Checklist for Investigators Leaving the University

Investigators leaving the University should consult with the relevant administrator(s) for their school and department to plan the relocation. Contact the Office of Research if you need assistance in identifying these individuals.

Download checklist for Investigators Leaving the University of Pittsburgh.

General Procedures for Closing Laboratories

  • Transfer data and related records to the University as described in the Guidelines on Research Data Management at http://www.provost.pitt.edu/documents/RDM_Guidelines.pdf.
  • Develop an inventory of remaining chemical substances. Dispose of all unwanted chemicals through the Department of Environmental Health and Safety’s (EH&S) Chemical Waste program at http://ehs.pitt.edu or (412) 624-9505. Prior to transferring any usable chemicals to internal colleagues, forward the comprehensive chemical inventory to EH&S for review. Highly toxic materials, peroxide forming chemicals, and chemicals which are on the Department of Homeland Security’s Chemicals of Interest list (https://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/chemsec_appendixa-chemicalofinterestlist.pdf) should not be transferred.
  • EH&S must be contacted for the disposal of chemicals before separating from the University. Once the faculty member has separated from the University, the respective department will be charged for chemical disposal costs.
  • An online request for moving or relocating laboratory equipment must be submitted to Surplus Property at http://www.cfo.pitt.edu/1click/ . Prior to relocation, equipment scheduled for delivery to Surplus Property or another laboratory must be cleaned and disinfected according to protocols listed in the EH&S Safety Manual.
  • Countertops, chemical fume hoods, and any other potentially contaminated surfaces in the vacated laboratory must be cleaned. All waste must be properly discarded. EH&S can provide further details about the required procedures.
  • Biological safety cabinets must be decontaminated by a qualified vendor prior to being moved. Laboratory personnel are NOT permitted to perform or certify the decontamination of a biological safety cabinet (BSC) that is being moved. A qualified vendor must be contacted to conduct and document the decontamination process of the BSC prior to moving the BSC or closing the lab. Vendor documentation of decontamination will be requested by Surplus Property or other moving personnel prior to moving the BSC.
  • A formal decommissioning plan must be developed with EH&S prior to vacating a BSL-3 laboratory.
  • Remove regulators from all compressed gas cylinders, replace the protective cap, and ensure proper labeling of each cylinder. Contact the gas distributor to have the gas cylinders removed.

DEA Controlled Substances

  • DEA controlled substances must not be abandoned or left behind. The abandonment of DEA controlled substances is a violation of federal law.
  • All DEA controlled substances must be properly disposed through a reverse distributor prior to separating from the University. EH&S must be contacted in advance to initiate disposal procedures. The quarterly controlled substance collection schedule is available at the EH&S web site (http://www.ehs.pitt.edu).
  • While the transfer of DEA controlled substances from one licensed investigator to another is discouraged, it is permissible. The investigator wishing to transfer controlled substance(s) must have a currently active DEA license and must first contact the Pittsburgh DEA Field Office at 412-777-1870 to ensure that all required transfer documentation is obtained. The receiving investigator must also have a currently active DEA license that permits the storage and use of the particular controlled substances(s) being transferred.

Radiation-Producing Devices and Materials

  • If there is any radiation-labeled work areas (e.g. room, bench) or equipment (e.g. freezer, centrifuge, liquid scintillation counter, fume hood) the Radiation Safety Office must be contacted for final survey and de-certification.
  • If any radiation-emitting equipment (e.g., x-ray device) will be removed, relocated, or discarded, the Radiation Safety Office (412) 624-2728 must be notified.
  • If any radioactive material is stored in the laboratory, the Radiation Safety Office must be contacted, to coordinate its removal, transfer, or disposal.
  • If any departing personnel hold Access Cards to secured areas containing radiation-emitting devices (e.g., gamma irradiators, gamma knife), the Radiation Safety Office must be informed of the individual’s departure. Access Cards cannot be transferred to another investigator; they must be returned to the Radiation Safety Office upon departure of the initially assigned holder.

Studies Using Animal Subjects

All Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) protocols for which the departing investigator is designated the Principal Investigator (PI) must be terminated, or an alternate PI should be designated via a protocol modification form. The IACUC Office (412) 383-2008 can provide further details about these procedures.

