Research Compliance Committees

MIT is entrusted with protecting the safety of the MIT community and the world beyond MIT as it conducts critical research and teaching according to the highest ethical standards and in compliance with relevant laws and MIT policies. 

Four compliance committees – the Committee on Animal Care, the Committee on Assessment of Biohazards and Embryonic Stem Cell Research Oversight, the Committee on the Use of Humans as Experimental Subjects, and the Committee on Radiation Protection – are committed to ensure the safe, lawful and ethical operation of MIT’s research activities in their respective areas of expertise. 

Below is information regarding each committee. At their websites you will find information about each committee’s members and staff, the scope of the committee’s responsibilities, the policies under which the committee operates, and contacts for further guidance and information.

  • The purpose of the Committee on Animal Care is to ensure humane treatment of animals used in experimentation, to reduce animal use by encouraging alternative ways of conducting research, and to support research which benefits both humans and animals through compassionate and health-promoting care of experimental animals.

  • The Committee on Assessment of Biohazards and Stem Cell Research Oversight reviews research involving potential health and safety problems associated with biological research including:    

    • recombinant DNA technologies and synthetic nucleic acids
    • human, animal or plant pathogens including prions
    • primary human cells, tissues or materials
    • established human cell lines
    • human embryonic stem (hES) cells and induced pluripotent (iPS) stem cells
    • use of biological agents at BL1 or greater including viral vectors
    • nanoparticle-based nucleic acid or drug delivery systems
  • The Committee on the Use of Humans as Experimental Subjects is responsible for reviewing every research project utilizing humans as research subjects, and for devising effective procedures to ensure the adequate review of all protocols. Its principal role is to determine whether subjects used in any research project are protected against undue risk and to ensure that their rights, privileges, and privacy are protected.

  • The Committee on Radiation Protection is responsible for the establishment and continuing review of an adequate radiation protection program at the Institute and its off-campus sites. The committee is also responsible for the Institute's compliance with radiation protection regulations promulgated by state, federal, and local agencies.