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The Office of Grants & Foundation Relations is responsible for ensuring that faculty, staff, and students involved with federal grants comply with all necessary federal regulations.


The following policies are based on federal guidelines.

Animal Care and Use in Research and Training 

All research involving vertebrate animals must be approved by the College's Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) prior to initiation. Contact the chair of the IACUC, Chris Wallace

Research Involving Human Subjects

All research involving human subjects bust be approved by the College's Institutional Review Board prior to initiation.

Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI) for Externally Funded Research 

This Policy and Training Plan cover financial conflicts that may arise as a result of federally funded research. All Principal Investigators must fill out this FCOI disclosure form 1) prior to proposal submission and 2) annually. In addition, they must complete FCOI training every four years.

Research Safety and Ethics Policy

Whitman College is strongly committed to ensuring that all research conducted by Whitman faculty, staff, and students is held to the highest standards of ethics and safety. The policy outlines the College's research ethics policies as well as the procedure for handling allegations of research misconduct. Any student who is conducting research on the Whitman campus must complete research ethics training.

NSF/NIH Sexual Harassment Policy

This Policy ensures that Whitman College is in compliance with the sexual harassment guidelines and reporting procedures for Principal Investigators and Co-Principal Investigators on NSF and NIH grants.

Genetically Modified Organisms/Recombinant DNA.

If required by the funding agency, protocols for research conducted by faculty and/or students using Genetically Modified Organisms/Recombinant DNA must be approved by the Whitman Institutional Biosafety Committee. Not all funding agencies require institutional approval, and it is up to the applicant to determine whether his or her experiments require approval. Most federal agencies use the National Institutes of Health guidelines, which can be found at https://osp.od.nih.gov/biotechnology/nih-guidelines/

If research involves recombinant DNA: 

a. Look at the required forms in the grant application. Is there one that mentions recombinant DNA safety or approval?
b. If there's a box to check for recombinant DNA safety, contact that agency to see what you need to do.
c. Peruse the NIH recombinant DNA rules carefully to see if your experiments are exempt from any restrictions, note what exemptions apply, and make copies of those exemptions for your files. Determine whether your experiments are exempt from institutional biosafety approval.
d. If a funding agency requires biosafety committee approval, contact Rachna Sinnott (sinnotrs@whitman.edu or x5990) for guidance.


Responsible Conduct of Research

Required for:

  • All students conducting federally-funded research

Training Components:

  • Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI Program) Online Course - The Responsible Conduct of Research Course
    • Log into citiprogram.org, and create username and password
    • Affiliate yourself with Whitman College
    • Complete RCR course (discuss with your faculty mentor which course is most appropriate for you-usually it is either biomedical or physical sciences)
    • Print out certificate of completion and submit to Rachna Sinnott (sinnotrs@whitman.edu or x5990)

Timing of Completion:

  • The CITI training must be completed before beginning research in the lab


  • The certification will be valid until graduation

Whitman College will host periodic on-campus research ethics seminars that all students doing research will be strongly encouraged to attend. Announcements of upcoming seminars will be posted on the grants website.

Financial Conflict of Interest

Required for:

  • All principal investigators on federal grants

Training Components:

  • Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI Program) Online Course - Conflict of Interest Basic Course
    • Log into citiprogram.org, and create username and password
    • Affiliate yourself with Whitman College
    • Complete Conflicts of Interest Basic Course
    • Print out certificate of completion and submit to Rachna Sinnott (sinnotrs@whitman.edu or x5990)

Timing of Completion:

  • The CITI FCOI training must be completed before beginning research in the lab
  • The FCOI form must be completed prior to grant submission


  • Every 4 years
  • Following the revision of the College's financial conflict of interest policy

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If you have any questions about these policies and training information, please contact Rachna Sinnott (sinnotrs@whitman.edu or x5990).

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