Guidelines for Student Protection in Sponsored Research Projects

Participation in sponsored research may be an important part of a student’s undergraduate or graduate education, as well as an important source of his or her financial support. The University recognizes that the student must be protected in cases where the terms of the research project conflict with the student’s academic progress, and affirms that the student has the right to reject such funding if he or she chooses to do so. The University recognizes the sensitivity of these issues, since they pertain directly to the relationship of personal trust which exists between a student and his or her faculty sponsor; they are also fundamental to the development of the student’s intellectual and moral integrity. Therefore, the University adopts the following policy:

  1. The University recognizes the central role of sponsored research in fostering educational opportunities for students at all levels and in every discipline and encourages the involvement of students in research projects. On rare occasions, the terms of a research agreement may contain limitations which may inhibit the participation of students, such as delays in publication of results which might conflict with a student’s academic schedule. In such cases, the University requires that careful consideration be given to the appropriateness of student participation and that the Faculty Sponsor or Principal Investigator assures in advance that students are fully aware of any such restrictions.
  2. The University affirms the student’s right to know the source(s) of financial support for his or her educational and living expenses, individual research projects, or the research activities of a faculty sponsor in which the student is involved and from which the student obtains financial support. It is the responsibility of the faculty sponsor to make this information known to the student.
  3. Should a student choose to reject financial assistance, the University affirms and upholds the student’s right to do so.

(Source: Almanac, October 21, 1986, Volume 33, No. 09)