FAQS: Research

1. Where can I get assistance in developing a proposal for research funding?

Contact your college/departmental business office (if applicable) and review the Office of Research Administration’s Proposal Development Quick Reference Guide.


2. Who should I contact to help me address issues involving copyright, authorship, or other publication issues?

See the University Libraries’ Copyright Guide, specifically please see the materials under “Author Rights” or contact the Office of General Counsel.


3. My department or research center wants to publish a book, proceedings of a conference it held or other scholarly publications developed by the department. What should I do?

Contact the Office of the Associate Dean for Collection Strategies and Services of University Libraries. That office has been designated as the copyright and publishing agreement clearinghouse for publications produced by campus departments, programs, or research centers under the auspices of the University of Maryland and as the authorized signatory for publishing agreements made on behalf of the University. E-mail questions and contracts to lib-upubcopyright@umd.edu.


4. I developed an invention during the course of my research. What should I do?

Submit an invention disclosure to the Office of Technology Commercialization and review its online resources “For Inventors.”


5. I am thinking about forming a startup company. What campus resources are available to assist me?

Consult Faculty and Graduate Student Startup Support on the Office of Technology Commercialization website and the Innovation and Entrepreneurship page on the Division of Research website.


6. I am thinking about forming a 501(c)(3) organization. What campus resources are available to assist me?

Before taking any steps to create a 501(c)(3), consider why you believe it is necessary to create a separate non-profit organization. The University System of Maryland Foundation and the University of Maryland College Park Foundation both accept charitable donations on behalf of UMD. If you plan to use UMD personnel or resources for your 501(c)(3), it must be affiliated with UMD per USM Policy IX-2.00, Policy on Affiliated Foundations, which requires approval from the UMD President. Academic units that wish to create a 501(c)(3) should first obtain approval from the applicable dean and the Provost’s Office. Keep in mind that 501(c)(3)s are separate legal entities that require their own administrative structure (e.g., payroll, benefits, HR, legal).


7. What guidelines and support exist for research involving animals?

Review the policies related to animal research and contact the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) for assistance.


8. I received an agreement directly from the sponsor of my research. What should I do?

All research-related agreements and all federal government contracts (even if not for research) must be routed to the Office of Research Administration (ORA) for review and execution using the proper routing form. Contact your college business officer or departmental administrator the ORA Contract Administrator assigned to your school or college.


9. What guidelines and support exist for research involving human subjects?

Review the applicable Policy on Human Subjects of Research and the Institutional Review Board (IRB) website for resources, forms and assistance.


10. What office should I contact for assistance with laboratory safety?

The Office of Research Safety in the Department of Environmental Safety, Sustainability, and Risk (ESSR) provides assistance and advice on biological safety, radiation safety, general lab and chemical safety, scientific diving and boating safety, safety equipment and personal protective equipment. You may also e-mail questions to labsafety@umd.edu. Additionally, all laboratories, machine shops, and makerspaces are required to register in BioRAFT, a platform for central management of research safety.


11. When do I need to know about export controls?

If you are (1) working with “dual use” technologies (which have both civilian and military applications), (2) sending or transporting research materials, data, or equipment overseas, (3) sharing or receiving export controlled information or third party proprietary technical information with/from non-U.S. citizens (even here on campus*), (4) traveling outside the U.S. with laptops or other equipment, or (5) wish to collaborate with or travel to countries under sanction, you should contact the Export Compliance Office and review its website.

*Discussing or otherwise sharing export controlled information with a non-U.S. citizen is considered a “deemed export,” even when the discussion occurs within the U.S.


12. What should I do if I encounter possible research misconduct?

Review the Research Integrity page on the Faculty Affairs website and the UMD Policy and Procedures Concerning Scholarly Misconduct, which was amended and approved onMarch 12, 2019.

NOTE: A version of the UMD Policy and Procedures Concerning Research Misconduct was approved on an Interim basis on June 29, 2017.


13. May I use UMD resources (e.g., my office, laboratory equipment, GAs or RAs) in performing work for my private company?

If you want to use UMD resources for your startup or any other private purpose, you must first receive approval from your Department Chair and Dean and execute all appropriate agreements with UMD. Use of UMD facilities requires a Facility Use License in accordance with the UMD Policy on the Use of University Facilities by External Users for Research-Related Activities. In connection with your application for a license, you will need to demonstrate compliance with UMD’s Conflict of Interest Policy and Procedures. For assistance with starting the Facilities Use Application process, please contact your Department Chair or the Dean of your College.


14. How may I host a US or international student or researcher in my lab for an extended period of time?

If the visitor is a US citizen, your department must issue an offer letter (under Non-Paid Appointments, click on Domestic Visitors at the bottom of page) to the visitor and his or her employer to serve as a non-paid visiting researcher. If the person is an international student or researcher, you must submit a foreign visit request to the Export Compliance Office before the offer letter may be issued. The Faculty Affairs Office describes the screening approval and offer letter process here.


15. Is there anything else I need to know about foreign collaborations or using foreign equipment in the course of my research?

The federal government is focusing on potential foreign influence in research. Please be sure you have fully and accurately captured all foreign support (current and pending) on your proposals to the federal government.

Pursuant to Section 117 of the Higher Education Act of 1965, UMD is required to submit twice-yearly reports on foreign grants, gifs, and contracts. Before working with foreign organizations, please ensure that the Office of Research Administration and/or the Office of the Provost is aware and has approved the arrangement.

Additionally, effective August 13, 2020, Section 889 of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act prohibits the federal government and its contractors, grantees, and loan recipients from procuring or using certain “covered telecommunication equipment or services” that are produced by Huawei Technologies Company, ZTE Corporation, Hytera Communications Corporation, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company, or Dahua Technology Company (or any subsidiary or affiliate of such entities) as a “substantial or essential component of any system, or as critical technology as part of any system.” This prohibition extends to equipment that contains components manufactured by the listed companies, sometimes called Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM); as an example, a Panasonic-brand camera that includes Hikvision parts is considered to be covered telecommunication equipment. You should not use delegated procurement authority to procure any items from these companies or their subsidiaries; instead, please contact Procurement and Business Services.


16. I am using personally-identifiable health information (PHI) in my research. Does the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) apply to me and, if it does, do I need a Business Associate Agreement?

HIPAA typically applies to universities or their units only when they are offering health services to non-students and invoicing and/or accepting insurance for those services. As a result, even if you use PHI in your research, it is very unlikely that HIPAA will apply or that you might need a Business Associate Agreement; in fact, Business Associate Agreements do not permit the use of PHI for research. Please review the HIPAA Decision Tree and contact the Office of General Counsel for more information. Keep in mind; you may need to comply with UMD Institutional Review Board protocols.


17. What should I do If I suspect that a University employee or contractor is engaged in improper, unethical, or illegal conduct related to their research awards?

The University complies with the federal government’s Whistleblower Protection Program. Please see the Division of Research’s Whistleblower Protection website for more information, including how to submit an anonymous report.