As part of its research mission, the University of South Carolina finds solutions to today’s challenges and generates opportunities for tomorrow. Our classrooms and laboratories serve as centers for learning and discovery. We provide an environment that is conducive for education to grow knowledge and research to develop new innovations. Knowledge flourishes in this environment when faculty, students and staff can safely engage in their work. This requires safe physical space and a community that encourages open dialogue and transparency.
A primary responsibility of UofSC’s leadership team is to uphold a culture of safety by ensuring a safe environment for our researchers, students and the communities we serve. The Office of Research is an active partner in the university’s safety program and works closely with Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) on matters related to research safety. The EH&S Research Safety Programs oversee activities to promote biological safety, chemical safety and radiation safety in research laboratories. Guided by the tenets of ethical and responsible conduct of research, the Office of Research is proactive in its continuous support of the university health and safety infrastructure. The Office of Research encourages all faculty to enhance the teaching and learning environment by integrating research and laboratory safety into the educational experience of undergraduate and graduate students.
Within the Office of Research division, the Office of Research Compliance unit is responsible for ensuring that UofSC adheres to regulations that intersect with research safety, including those involving laboratory animals, human subjects and biosafety. In addition, the Vice President for Research serves on the Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Executive Oversight Committee which provides a top-down approach in identifying significant risks to the organization, including those related to research and laboratory safety. Through ERM, UofSC seeks to identify and mitigate risks that may be encountered during the pursuit of its mission.
Safety is a critical component of research. The Office of Research is steadfast in its commitment to lead the UofSC community in the shared responsibility of conducting research that is safe and ethical. The Office of Research also encourages all faculty and students to conduct risk assessments for research and laboratory activities and to voice safety questions or concerns, including appropriate reporting on any research or laboratory incidents or near-misses which can be analyzed to help prevent future recurrences.
The VPR supports faculty and student adherence to established research and laboratory safety policies, procedures, and guidelines. For more information and comprehensive guidance on research and laboratory safety, please visit the UofSC Research and Laboratory Safety website.