Safety and Compliance Committees
The Research Safety Policy Council (RSPC), chaired by the Executive Vice President for Research, Innovation and National Laboratories, promulgates research safety policies at the University of Chicago, with administrative support and subject matter expertise provided by the Office of Research Safety and appropriate institutional safety committees.
The Research Safety Working Group (RSWG) was established to support the Research Safety Policy Council to focus on research related safety and compliance initiatives. The RSWG meets monthly to discuss and provide feedback on initiatives designed to foster a safe research environment for employees, students and volunteers. The primary goals of the RSWG include continuous quality improvement, enhanced communication and promotion of laboratory and occupational safety across campus. The RSWG will assess the effectiveness of research safety programs by utilizing data gathering and analytic tools to systematically enhance and promote responsible research University-wide. Working Group members include safety professionals, technical research staff and graduate students in addition to key administrators involved with supporting university research activities.
SAFELab is an advisory committee chaired by and supporting the Office of Research Safety, UC’s primary resource for campus-wide research laboratory safety, student and investigator training and information. SAFELab is a management tool to recommend improvements to the University of Chicago’s Research Safety Program and to identify corrective measures needed to eliminate or control recognized safety and health hazards in the laboratories. The committee consists of representatives from all divisions, which have a relation to research or teaching laboratories. This includes the Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, Social Sciences, Environmental Health & Safety departments (University and UCMC), as well as building managers, lab safety contacts and graduate students. Safety is fundamental part of the University’s mission. Research and safety should not be seen as separate endeavors but rather integrated aspects of a responsible research culture. SAFELab’s goal is to discuss ways to minimize the risk to all individuals working with or around hazardous substances as well as to the surrounding environment.
Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) and the Select Agent Institutional Biosafety Committee (SA-IBC)
The Office of Research Safety partners with UChicago’s IBC. Our Biological Safety Team provides consulting and reviewing services to Principal Investigators developing or amending protocols that will be submitted for approval to the IBC. Members of the Biological Safety Team hold active seats on the IBC and administers IBC mandated training as determined by the approved protocol. Additional information can be found on the IBC website.
The University of Chicago Institutional Oversight of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern Policy is based on recommendations and guiding principles from The United States Government (March 2012 DURC Policy and September 2014 Policy for Institutional Oversight of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern). The University of Chicago Policy for Institutional Oversight of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern articulates the practices and procedures required to ensure that DURC is identified at the institutional level and risk mitigation measures are implemented as necessary.
The Office of Research Safety partners with UChicago’s Committee on Radiation Safety. The Radiation Safety Team provides consulting and reviewing services to Principal Investigators developing or amending protocols that will be submitted for approval to the Committee on Radiation Safety. Members of the Radiation Safety Team hold active seats on the Committee and administers mandated training as determined by the approved protocol. A list of active members on the Committee of Radiation Safety, along with contact information, can be found here.
The RADRAC is charged with the responsibility for review, approval and surveillance of radioactive drugs as well as the purchase and use of radioisotopes in humans (including research and routine) within The University of Chicago and University of Chicago Medical Center.