Handbook for Research
Section V: Research Training and Supervision

Supervision by Department Chair/Center Director and Principal Investigator

All clinical and basic research activities require approval by the Department Chair/Center Director, who is responsible for all investigations in his/her Department. In monitoring data collection, reporting, etc, the Chair/Director should be alert to practices that interfere with the ability to meet scientific or ethical standards. The Chair /Director should be willing to discuss issues with both new and senior scientists and should encourage them to seek his or her help in resolving problems.

Given the complexity and highly specialized nature of many research endeavors, the principal investigator who originates and develops a specific program must bear the responsibility for the conduct of all individuals working within that program. This requires continual, detailed monitoring. Principal investigators who cannot be readily available should assign each trainee or junior investigator to a knowledgeable senior supervisor. The tasks of the principal investigator, or such an appropriate designee, include:

Ensuring that the trainee understands the work at an appropriate level and is conducting the relevant experiments in a proper manner;

Frequent review of all primary data and assessment of compliance with the required practices of the recording, analysis and storage of data;

Closely monitoring adherence to the institutional guidelines for research involving human subjects and animals;

Assessing each individual's contribution to projects that involve more than one trainee or junior researcher;

Supervising adherence to required publication practices associated with presentation of data and attributions. Manuscripts should be carefully reviewed with each co-author and preferably also with a knowledgeable individual from outside the group.

Open discussion of methods and results among laboratory personnel, which is a deterrent to dishonesty, should be strongly encouraged. However, since public disclosure of raw data with as yet unclear implications can cause embarrassment and may interfere with the creative process, scientists are entitled to an initial period of privacy.