Research Policy & Procedures
CRO Office Contacts
Chief Research Officer
SLAC Conduct of Research Policy
The SLAC Director is responsible for the administration and operation of SLAC as a national laboratory and for academic matters arising from SLAC’s role as an affiliated academic unity of Stanford University. The SLAC Policy on the Conduct of Research provides clarification regarding the roles, responsibilities, requirements, and training for PIs and all SLAC researchers on the conduct of research at SLAC.
The SLAC Director has delegated the authority to implement this policy to SLAC’s Chief Research Officer (CRO). Associate Laboratory Director’s (ALDs) will ensure that all SLAC researchers and all SLAC PIs in their directorates effectively implement these requirements. The CRO also maintains a current list of all SLAC researchers and all SLAC PIs.
Stanford Research Policy Handbook
As an affiliated academic unit of Stanford University, research conducted at SLAC is subject to Stanford University’s policies on the conduct of research as documented in Stanford’s Research Policy Handbook. The Research Policy Handbook is a collection of policies, guidelines and general information related to the research enterprise at Stanford and at SLAC. The Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Research is responsible for publishing all policies in the Research Policy Handbook and for the developing and maintaining the DoResearch website.
The role of Principal Investigator (PI) provides an individual with the authority to lead the definition and delivery of a research program. This represents an important step in the career of scientists and engineers, enabling them to strike out in new directions based on their own ideas.
At SLAC, any employee is PI-eligible to submit proposals to be awarded by the Department of Energy (DOE), consistent with requirements stated in the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA).
For grants funded by other agencies or private sponsors, Stanford’s principal investigatorship policy applies. Stanford Research Policy grants all faculty the privilege of being principal investigators of sponsored research projects. For others, there are several exceptions to the PI policy which are allowed under specific circumstances. Further information on PI eligibility is found in the Stanford Research Policy Handbook (RPH) Section 2. This section contains the information, policy and guidance on PI eligibility and criteria for exceptions.
Based on RPH section 2, there are three routes to PI eligibility that are most relevant to SLAC employees.
- Senior and Distinguished staff scientists or engineers, staff levels five and six, at SLAC (RPH 2.1.2.B)
- As of June 11, 2020, PI eligibility has been extended to continuing staff and lead staff scientists or engineers, staff levels three and four, at SLAC as a five-year pilot (RPH 2.1.2B)
- Specific projects which are part of large interdisciplinary programs (RPH 2.1.2.A.2) * see note below
SLAC staff scientists or engineers in levels three to six seeking to be PIs will normally use the waiver process in category 1 or 2 above. It is intended to encourage and facilitate SLAC’s scientific or engineering workforce to develop and expand research programs aligned with the SLAC mission.
The PI exception route 3 is available for SLAC staff independent of level and job series if they are associated with large interdisciplinary programs. This waiver route is not routine or automatic and undergoes careful review for adherence to the Stanford RPH by the SLAC Office of the Chief Research Officer (CRO).
Staff pursuing PI-ship on grants funded by DOE or non-DOE sources must seek prior management approval by the respective Associate Laboratory Director (ALD), and the Directorate Business Manager must be notified. The Office of the CRO is pleased to offer help and advice (contact OCRO@slac.stanford.edu).
PI Waiver Process
To initiate the PI waiver process, please download the appropriate PI waiver form from the links below. When completed and the appropriate Directorate-level signatures are obtained, send it to SignatureOCRO@slac.stanford.edu.
PI Waiver Forms:
For this purpose a "large interdisciplinary program" is defined as a research program which: a) is directed by a member of the Academic Council or MCL faculty, b) has an expected duration beyond the involvement of any individual faculty participant, c) has more than one faculty member involved, and d) requires expertise in more than one discipline or technical area. All of the following conditions must be met in order for the department chair and school dean to approve PI exceptions in such cases:
The proposed project must be a demonstrably important component of the success of the overall interdisciplinary program, as defined above
- There is no member of the Academic Council or MCL faculty associated with the large interdisciplinary project who is qualified to take responsibility for the scientific direction of the prospective research project
- No incremental space will be required for the project
- For each graduate student participating on the project, a qualified faculty member has been identified to assure that the student's research program and the education derived from it are consistent with the degree for which the student is a candidate
- Exceptions approved under this provision will be reported to the Dean of Research on an annual basis.
