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Before Starting Research

When getting prepared to begin your research for your thesis or dissertation, you should be aware of resources on campus that can assist you in navigating the federal regulations around research activities and help you avoid issues around copyright. Knowing your obligations and opportunities in the early stages can keep you from unnecessary delays or unfortunate conflicts during your dissertation process or afterwards.

Research Approval

The federal government regulates research activities involving human subjects, animal subjects, radiological materials, and biological materials. Researchers at UT should gain approval with the following committees before engaging in such research activities:

Visit the Office of Research Integrity for an overview of these areas as well as campus compliance and safety committees.

All faculty and students who will be conducting any research involving human subjects research must complete the online training course in IRB/Human Subjects Research prior to submitting their protocol to ORE. If you have questions
regarding IRB/Human Subjects research, you may email or call 865-974-7697.

Export Control

Another federally regulated activity is the export of goods, technologies, and information in sensitive areas. An example is the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITARs) administered by the U.S. Department of State. The Office of Research and Engagement has developed an online training course in Export Control. Contact Dairin Malkemus at 865-974- 0232 or to schedule a session.

Research Ethics

ORE has partnered with the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) program to allow UT-affiliated researchers the opportunity to participate in online research ethics education for the following subjects:

  • IRB/Human Subjects Research
  • Responsible Conduct of Research
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Export Control

Research is a vital component of graduate study, regardless of whether students are enrolled in a degree program that requires a thesis or dissertation.

Publishing Best Practices

A thesis or dissertation is a publication, and must comply with best practices for publishing scholarly research. The University of Tennessee Libraries have prepared a graduate student toolkit which includes information and links to other helpful resources on their site. These resources show you how to comply with best practices and to help you when entering agreements with publishers that may conflict with the public nature of the thesis/dissertation at UT. The following pages at the library may be of particular interest:

  • Securing Permissions
  • Publishing Agreements

If you wish to speak with the Head of Research Impact and Open Access, contact Peter Fernandez