University Research Policy

The University Research Policy is set forth in the Wayne State University Statute 2.41.01 -

The purpose of this statute is to establish research policy for Wayne State University so that the development and extension of knowledge through research is recognized as being among the basic purposes of the University. Both fundamental and developmental research play essential and vital roles in the University.

To the extent that the right of the individual investigator in the selection of subject matter of research does not conflict with the stated goals of the University to have research that adequately reflects the scholarly interests of faculty, that right should be cherished and protected. Rights and responsibilities are inseparable, and the right to select subject matter of research brings to the individual investigators intellectual, academic, and moral responsibilities. Rather than negative and censorial, any action taken by the University related to the subject matter of research should be positive and constructive in character, such as the identification of areas of research which should be encouraged at the University, and the adoption of positive measures to foster such research.

The following principles deal with methods of research and the freedom to disseminate results, and not to subject matter: 

  • University-based research ideally involves students. The further removed that research is from learning and training opportunities for students, whether because of sponsor-imposed restrictions or because of other reasons, the less desirable is that research for the University.
  • Classified research, that is any research placed under restrictions that prevent it from being freely described and its results openly published in the traditional manner, shall be excluded.  This provision may be waived in a national emergency, and then only in circumstances that require University participation. A sponsor, upon request, may have the privilege of reviewing a report of the results of an investigation prior to publication, but publication delays beyond 90 days are not acceptable.
  • In all research programs accepted by the University, respect for the dignity of human beings and the humane treatment of research animals must be assured.
  • The source of sponsorship and the purpose of the research must be of such a nature that they can be publicly disclosed and must be a matter of public record.  The public record should include an abstract that clearly delineates the purposes and nature of the sponsored research in terms understandable to the informed layman.
  • In considering the appropriateness of WSU’s accepting a grant or contract from a governmental, private, or philanthropic source, the sponsoring agency should not be a deciding factor.

The Role Of Consulting By Faculty Members

One of the primary functions of the University is the dissemination of the knowledge of its faculty members. The University should encourage the practice of faculty members consulting in the areas of their competence. It should also be recognized that such activity results in additional benefits to the University such as the broadening of the faculty members’ range of experience and an increased understanding of each other by the University and the community. The resources of the University can thus be brought to bear more effectively on the problems of the larger society.

The University should not place arbitrary restrictions on consulting activities if they do not interfere with the performance of a faculty member’s other University responsibilities. It should be assured that:

  • Such activity is not in serious conflict with the quality of the faculty member’s other scholarly activities such as teaching, research, and individual consultation with students. It is recommended that faculty not average more than one day a week in consulting activities while classes are in session.
  • University resources are not utilized in such activities to an extent exceeding that which would normally be made available to the general public.
  • The faculty member does not explicitly or implicitly suggest that he/she represents the University or any unit of the University without authorization to do so.
  • The University is made fully aware of the nature and extent of the faculty member’s outside activity by reporting such activity to the University through his/her immediate academic superior.
  • Such activity does not give rise to situations involving a conflict of interest between consulting activities and the University or agencies sponsoring research at the University.


-- updated April, 2011