Ethical Conduct in Research

Ethical Conduct in Research

Ethical conduct in research must guide every aspect of research, from formulating an original research question to gathering and analyzing data and sharing results. You are required to become familiar with the ethical standards of your discipline. Please do so by speaking with your faculty mentor about policies, procedures, and expectations and by following the guidelines for ethical research conduct outlined below. You must complete any trainings and approvals required for undertaking your research project (e.g. IRB approval, IACUC approval, lab safety training, etc.).

Your research is considered confidential. Do not publish or share any information or data related to your research project without first obtaining approval from your mentor.

President Brown’s Statement of Commitment to Ethical Conduct

Working with Human Subjects

Working with human subjects requires approval from the Boston University institutional review board (IRB). The purpose of the IRB is to protect the rights and welfare of human subjects of research and to assure the clinical research is conducted according to corresponding federal regulations, state law, and IRB policies. All research and clinical investigations involving human subjects in which the Charles River Campus, Boston University Medical Campus, Boston Medical Center, their staff, their students, or their patients are involved may be subject to the authority of the IRB, regardless of funding source or other regulatory requirements.

More information about working with human subjects can be found at:

Working with Animal Subjects

Anyone working with animals at BU must complete trainings and other requirements, including facility-specific processes and procedures. Moreover, there are structures in place to ensure animals are well cared for at all times. The Animal Science Center (ASC): The ACS manages and oversees animal-related activities, including veterinary care, policies and procedures, personnel management, occupational health and safety, and design and management of BU’s animal facilities. The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) oversees and routinely evaluates the animal care and use program. The IACUC functions include protocol review and post-approval monitoring.

For more information about working with animal subjects visit:

Further Information

An important feature of the Boston University Code of Ethical Conduct is the availability of a confidential reporting “hotline” operated by EthicsPoint, an independent reporting service. The hotline allows members of our community or others to confidentially submit allegations of breaches with this Code and provides links to related resources. Complaints may be submitted to EthicsPoint anonymously through the website, by letter, or by telephone. You may also confer with BU RCR Director Dr. Alan Fine on an anonymous basis.