Research Policy & Procedures
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.
Stanford Research Policy grants all faculty the privilege of being principal investigators (PIs) of sponsored research projects. For others, there are several exceptions to the PI policy which are allowed under special circumstances. Information about this topic of PI eligibility is found in the Stanford Research Policy Handbook (RPH). Section 2.4 contains the information, policy and guidance on PI eligibility and criteria for exceptions.
There are two types of exceptions that are most relevant to SLAC’s staff scientists and senior technical workforce:
- For Senior and Distinguished staff scientists at SLAC (RPH 2.B)
- Specific projects which are part of large interdisciplinary programs (RPH 2.4.II.A.2)
SLAC Senior and Distinguished staff scientists seeking to be PIs will normally use the process in route (1.) above. It is intended to encourage and facilitate SLAC’s senior scientific workforce to develop and expand research programs aligned with the SLAC mission. The other PI exception route (2.) is available for SLAC staff scientists independent of level, and associated with large interdisciplinary programs. This is not intended as an entitlement or blanket route to PI privileges, and review and approval of requests under this path are not routine or automatic and undergo very careful review and scrutiny by the SLAC Dean’s Office.
Links to the relevant SLAC forms for both routes 1. and 2. are found below. Scientists considering PI exceptions under either of these routes are strongly encouraged to consult early on with their respective Directorate Business Manager and ALD. The Office of the CRO is also pleased to offer help and advice (contact JoAnne Hewett).
Please Note NSF EXCEPTION:
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.
PI Waiver Forms:
Principal Investigator Training
The SLAC Policy on the Conduct of Research establishes training requirements for SLAC PIs and acting PIs relating to the conduct of research to help ensure the integrity of research performed at the laboratory. SLAC PIs are required to take the classes listed below. These courses are found on the SLAC Training Website and each on-line course can be completed in about one hour.
- CRO201 (Responsible Conduct of Research for PIs)
- CRO202 (Conflict of Interest for PIs)
- CRO203 (Export Control for PIs)
- CRO204 (Financial Management for PIs)
- CRO205 (ES&H for PIs)
The requirement to complete CRO201, CRO202, 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. The CRO maintains a current list of all SLAC PIs who are required to take this training.
For PIs who are Stanford Faculty, the Stanford Research Policy Handbook also describes regulatory training requirements for graduate students and post-docs who are funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or the National Science Foundation (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 SLAC employees who could be listed as authors on 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 once every two years and certify that they have reviewed the material by taking CRO101 (Conduct of Research) on the SLAC Training Website. Second, SLAC researchers are required to take RPTC01 (TARC Process and Form Training) once. These on-line courses can be completed in about an hour.
The requirement to complete CRO101 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. The CRO maintains a current list of all SLAC researchers who are required to take this training.