergency eye wash stations and showers, chemical spill kits and first aid kits. Know the appropriate emergency response procedures.
  • Avoid distracting or startling other workers when they are handling hazardous chemicals.
  • Horseplay is not allowed in lab area or laboratories.
  • Use equipment and hazardous chemicals only for their intended purposes.
  • Laboratory areas with special or unusual hazards will have posted warning signs. Safety showers, fire extinguishers, and special waste containers will be clearly marked.
  • All chemical waste will be disposed of according to laboratory waste disposal procedures. Notify the lab supervisor or coordinator for any waste that needs to be picked up and stored pending disposal.
  • Broken glassware will be disposed of in appropriately marked waste containers.
  • All used spill cleanup materials will be placed in the proper waste disposal containers.
  • Wear eye and face protection when appropriate.
  • Always inspect equipment for leaks, tears, and other damage before handling a hazardous chemical.
  • Avoid working alone in a lab, especially if the procedures being conducted are hazardous.
  • When working with flammable chemicals, be certain that there are no sources of ignition near enough to cause a fire or explosion in the event of vapor release or spill of the chemical.
  • No children or unauthorized personnel are allowed in the lab or laboratory areas.

Laboratory Hygiene

The following practices have been established to protect lab employees from health risks associated with the use of hazardous chemicals.

View Laboratory Hygiene

  • Avoid direct contact with any hazardous chemical. Know and use the proper protective equipment needed for the task at hand.
  • Wash hands with soap and water after handling a chemical and promptly whenever a chemical has contacted the skin.
  • No eating, drinking, smoking, chewing gum, or application of cosmetics is allowed in the laboratories or lab areas.
  • Avoid tasting or sniffing of chemicals.
  • Do not pipet or siphon by mouth.
  • Confine long hair and loose clothing jewelry, etc.
  • Always wear foot ware that completely covers the foot. No sandals, open-toed or open-heeled shoes.
  • Safety glasses must be worn at all times in the labs. The glasses must be of the impact protection type with splashguards and must meet ANSI Z87.1 specifications. In some cases face shields may be required.
  • Contact lenses are discouraged when working with hazardous chemicals. However if they are worn, employees must recognize the inherent increased risks and safety glasses must be worn.
  • Gloves of material suitable for the chemicals being used must be worn. Consult the MSDS for the recommended gloves, or contact the EHS department. Gloves should be checked for tears, rips, or deterioration prior to use.
  • Wear an appropriate laboratory coat or apron if needed while working in the laboratory.
  • Replace lab-coat immediately if it becomes contaminated or soiled. Do not wear lab coats outside of the laboratory to prevent contamination of public areas.
  • Carefully inspect all protective equipment before using. Do not use defective protective equipment.

Laboratory Housekeeping

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  • Bench tops and floors will be kept clear and uncluttered. Materials that are not being used should be put away in their proper storage areas.
    • The following will be cleaned after each use:
    • Floors
    • Balances and Other Equipment
    • Bench Tops
    • Glassware
  • Chemical waste including all unlabeled containers will be disposed of in the proper waste containers at the end of each lab period.
  • Aisles must be kept clear of obstructions.
  • Emergency equipment such as safety showers, eye wash stations, and fire extinguishers must always be accessible.
  • All spills must be cleaned promptly using appropriate spill cleanup materials and disposed of properly. Follow cleanup and disposal requirements as outlined in the MSDS or contact the lab supervisor, lab coordinator, or the chemical hygiene officer.
  • Keep all aisles, hallways, and stairs clear of all chemicals.
  • All secondary containers should be labeled with the name of the chemical and the primary hazard associated with it.
  • All chemicals must be stored properly as follows:
    • Flammables in a flammable storage cabinet and away from oxidizers
    • Corrosives in a corrosive storage cabinet with acid and bases stored apart
    • Oxidizers stored away from acids and flammables
    • Poisons stored away from acids and flammables
    • Compressed Gas Cylinders stored upright and secured by a chain or strap
  • Whenever exposure by inhalation is likely to exceed the threshold limits described in the MSDS, a hood must be used. If a respirator is needed employees wearing the respirators will be trained and fit tested according to the KSU Occupational Respiratory Program.

