Carnegie Mellon University


The primary purpose of research at the university is the advancement of knowledge in all fields in which the university is active. Research is regarded as one of the university's major contributions to society and as an essential element in education, particularly at the graduate level and in faculty development. The university emphasizes fundamental inquiry. It recognizes, however, that a part of the function of education is to assist in the translation of scientific, technical and social knowledge into new processes, products, techniques and approaches. Hence, both basic and applied research that relate to the educational programs of the university and contribute to education or faculty development are considered appropriate activities.  Research activities are governed by several university policies.  For direct guidance and more general information, visit Research at Carnegie Mellon and contact the individual offices listed below for the most current policies and practices. 

The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) provides comprehensive support to faculty and staff in the administration of externally sponsored research.  The Office of Research Integrity and Compliance represents the CMU community's commitment to responsible research.  This is the centralized office overseeing the primary compliance areas of:

  • Research involving human participants (IRB)
  • Research involving animals (IACUC)
  • Conflicts of Interest (COI)
  • Export Compliance
  • Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) - Research Ethics and Education

Human Subjects in Research

This policy should be reviewed in its entirety on-line:

The University is committed to the protection of the rights and welfare of human subjects in research investigations conducted under the jurisdiction of the university.  The university believes that review independent of the investigator is necessary to safeguard the rights and welfare of human subjects of research investigations.

Policy for Handling Alleged Misconduct in Research

This policy should be reviewed in its entirety on-line:

Carnegie Mellon University is responsible for the integrity of research conducted at the university. The university defines misconduct and details procedures for the investigation of allegations of misconduct of research.

Policy on Restricted Research

This policy should be reviewed in its entirety on-line:

This policy seeks to resolve the tension between the desire to participate in restricted research and the desire to maintain the open atmosphere of the university by confining restricted research to semi-autonomous units, which are not associated with any academic departments. It thereby establishes the principle that restricted research is inappropriate at Carnegie Mellon University except in the semi-autonomous units.

Prenatal Radiation Exposure

This policy should be reviewed in its entirety on-line:

Carnegie Mellon University complies with federal regulations to minimize potentially damaging ionizing radiation exposure to the embryos/fetuses of declared pregnant women working in radiologically restricted areas of the university.

Research Proposals: Government, Corporations and Foundations

This policy should be reviewed in its entirety on-line:

All proposals, contracts and agreements related to research activities must be reviewed centrally to ensure compliance with government regulations and university policies.

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Education 

A number of avenues exist at CMU for formal learning about ethical conduct of research and the standards within this research community.  Education has long been required for individuals participating in Human Subject research and Animal research at CMU.  Research ethics is addressed at Graduate Student orientation, some other orientation programs and in some classes.  On-line education focused on Responsible Conduct of Research is available via CITI.  The Office of Research Integrity and Compliance is sponsoring an education program titled "Responsible Conduct of Research Seminar Series."  The series is intended to provide participants with an introduction to the topics typically included in RCR curriculum.