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Environmental Health & Safety

37 Dewey Field Road
Suite 6216
Hanover, NH 03755-3529
Phone: (603) 646-1762
Fax: (603) 646-2622

Principal Investigator Responsibilities

All institutions that receive NIH funding for research involving recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules must comply with the NIH Guidelines.  Researchers at institutions that are subject to the NIH Guidelines must comply with the requirements even if their own projects are not funded by NIH.


Helpful Links:

NIH brochure explaining Principal Investigator Responsibilities
NIH Guidelines' Excerpt of Principal Investigator Responsibilities

Dartmouth College Principal Investigators are expected to conduct research in compliance with federal regulations and according to the institutional policies on the Responsible Conduct of Research. 

PI responsibilities include:

  • Registering biological research activities with the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) prior to commencement
  • Providing laboratory research staff with protocols describing potential biohazards and necessary precautions.
  • Instructing and training laboratory staff in: (i) the practices and techniques required to ensure safety, and (ii) the procedures for dealing with accidents.
  • Informing the laboratory staff of the reasons and provisions for any precautionary medical practices advised or requested (e.g., vaccinations or serum collection).
  • Supervising laboratory staff to ensure that the required safety practices and techniques are employed.
  • Correcting work errors and conditions that may result in the release of recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid materials.
  • Ensuring the integrity of physical containment (e.g., biological safety cabinets) and biological containment (e.g., host-vector systems that preclude survival of the agent outside the laboratory).
  • Complying with permit and shipping requirements for recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules.
  • Adhering to Institutional Biosafety Committee-approved emergency plans for handling accidental spills and personnel contamination.

Last Updated: 10/25/17