Chapter V: Research Environment

The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is authorized to review ethical considerations in the conduct of research. This committee is sanctioned by the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) of the Public Health Service to review, require modifications in, and approve research proposals involving animals. IACUC reviews the proper use of animals in research to ensure consistency with sound research practices, including the avoidance or minimization of discomfort, distress and pain. Mount Sinai's policies for annual review of all ongoing research protocols are consistent with OLAW requirements and regulations.

The Grants and Contracts Office (GCO) provides pre- and post-award administration of all research activities conducted at Icahn School of Medicine. The GCO administrative staff informs investigators of and monitors compliance with regulatory policies of both extramural agencies and Mount Sinai. Research activities administered through the GCO include traditional research projects, training grants, contracts, clinical trials, career awards, education, and development protocols in both basic and applied disciplines.

All research protocols must be submitted to the GCO prior to conducting the investigation. Proposals must be reviewed and approved by the Department Chairperson or Center Director before submission to the GCO. The Institutional Review Board, the Center for Comparative Medicine and Surgery, pharmacy, recombinant DNA and infectious and hazardous substances principals will have an opportunity to review and approve each proposal prior to or soon after submission. These review and endorsements serve to ensure the scientific relevance with Departmental and School mission, safety considerations, human subject and animal welfare compliance, and availability of staff, facilities, and financial resources.

When a commitment of funding is made and all administrative/intramural endorsements are finalized, the Finance Department will establish a separate fund for accountability and reporting. While the GCO is not involved in fiscal management, it does serve in an advisory capacity for preparation of budgets, transfer of funds and a multitude of other administrative concerns.

The GCO also serves as a liaison between research faculty and extramural funding agencies, government regulatory agencies, e.g. Food and Drug Administration, and the MSSM Finance Department. It transmits information to faculty on present and anticipated research programs and special announcements.

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs is a dedicated resource for postdoctoral fellows, faculty, and administrators. The Office seeks to strengthen the postdoctoral experience through such initiatives as: standardizing the appointment process; maintaining a database of current postdoctoral fellows as well as alumni; assisting in training grant applications. The Office offers seminars on responsible conduct in research and workshops on career development.