Many offices and programs across Columbia University provide resources and guidance on conducting research, from clinical trials to sponsored projects to compliance and training.
Office of the Executive Vice President for Research
The Executive Vice President for Research, reporting directly to the President of Columbia University, has overall responsibility for the University's research enterprise, encompassing a broad spectrum of research departments, institutes, and centers in the natural and biomedical sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities. Columbia has a long and distinguished history of discovery of new knowledge. The Office of the Executive Vice President for Research works to foster the continuation of those creative endeavors and to promote an environment that sustains the highest standards of scholarship, health, and safety.
The mission of the Clinical Trials Office is to facilitate quality clinical trial research―the effective and efficient evaluation of new pharmaceuticals and medical devices―by providing the Columbia University Irving Medical Center research community with comprehensive administrative services that help move trials quickly from initial proposal through contract execution. This office assists with trials supported by federal and foundation grants and by industry contracts, including investigator-initiated trials.
Sponsored Projects Administration
The Office of Sponsored Projects Administration serves as a central resource to support the research community at Columbia University by providing guidance and stewardship for the researchers and administrators on all campuses. Its mission is to provide administrative support to investigators in their pursuit of research and other scholarly activities while ensuring compliance with federal, University, and private sponsor regulations, terms, and conditions. This office operates through delegation of authority from the University Board of Trustees as a unit of the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research.
Sponsored Projects Finance
Columbia University is obliged to comply with a myriad of regulations imposed by federal sponsors and others who provide financial support for conducting research, training, public service, and other programs, as well as support for student financial aid. The function of Sponsored Projects Finance is to be knowledgeable of, and to monitor changes in, those regulations; to make those engaged in carrying out the various programs aware of the regulations; to work with various offices within the University to ensure that appropriate systems are in place to satisfy the regulations; and to monitor compliance.
With many millions of dollars in sponsored projects, the vast majority provided by federal sponsors, such as the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, the risk of a disallowance of even a small portion of those funds would have a significant impact on the financial well-being of the University. A primary mission of Sponsored Projects Finance, therefore, is to work together with principal investigators and their delegates to ensure that funds received from sponsors to carry out the important work of the University are used in accordance with the terms and conditions of those awards.
Human Research Protection Program and Institutional Review Boards
Columbia University's Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) and Institutional Review Boards are responsible for ensuring that all human research studies conducted by Columbia faculty, employees, and staff are done ethically and in a manner that promotes the protection of the research participants. In accordance with institutional policy, all such research must not only be in compliance with state and federal regulations, but also must meet or exceed the standards of accreditation as set forth by the Association for Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs.
HRPP is composed of all entities, offices, and individuals engaged in and/or responsible for the review and conduct of human research at Columbia University (CU) and New York-Presbyterian Hospital (NYPH). CU has two Federalwide Assurances (FWAs): one for Columbia University Irving Medical Center and one for the main campus at Morningside. NYPH has its own FWA and is a separate legal entity from CU. Although these are three separate legal entities, one HRPP is responsible for all human research conducted at any of these three locations or by their faculty, employees, or staff, regardless of location.
Environmental Health and Safety
The Environmental Health and Safety Office provides expert guidance and timely service to the University community through its commitment to health and safety. By employing best practices and collaboration and building long-term relationships, this office promotes a productive and safety-conscious work environment.
Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee
The Columbia University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (login required) acknowledges the extensive medical advancements that are the direct result of animal research. This committee provides guidance to the scientific community in fulfilling the obligation to conduct animal research with the highest scientific, humane, and ethical principles.
Research Compliance and Training
As one of the preeminent research institutions in the country, Columbia University is dedicated to the highest standards of research integrity. The Office of Research Compliance and Training has information about offices and departments at Columbia with responsibility and oversight for various elements of research, as well as external entities. Additional information includes University policies and government guidelines that govern the research enterprise and resources for education and training.
The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs serves the needs of Columbia University's postdoctoral research scientists, scholars, and fellows. The office's mission is to enhance the educational and training experiences of the postdoctoral officers and serve as an information repository and liaison among postdocs, faculty, and administrators.