The Office of Research Protections facilitates research and creative endeavors by administering programs that provide ethical and regulatory oversight of research involving human participants, animals, recombinant DNA, radiation, and export control regulations. The Office strives to support innovation and commercialization of research to promote the University's mission of transmitting and applying knowledge to address the needs of society.
Before participants are recruited or data is collected about human participants, the IRB must review and approve all research, regardless of funding, conducted by Appalachian State University faculty, staff or students.
The the IACUC is a federally-mandated university committee responsible for maintaining a quality program of animal care in a research and teaching environment. Faculty, staff, veterinarians and members of the community serve on the IACUC. Before beginning a research or teaching activity with animals, the IACUC must review and approve activities that involve nonhuman vertebrate animals, regardless of funding, which take place on Appalachian's campus or are undertaken by Appalachian faculty, staff or students.
The Institutional Biosafety Council (IBC) will review research involving the use of recombinant DNA molecules to ensure it is conducted safely and in compliance with guidelines established by the National Institutes of Health and the Center for Disease Control. The IBC will assure the safety of the research for the university and general community by providing outreach, education and support for principal investigators and their staff.
The term "responsible conduct of research" encompasses important shared principles of honesty, accuracy, efficiency and objectivity that guide research. These shared principles are equally applicable to scholarly endeavors and creative activities that may not be typically associated with the strict definition of research. As research has advanced, issues of research integrity have received substantial public attention. Cases of researchers falsifying and fabricating results, unearned authorship and ghost writing, concerns of corporate influence through undisclosed corporate income to researchers and instances of plagiarism have all been featured in the recent news. In order to strengthen the integrity of research and creative scholarship, instruction in the responsible conduct of research must be considered a vital part of research and creative scholarship.
Intellectual property is a general term that describes an original creative work manifested in a tangible form that can be legally protected through intellectual property rights, including the rights of patent, trademark and copyright protection. Both Appalachian and the University of North Carolina system have established policies and procedures to balance the interests of the public, the University and respective inventor(s), author(s), or artist(s) in intellectual property arising from research and creative activities conducted by employees and students. Employees and students using university resources have a duty to disclose any intellectual property created or discovered.
Export control regulations were established to protect U.S. national security and foreign policy interests. These regulations govern the export of all items of U.S. origin as well as information and/or software that may be shared with foreign nationals in the U.S. or abroad.
As part of its educational and service missions, Appalachian State University is committed to serving the wider community through research, consulting, and participation in other activities. However, the University is also required to ensure that these activities are conducted in ways that are consistent with federal and state law as well as the University's interests. The interests and commitments of the various parties engaged in external activities are complex and occasionally may conflict with or compromise an employee's responsibilities to the University. Such conflicts are not necessarily prohibited – but they do require disclosure and discussion to ensure that the interests of all parties are addressed.