Research Ethics
at UW-Madison

Do these questions sound familiar?

Does the UW-Madison have a Code of Ethics?

In 1986, the UW System Board of Regents approved the Unclassified Staff Code of Ethics. In 1991 the UW-Madison Faculty, Senate, and Academic Staff Assembly approved Procedures for Dealing with Misconduct in Scholarly Research.

What Are the Wisconsin Reporting Requirements?

According to state regulations, faculty and staff members must report annually: The state reporting form is the UW System Faculty and Academic Staff Report on Outside Activities and Interests Form. It is due by April 30 of each year and must be filed with a department chair or other appropriate administrator.

What Are the Federal Reporting Requirements?

Principal investigators who wish to receive federal research support must annually report any significant financial interest that: A significant financial interest is: The federal reporting form is the UW-Madison Annual Investigator's Financial Disclosure Form for Federal Projects. It is due by April 30 of each year and must be filed with the department chair or other appropriate administrator.

Federal research funds cannot be expended by a principal investigator who has a conflict of interest under the federal rules until a satisfactory compliance plan is in place to manage, reduce, or eliminate the conflict. The UW-Madison Conflict of Interest Committee will assist the principal investigator to comply with federal requirements.

How Do I Comply with These Regulations?

Faculty and staff should file the state form annually by April 30. Principal investigators who wish to receive federal research support must file the federal reporting form annually by April 30. Equally important are the ongoing reporting requirements of both the state and federal conflict-of-interest regulations. Disclosure forms must be updated throughout the year if financial circumstances change so as to create an actual or apparent conflict of interest.

For additional information consult Outside Activities Reporting.

Why does the UW-Madison have a Committee on Graduate Research Ethics?

Research ethics are fundamental to all academic investigation and training. Traditionally students learned about professional and research ethics in their classes and from discussions with their advisors. To augment the efforts of advisors and teachers and to foster a greater understanding of research ethics among all scientists at UW-Madison, the committee on Graduate Training in Research Ethics was organized.

Increased interest in training graduate students about research ethics can also be traced to the NIH mandate that all NIH trainees receive training in research ethics.

NIH does not mandate a curriculum in ethics but suggests that topics in the study of research ethics might include authorship, conflict of interest, data management, use of human and animal subjects, safety, definitions of misconduct, and policies for handling misconduct.

What is the Committee on Graduate Training in Research Ethics doing?

The Committee, with the help of VCRGE, seeks to increase awareness among faculty by: To obtain case histories and references on research ethics, or to make suggestions for speakers, call the chairs of the Committee.

Do other groups on campus provide services related to research ethics?

The following organizations provide brochures, consultations, and seminars on topics related to research ethics: The Safety Department, RARC, Research and Sponsored Programs (RSP), and college committees on the use of human subjects. The General Clinical Research Center (GCRC) offers workshops on clinical trials.


Research and Sponsored Programs  262-3822
Conflict of Interest Committee  262-1224
Program in Medical Ethics  263-3414


Research Animals Resource Center  265-2697


Human Research Protections Program
Institutional Review Boards


General Safety  262-8769
Biological Safety  263-9013
Chemical Safety  262-8769
Occupational Health  262-2177
Radiation Safety  262-9178


WARF  263-2500
Research and Sponsored Programs  262-0370


Paul Treichel (Chair)  262-8828
June 1999

Research and Sponsored Programs Homepage