Trinity College, primarily an undergraduate teaching institution, recognizes that scholarly activities enhance the teaching enterprise. Trinity supports a wide variety of research and scholarship by faculty members; it also encourages and supports research efforts by students both independently and in collaboration with faculty.
The College provides leaves for faculty members at specific intervals so that they may concentrate on particular scholarly projects. Additionally, the Faculty Research Committee provides modest grants for summer research activities and for faculty research leaves. The Grants Office assists faculty with preparation of grant proposals for federal, state, and private agencies. The College encourages research on all subjects and refrains from any kind of institutional judgment or censorship. The quality of the research is judged solely by professional standards.
Faculty members who wish to submit grant proposals are strongly urged to contact the Grants Office as soon as possible, but no less than two weeks from a funder’s deadline, to discuss their work. Faculty are also expected to discuss applications with their department chair(s) prior to submission.
All grant proposals that 1.) designate the College as the recipient of sponsored project funding or 2.) require matching funds from the College are subject to an internal, pre-submission review via the internal transmittal form.
The internal transmittal form is the vehicle for collecting written approval for any and all grant submissions or letters of intent to apply. The form must be signed and submitted to the director of faculty grants at least 10 business days before the grant deadline.
Faculty members who are awarded grants are required to file all interim and final reports in a timely manner. In addition, they are required to adhere to the approved expenditure of budget funds. While some flexibility is often allowed between budget categories, it is imperative that all activities related to the grant be carried out in a manner that will sustain the reputation of the individual and the College. See more about reporting here.
The federal government requires Trinity College to establish a financial disclosure policy and training program for principal investigators (PIs) and project directors (PDs) conducting federally funded research. This requirement is designed to ensure appropriate management of actual or potential conflicts of interest. Additionally, PI/PDs on NIH proposals are required to be trained in the College’s Financial Disclosure policy. This training is strongly recommended for those receiving funding from other organizations as well. Please consult the Faculty Manual where the Financial Conflict of Interest is located in Section A.7. For more information and contact the director of faculty grants to schedule training.
Trinity College is committed to maintaining a climate conducive to intellectual inquiry and scholarship within the College community. Faculty members are expected to conduct their research carefully and with the highest integrity. The College requires compliance with the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health policies on Responsible Conduct of Research. These government entities require RCR training for anyone conducting research (undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and PI/PDs, paid or unpaid). Many other funding agencies require the completion RCR training. The College currently subscribes to the CITI online training program which satisfies the requirements of many funders, including NSF. Here are the new CITI instructions. For more information, please speak with the director of faculty grants to identify adequate training resources.
Trinity College has a policy for the review of alleged unethical research practices. To view this policy and a list of infractions, please see Appendix 6 of the Faculty Manual.
The College has two committees which handle internal approvals for research with animals and human subjects. The Institutional Review Board (IRB) reviews and evaluates faculty and student research that involves the collection of information from human participants. The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) oversees the institution’s animal program, facilities, and procedures. Both committees include external professionals not affiliated with the College.
All major equipment acquired by the College, regardless of the source of funding, remains the possession of the institution, unless otherwise negotiated with the dean of the faculty. Decisions concerning individual cases will be handled as they arise.
Occasionally, grant opportunities arise that pose unique problems regarding dissemination of knowledge or free inquiry. In these situations, i.e., restricted research, each case will be examined by the director of faculty grants, the dean of the faculty, and, if necessary, the general counsel before internal approval is granted.
Technology transfer refers to the transfer of scientific findings between organizations for the purposes of development and research. Where a technology transfer agreement is necessary, the College uses a standard form developed by the Association of University Technology Managers and found here.
For more information, please refer to Appendix 9 of the Faculty Manual.
The College complies with all federal regulations and has the following assurances filed with DHHS: civil rights, misconduct in science, handicapped individuals, sex discrimination, age discrimination, drug-free workplace.
NSF’s new PAPPG (Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide), effective for proposals due on or after January 30, 2023, requires proposers with off-campus or off-site work, to certify that they have a plan in place for creating and maintaining a Safe and Inclusive Working Environments for Off-Campus and Off-Site Research for that project.
The NSF defines “off-campus or off-site research” as follows:
“Off-campus or off-site research” is defined as data/information/samples being collected off-campus or off-site, such as fieldwork, and research activities on vessels and aircraft. Each proposing organization must determine whether the proposed work is considered off-campus or off-site. This does not include off-campus or off-site research being done for education or outreach.
Before grant seekers planning to do off-site work submit applications to the NSF, they must complete Trinity’s Plan for Safe & Inclusive Off-Site Research.