  • Prior to terminating IACUC protocols, all animals assigned to those protocols must be euthanized as specified in the protocol, transferred to another investigator’s protocol, or exported to the institution to where the PI is relocating. Animals can only be transferred if they have not, as yet, undergone manipulation, or the recipient protocol specifies the same manipulation procedures as the original protocol. If the animal is a proprietary model, which the University purchased or received from a third party, check with the Office of Research  (412) 624-7400 to determine whether the University can transfer the animals to a third party. To transfer animals within University of Pittsburgh laboratories, the PI must download and complete an “Animal Transfer and Movement Approval Form” and submit it to transfer@dlar.pitt.edu. To export rodents to another institution, the PI must download  and complete a “Rodent Import/Export Application” and submit it to import@dlar.pitt.edu. For further information regarding the transfer or export of animals, contact the Division of Laboratory Animal Resources (DLAR). 
  • If any departing personnel hold Access Cards to secure animal housing facilities, the DLAR must be informed of the individual’s departure. Access cards cannot be transferred to another investigator; they must be returned to the DLAR upon departure of the initially assigned holder.

Studies Using Recombinant DNA

All protocols approved by the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) for which the departing investigator is designated as the PI must be terminated, or an alternate PI should be designated via a protocol modification form. The IBC Office can provide further details about these procedures. Contact the IBC Office (412) 383-1768.

Studies Using Human Subjects

  • PIs leaving the institution are responsible for notifying the Human Research Protection Office (412) 383-1480 well in advance of their departure so that arrangements can be made to either close the study or name another appropriately qualified individual currently at the institution to serve as the PI.
  • Tissue transfer must be carried out as described in the “Management and Use of Human Biological Materials for Research Purposes”.
  • Research drug supplies should be disposed of as indicated by the sponsor of the study. If no such agreement exists, the investigator should contact the Investigational Drug Service for instructions on drug disposition.

Studies Conducted Under a University-based, Sponsor-Investigator Investigational New Drug (IND) or Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) Application

If the departing investigator is currently the sponsor of an IND or IDE application, the application should either be withdrawn (if clinical studies being conducted under the application have been completed or will be terminated) or transferred to another University investigator (if clinical studies being conducted under the application will continue at the University). The Office for Investigator-Sponsored IND and IDE Support (O3IS) (412) 383-1502 can provide further detail about these procedures.

Studies Approved by the Human Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee (hSCRO)

All hSCRO-approved protocols, including protocols that do not require Committee approval, for which the departing investigator is designated the PI must be terminated, or an alternate PI should be designated via a protocol modification form. The hSCRO Office (412) 383-1768 can provide further details about these procedures.

Fiscal Matters

With respect to all fiscal matters, and research grant and contract matters arising from the departure of an investigator and the potential need to notify sponsors of a change in PI, the department research administrator should contact the Office of Research (412) 624-7400 to complete necessary paperwork. The Office of Research will also assist with any needed Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs) to transfer University research materials. No University research materials may be taken to a new institution without an approved MTA in place. Permission of Chair or Institute Director is required for the relinquishment of any grants, or the transfer of any data, equipment or materials.

All hSCRO-approved protocols, including protocols that do not require Committee approval, for which the departing investigator is designated the PI must be terminated, or an alternate PI should be designated via a protocol modification form. The hSCRO Office (412) 383-1768 can provide further details about these procedures.

Intellectual Property and Rights in Data

  • For investigators with invention disclosures, patent applications in prosecution or those receiving proceeds from licensing of intellectual property, please contact the Innovation Institute (412) 383-7670 to provide contact information and a point of contact for the technology transfer office at the new institution.
  • The University of Pittsburgh retains ownership of the research data generated by University faculty. Data access, retention and transfer is addressed in the University of Pittsburgh Guidelines on Research Data Management document.
  • For information on transferring copies of data, the department research administrator should obtain Chair or Institute Director approval and then contact the Office of Research to obtain a data use agreement when required.

Studies Registered on ClinicalTrial.gov

If the investigator has responsibility for managing ClinicalTrials.gov registration and/or reporting for a trial, the investigator must ensure these registration/reporting responsibilities are addressed or transferred appropriately. Please contact the University of Pittsburgh ClinicalTrials.gov Coordinator for guidance on this matter at CTgov@pitt.edu.

version 9.8.2017