Compliance and Integrity

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, under the supervision of the Vice-President of Administration and External Affairs, oversees several administrative areas related to research integrity and compliance.

  • Human Research Protections Program (HRPP)
  • Animal Care and Use Program (ACUP)
  • Research Laboratory Safety (Safety)
  • Export Controls (Exports)
  • Responsible Conduct in Research (RCR)
  • Conflict of Interest in Research (COIR)

The ORSP's goal is to facilitate safe and ethical research, building a culture of compliance and shared responsibility for these areas. Click on the links to access Institutional policy, procedure, or more information.


Animal Care and Use Program (ACUP)

WVSOM is committed to working with animal subjects in an ethical manner. Any research proposal that uses vertebrate animals or animal tissue must have the protocol approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).

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Human Research Protections Program (HRPP)

Before any research projects with human subjects can proceed, an Institutional Review Board (IRB) must approve any research project involving the use of human subjects.

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Laboratory Safety

Principal Investigators (PIs) are responsible for ensuring the use of safe practices by all personnel in their labs, as well as training personnel on lab specific practices.

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Export Control

It is important to understand that export control laws may apply to any shipment, transmission or transfer of physical items, information, or technology outside of the United States.

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Research Integrity

Responsible Conduct of Research

WVSOM recognizes the value of responsible conduct of research as it pertains to scientific inquiry and public confidence.  WVSOM has policy and procedure in place to ensure the responsible conduct of research by its employees and students.  This policy and procedures is in compliance with the Public Health Services Policy on Research Misconduct (42 CFR 93).  For more information, please see the links below.

WVSOM participates in the ORI Assurance Program and submits an annual report to the ORI.

Conflict of Interest in Research

WVSOM strives to maintain the highest levels of research integrity.  Sometimes, potential or actual conflicts of interest arise during the course of research.  WVSOM is committed to ensuring such conflicts are identified and addressed appropriately.  Below is information related to WVSOM's policy and procedure, as well as the required training and form.

  • WVSOM Institutional Policy R-04 (Conflict of Interest in Research)
  • WVSOM Procedure for Conflict of Interest in Research
  • All personnel on a research project (including students) MUST complete the CITI Conflict of Interest Training PRIOR to initiating work on the project
    • To complete the CITI training, log into CITI and navigate to your courses (be sure you are affiliated with WVSOM)
    • If you need to add the COIR course, navigate to the bottom of the screen and choose "Add a course".  Add the COIR course in the next screen.
  • All personnel on a research project (including students) MUST complete a Financial Conflict of Interest Disclosure PRIOR to initiating work on the project
    • If you are an employee or student of WVSOM, complete the FID online through
    • Once logged in, navigate to "Research Conflict of Interest" and complete the form.
    • If you are an affiliate of WVSOM, you will need to complete the ORSP-6 form and submit it to the ORSP.
    • Financial interest disclosures must be updated at least annually, or within 30 days of a newly acquired or discovered potential disclosure.
    • Contact Peter Feltman with any questions about the forms.
Whistleblower Protections

Public Law 114-261 enhances whistleblower protections for employees of federal contractors and grantees.  As a recipient of Federal grants, WVSOM is subject to this law and the corresponding Statute (41 U.S.C. § 4712). The Statute states that an “employee of a contractor, subcontractor, grantee [or subgrantee] may not be discharged, demoted, or otherwise discriminated against as a reprisal for ‘whistleblowing.’” In addition, whistleblower protections cannot be waived by any agreement, policy, form, or condition of employment. Whistleblowing is the process or reporting any evidence of the following:

  • Gross mismanagement of a federal contract or grant;
  • A gross waste of federal funds;
  • An abuse of authority relating to a federal contract or grant:
  • A substantial and specific danger to public health or safety; or
  • A violation of law, rule, or regulation related to a federal contract or grant (including the competition for, or negotiation of, a contract or grant.

You cannot be dismissed, demoted or discriminated against for good-faith reporting of such issues, if disclosed to the following:

  • A Member of Congress, or a representative of a Congressional committee;
  • An Inspector General;
  • The Government Accountability Office;
  • A federal employee responsible for contract or grant oversight or management at the relevant agency (in this case, HHS);
  • An official from the Department of Justice, or other law enforcement agency;
  • A court or grand jury; or,
  • A management official or other employee of the contractor, subcontractor, grantee, or sub-grantee who has the responsibility to investigate, discover or address misconduct

A person who believes they have been subjected to reprisal for a protected action may submit a complaint to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the federal agency that issued the grant or contract (in this case, HHS). Complaints must be filed no more than three years after the date on which the alleged reprisal took place. Procedures for submitting fraud, waste, abuse, and whistleblower complaints are generally accessible on agency Office of Inspector General Hotline or Whistleblower Internet sites. A reporting tool to identify and link directly to the OIG with jurisdiction over the complaint is available at

Please also note that, as State employees, WVSOM employees are also protected by WV State Law regarding Whistle Blowing: W. Va. Code § 6C-1 et seq. Also, see WVSOM Policies R-03, R-04, R-05, and GA-14, the WVSOM Employee Handbook, and this WVSOM webpage, for information on officials with the responsibility for investigating, discovering, or addressing issues described above.

PI Responsibilities
  1. Oversight and management of the project and all personnel, including ensuring compliance with federal regulations and WVSOM policy.
  2. Ensuring all personnel are appropriately trained prior to them assisting with the research
  3. Oversight of the budget, ensuring no budget overages, and ensuring expenditures are in compliance with WVSOM policies.
  4. Ensuring safe laboratory practices.
  5. Ensuring responsible conduct of research.
  6. Ensuring ethical treatment of all subjects, animal and human.
  7. Ensuring open and consistent communication with the ORSP.



Cindy White
Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
Administrative Assistant


Jill Cochran, PhD, APRN, CFNP
Associate Professor, Clinical Science
IRB Chair

Peter Feltman, MS
Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
Research Integrity and Compliance Administrator
(304) 647-6284


Dave Brown, PhD
Professor Emeritus, Biomedical Sciences

Linda Boyd, DO
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean
Institutional Official


Dovenia Ponnoth, PhD
Associate Dean, Research and Sponsored Programs
Conflict of Interest Officer


Dovenia Ponnoth, PhD
Associate Dean, Research and Sponsored Programs
Conflict of Interest Officer


Peter Feltman
Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
Research Integrity and Compliance Administrator

Matt Carver
Institutional Facilities
Safety Compliance Officer


Dovenia Ponnoth, PhD
Associate Dean, Research and Sponsored Programs
Export Control Compliance Officer