NSF does not fund FFRDCs. Exceptions to submit can be requested of the NSF Program Officer for the specific NSF call. You must get this exception before effort is put into applying for a SLAC PI Waiver. Proposals from SLAC, an FFRDC, cannot be submitted to NSF without an exception. To determine if you will need this exception, please answer the following:
- In your response to the NSF call, are you submitting on behalf of SLAC (an FFRDC)? YES or NO
- If YES, attach the email response from the cognizant NSF Program Officer that has granted the exception for you to submit this proposal from SLAC (an FFRDC) to your PI Waiver paperwork. See NSF Grant Proposal Guide – section on Other Federal Agencies for exception descriptions.
- If NO, are you submitting this through a Stanford University campus department? Provide the point of contact at campus department who will be administratively responsible for submitting the proposal to the NSF.
Training for All SLAC Researchers
The SLAC Policy on the Conduct of Research establishes training requirements for all SLAC researchers. SLAC researchers are any employees who could be listed as authors on SLAC scientific publications in their official capacity.
SLAC researchers are required to take the following classes to help ensure the integrity of research performed at the laboratory. First, SLAC researchers are required to review Chapter 1 of the Stanford Research Policy Handbook on the conduct of research and certify that they have reviewed the material by taking CRO101 (Conduct of Research) on the SLAC Training Website. In addition, SLAC researchers are required to take CRO102 Conflict of Interest and RPTC01 (TARC Process and Form Training). These on-line courses can be completed in about an hour.
The requirement to complete CRO101, CRO102 and RPTC01 will be included in all researchers’ SLAC Training Assessment (STA) and reviewed as part of the performance appraisal process. All ALD’s are required to confirm to the SLAC Director that these requirements have been effectively implemented in their respective directorates as part of the performance appraisal process.
Principal Investigator Training
To ensure the integrity of research performed at the laboratory, SLAC Principal Investigators (PIs) and SLAC researchers with the intent to apply for outside funding are required to take additional classes listed below. No proposals can be submitted without the completion of these training. These courses are found on the SLAC Training Website.
- CRO201 (Responsible Conduct of Research for PIs)
- CRO203 (Export Control for PIs)
- CRO204 (Financial Management for PIs)
- CRO205 (ES&H for PIs)
The requirement to complete CRO201, CRO203, CRO204, and CRO205 will be included in all PI’s SLAC Training Assessment (STA) and reviewed as part of the performance appraisal process. All ALD’s are required to confirm to the SLAC Director that these requirements have been effectively implemented in their respective directorates as part of the performance appraisal process.
NOTE: The SLAC training requirements for researchers and PIs are equally applicable to Stanford/SLAC joint faculty, Stanford PI at SLAC appointments, Stanford researchers, graduate students and post-docs doing research at SLAC.
For detail training requirements and applicability, please view the Chief Research Officer Training presentation (SLAC login required).
SLAC Author Responsibilities
All written results of SLAC work must be properly tracked, collected, and made publicly accessible as mandated by SLAC’s DOE contract. This applies to all work performed at SLAC, or work completed collaboratively elsewhere utilizing SLAC effort.
In line with DOE Order 241.1B, Scientific Publishing Services processes and tracks all SLAC-authored research papers, theses, or reports, regardless of where such research may eventually appear (e.g., a journal article, conference proceedings, preprint archive, or server elsewhere).
- SLAC Author Responsibilities (SciDoc)
- Digital Data Management (DOE Office of Science)
- Aknowledgements of Federal Government (DOE Office of Science)