Chemical Handling and Storage

The following are guidelines for handling and using hazardous chemical properly:

View Chemical Handling and Storage

  • Information on proper handling, storage and disposal of hazardous and access to related MSDS must be made available to all laboratory employees prior to the use of the chemical.
  • Always purchase the minimum amount necessary to maintain operations. Chemical containers with missing or defaced labels, or that violate appropriate packing regulations should not be accepted.
  • Chemicals used in the laboratory must be appropriate for the lab’s ventilation system.
  • Chemicals should not be stored on high shelves and large bottles should be stored no more than two feet above the floor level.
  • Chemicals shall be segregated by compatibility.
  • Chemical storage areas must be clearly labeled as to their hazard classification.
  • Any chemical mixture shall be assumed to be as toxic as its most toxic component.
  • Substances of unknown toxicity shall be assumed to be toxic

Transporting Chemicals between Labs

When transporting chemicals between laboratories, precautions should be taken to avoid dropping or spilling chemicals.

  • Specially designated bottle carriers are available for transporting caustic chemicals.
  • Glass containers must be supported at both the top and bottom of the container. Do not carry a glass bottle by the neck without supporting the base of the container and visa versa.

When transporting chemicals on a cart, use a cart that is suitable for the load, resistant to chemicals, and has high edges to contain spills or leaks.


Biohazardous research deals with materials of biological origin that have the capacity to produce hazardous effects on humans or animals. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines biohazardous material as "infectious agents or hazardous biologic materials that present a risk or potential risk to the health of humans, animals, or the environment. The risk can be direct through infection or indirect through damage to the environment. Biohazardous materials include certain types of recombinant DNA, organisms and viruses infectious to humans, animals, or plants (e.g., parasites, viruses, bacteria, fungi, prions, and rickettsia), and biologically active agents (e.g., toxins, allergens, and venoms) that can cause disease in other living organisms or cause significant impact to the environment or community."

There are four levels of biohazard safety. Biosafety level 1 (BSL1) is appropriate for work with organisms that are not known to cause diseases. Biosafety level 2 (BLS2) represents work with organisms that cause a modest risk, such as the virus that causes the common cold. Biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) is the designation for work with organisms which cause serious disease but for which vaccines or antibiotics are available, such as rabies or Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Biosafety level 4 (BSL4) is reserved for work with organisms that pose a high risk of transmission of life-threatening disease and for which no vaccines or antibiotics are available.

Questions and comments should be directed to the Chemical Safety Manager, Vanessa Biggers via email at or by phone at 678-797-2415.

Use of Student Data in Research

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), is a federal law that sets forth requirements regarding the privacy of student educational records. Student records are considered confidential and information therein should not be disclosed without written student consent unless the disclosure meets one of the FERPA exceptions. Faculty members proposing to use information obtained from student records (e.g., GPAs, test scores, grades, credit hours) in research should familiarize themselves with FERPA regulations, which govern the disclosure of student record information. The Kennesaw State Univesity Office of the Registrar is the primary source for current policies.

Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) – Drones on Campus

Public safety is a priority at Kennesaw State University (KSU or the University) and, whenever any unmanned aerial system (UAS) or other aircraft is operated on and/or in the air space over KSU campuses and/or leased properties, the University is committed to promoting safe and responsible operation of the UAS or other aircraft. As UAS technologies and other aircraft applications are rapidly advancing, requests to operate UAS and other aircraft on KSU campuses have increased.

The purpose of the policy found below is to establish requirements for operating any unmanned aerial system (UAS) and other aircraft including, but not limited to, hot air balloons, drones, model aircraft, blimps, and parachutes on and/or in the airspace over KSU campuses and/or leased properties.

Unmanned Aerial Systems – Policy, Application Form, FAQs and Contact Info