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Delegation of Authority and Potential Risk: Research

Read the Administrative Responsibilities Handbook's section on research responsibilities and delegation of authority.

Administrative officials can delegate certain duties to staff. Even so, administrative officials remain accountable for all activities in their areas of responsibility and should take appropriate precautions to avoid risk.

Responsibilities that cannot be delegated by administrative officials

  • Providing administrative leadership
  • Overseeing research and academic decision-making

Responsibilities that can be delegated by administrative officials

  • Reviewing proposals submitted by faculty to ensure eligiblity and to ensure that funding, space, and time requirements are appropriate and achievable and meet university guidelines and approvals
  • Reviewing space allocation and employee health and safety programs to ensure that chemical hazards, biohazards, and fire and radiation safety programs comply with EH&S policies
  • Ensuring that laboratory spaces are free of contamination and cleared of hazardous materials
  • Approving radiation safety and radioactive drug research applications
  • Training animal care laboratory personnel

Practices that should be in place to avoid risk

  • General research compliance: Conflict of interest, misconduct in research, misuse of resources, and violation of the faculty code of conduct (PDF) require involvement by the vice chancellor – research and/ or the Conflict of Interest Office.
  • Non-compliance with federal regulations and policies: Non-compliance can result in the loss of privilege to conduct research, federal funding, accreditation and/ or licensure.
  • Human subjects: Obtain approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to research or institution of a modification. Failure to do so may compromise university indemnification of the investigator and make the investigator personally liable.
  • Animal subjects: Obtain approval from the Institutional Animal Care and Use Program (IACUC) prior to beginning research or teaching with animals. Obtain approval from the IACUC prior to receiving federal funding which includes animal studies. Administrators should know and follow all federal and university regulations relating to animal welfare.
  • Contract and grant applications: Applications must be accurate, complete, timely, and signed by employees with delegated contracting authority.
  • Gift administration: Gifts must be used for the purpose they were received, classified according to policy, and meet IRS regulations.
  • Financial management: Grants must be effectively managed and accurately reported. Violations of the Federal False Claims Act may be punishable by individual and institutional sanctions including incarceration.
  • Use of hazardous materials: Obtain approval from EH&S before beginning research. Follow regulations when using or transporting radioisotopes, hazardous biological materials, radiation machines, high-power lasers, and hazardous chemicals and toxins.
  • Intellectual property: Anyone using research facilities must sign the university patent acknowledgement (PDF) form. Consulting agreements between academic appointees and outside organizations may not conflict with university duties.

Note: If a situation involving research risks occurs or seems likely to occur, involve the appropriate office immediately.

For information about research responsibilities, contact Animal Subjects, (858) 534-6069; Human Research Protections Program, (858) 455-5050; or the Conflict of Interest Office, (858) 534-6465. For information or comments on the Administrative Responsibilities Handbook, contact Laura Osante, (858) 534-0283.