Research Compliance and Safety

Research Compliance and Safety

Due to COVID-19 precautions, any studies that can be conducted online (remotely) should move forward with online procedures and forgo in-person engagement. Following guidance from New York State and Teachers College, the Institutional Review Board is reviewing proposals for in-person data collection on a case-by-case basis. For COVID-19 related questions, please review our Ethics Amid Uncertainty FAQs before contacting the IRB office.

Ethics & Safety Amid Uncertainty Training Modules

The Research Compliance and Safety Committee (RCSC) has developed these required training modules for researchers who plan to resume in-person data collection activities.

Even though in-person human subject enrollment is currently suspended, we encourage researchers to prepare study materials, get trained, and submit an IRB protocol for review in preparation for the launch of a phase that permits in-person research. 

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The goal of the Research Compliance & Safety Committee is to harness content-specific expertise and establish an inter-departmental plan for in-person research ramp-up at Teachers College (TC) with sequential phases that permit occupancy and activities to be scaled depending on the scenario, personnel, and study site.

Each phase will be adaptable as appropriate for the circumstances pertaining to specific research groups and risk levels. The Research Compliance & Safety Committee will work closely with research labs, centers, and clinics to assess risk, support ramp-up activities (and possibly ramp-down plans), and provide timely and consistent communication.

Research Compliance & Safety Committee 

As the Teachers College Research Compliance & Safety Committee, we: 

  • Consider the safety and health of research participants as our main concern, including research subjects, investigators, staff, and students 
  • Remain accountable to the research community at Teachers College 
  • Keep open channels of communication to disseminate information in a timely and consistent manner
  • Develop guides, policies, and procedures with an eye to their feasibility and accessibility 
  • Strive to implement approaches that are fair and flexible
  • Remain responsive to the uncertainties inherent in the current situation and the need for guidance and clarity 
  • Make evidence-based and data-driven decisions, based on information from reputable, expert sources and from the needs and experiences of our researchers 
  • Operate on the tenets of the Belmont Report, instantiating respect, beneficence, and justice for all research subjects, investigators, staff, and students

Research Compliance Step-by-Step Info Graphic

Due to COVID-19, all research-related activities taking place on campus in-person at Teachers College are suspended. 

Minimizing the density of personnel on campus is crucial for everyone’s safety. We encourage researchers to conduct research activities online into the foreseeable future.

Researchers are advised not to return to research activities on campus unless it is absolutely necessary for their work. The Research Compliance & Safety Committee members are aware that some research studies cannot sustain long-term suspensions on in-person data collection. We also understand that researchers are under tight time constraints and are expected to complete multiple demanding tasks. With these considerations in mind, we are balancing plans, training modules, and requirements for a safe return to campus with reasonable time-based expectations.

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