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Research Policies and Procedures

Welcome to the TCU Office of Research policies and procedures page. This page is intended to help facilitate compliance and understanding among the TCU research community by communicating research policies and procedures that may apply to their research activities.  The various TCU research committees (IRB, IACUC, IBC, and IP) have their own webpages on this website and offer links to their specific policies, procedures, and forms.  Please check BOTH this page and the applicable research committee’s webpage for information.  If you are unable to find the information you need, contact the Office of Research for assistance at

Also, please know that while the Office of Research has attempted to identify all research policies and procedures on this website, there may be other university, college/school, and/or department policies and procedures that apply to a community member’s research. The researcher is responsible for identifying and complying with all applicable policies and procedures, as well as applicable law.

(1) Policies.  Policies set forth governing principles that are designed to further significant TCU goals and objectives or are necessary to comply with legal requirements. A policy is an university-wide mandate and must be driven from the top to be effective. Policies state the scope of policy and provide a high-level description of the policy requirements and controls that must be in place to effectuate the policy. Policies usually reference the procedures that support it, as well as any other related policies.

(2) Procedures.  Procedures are instructions to assist the TCU community in implementing the applicable policy and may be written or established by practice. Whereas policies identify the controls that should be in place, procedures provide specific direction, explaining how to implement the controls in a step by step fashion. Examples of procedures include programs as well as informal, established practices.

(3) Guidelines.  Guidelines provide detail and context on best practices for a policy or procedure. Guidelines provide a clear pathway for TCU faculty, staff, and students to follow to give effect to an obligation of TCU, or a policy or procedure. The development of a guideline document is not compulsory.

Governance Hierarchy Definition Required Approver
(1) Policies High level statements of core principles, goals, and objectives Policy Sponsor
(2) Procedures Specific implementation instructions for use in the operating environment. Policy Sponsor
(3) Guidelines Policy Sponsor

The Office of Research’s compliance efforts are supported by the Research Compliance Advisory Committee (“RCAC”). This committee is chaired by the Director of Research Compliance and Training and composed of active, TCU faculty researchers from each of the eight TCU schools and colleges.

The RPAC provides leadership and helps ensure accountability by evaluating identified risks associated TCU research, scholarship, and creative activities; reviewing existing research policies and procedures to assess compliance with applicable law and university policies; and recommending to the Associate Provost for Research modifications and/or additions to such policies and procedures.

Contract Signing Authority

Texas Christian University investigators cannot sign agreements on behalf of the University. Usually, the agreement needs to be set up as a contract between institutions and signed by an Authorized Official who is capable of binding the University to the terms.  TCU PIs are often required to sign agreements to acknowledge that they have Read and Understood it. TCU strongly encourages its PIs to thoroughly read through agreements before signing. Not all agreements are the same and it is very important that TCU PIs and lab members understand and abide by the terms and conditions outlined in the agreement.  Please review the TCU Faculty/Staff Handbook for more information.

Controlled Substances in Research

Controlled Substances Procedures

Controlled Substances Policy

Export Controls

Export Controls and Research Policy

Restricted Party Screening Procedures

Visiting Scholar Checklist


Biological Safety in Research Policy

Laser Safety

Laser Safety in Research policy

Human Subjects

Human Subject Research Oversight and Monitoring Policy and Procedures

Human Subjects Research Submissions Procedures

Protection of Human Subjects Policy 

NOTICE:  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and fifteen other Federal Departments and Agencies issued final revisions to the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects (the Common Rule). The Final Rule was published in the Federal Register on January 19, 2017 and is effective July 2018.  Below is a link to the revised Common Rule:

In relation to the revised Common Rule, the IRB has been developing various guidance documents and updating relevant forms and templates. Once complete, the documents, forms, and templates will be made available on this webpage. Please check the IRB webpage regularly for updates.

Research Integrity

Research Integrity Policy

Research Integrity Procedures

Sponsored Programs – Uniform Guidance

TCU will be implementing The Federal Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) issued Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, 2 CFR 200, et al. (the “Uniform Guidance”), as required by applicable federal law.   The Uniform Guidance was generally effective December 26, 2014.

Section 200.110(a) of the Uniform Guidance permits non-Federal entities like TCU to continue to comply with the procurement standards in previous OMB guidance, instead of the procurement standards found in the Uniform Guidance, for three full additional fiscal year after December 26, 2014. TCU has elected to follow previous OMB guidance related to procurement standards in effect prior to December 26, 2014, for three full additional fiscal years. Therefore, TCU will follow previous OMB guidance for procurement through the end of the fiscal year ending May 31, 2018.