The IBC is responsible for:

  • Investigating potential violations of the NIH Guildelines in coordination with the BSO and ORR.
  • Reviewing protocols and amendments, including independent assessment of the containment levels required by the NIH Guidelines for the proposed research; and consideration of information provided in the protocol or by the BSO regarding facilities, procedures, practices, and training and expertise of personnel involved in the protocol.
  • Setting final containment levels for certain experiments as described in the NIH Guidelines, specifically Section III-D-2-a (Experiments in which DNA from RG 2-3 or Restricted Agents are Cloned into Nonpathogenic Prokaryotic or Lower Eukaryotic Host-Vector Systems); Section III-D-4-b (Experiments Involving Whole Animals); and III-D-5 (Experiments Involving Whole Plants).
  • Adopting standard emergency procedures covering accidental spills and personnel contamination resulting from activities subject to the NIH Guidelines and the UNL Biosafety Guidelines.  This includes reviewing and approving alternate procedures proposed by the individual PIs, as applicable.
  • the IBC Chair is responsible for ensuring the IBC members are appropriately trained regarding laboratory safety and implementation of the NIH Guidelines.  


Principal Investigators

The following is the statement that PIs agree to when they submit a protocol to the IBC for review and they summarize the responsibilities of the investigator.  

To the best of my knowledge the information in this document is a true and accurate description of the research that will be conducted in my lab.  I understand my responsibilities under the NIH Guidelines and other national standards or regulations as summarized below:

  • I must adhere to all sections of the UNL Biosafey Guidelines relevant to my project(s) and ensure that all personnel involved in this project are aware of their responsibilities in the conduct of this research.
  • I must adhere to the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acids, the current edition of the CDC/NIH Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories manual, the Select Agent Rules (42 CFR Part 73, 7 CFR Part 331, 9 CFR Part 121) and other authoritative and/or regulatory sources as appropriate.
  • I must amend my protocol and seek IBC approval prior to implementing major changes to my approved protocol; further I must complete the annual update form in a timely fashion and provide notification of minor changes that do not require submission of a formal amendment to my protocol.
  • I am responsible for the safe conduct of the experiments to be conducted and must ensure that all associated personnel complete required training relative to this work, as described in the UNL Biosafety Guidelines and the NIH publication, "Investigator Responsibilities" (reprinted in the UNL Biosafety Guidelines).  

Laboratory Workers

Employees assigned to work on approved IBC protocols are responsible for:

  • Completing relevant training as provided by EHS and the PI.
  • Being familiar with hazards posed by all agents used in the laboratory regardless of whether he/she directly works with them.
  • Knowing and adhering to all emergency procedures established by the PI.
  • Reporting all occupational accidents, illnesses, and injuries to the PI and in accordance with UNL policy, as described in the EHS SOP, On-the-Job Injuries and Accident Investigations.
  • Following all laboratory practices established by the PI.

Department Heads/Chairs and/or Deans/Directors are responsible for:

  • Indicating support of a PIs protocol prior to consideration by the IBC.
  • Ensuring that adequate facilities are available and maintained to properly support the proposed protocol.
  • Ensuring that biosafety requirements and safety policies and procedures are enforced at the department level. 

Senior Administrators and Office of Research

The UNL Chancellor is the Senior Administrative Officer overseeing biosafety activities at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  The UNL Chancellor has delegated this authority to the Vice Chancellor for Research & Economic Development (VCRED).  The VCRED has further delegated oversight of biosafety to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research (AVCR).

The responsibilities of Senior Administrators and the Institution are described in detail in Section 4 of the UNL Biosafety Guidelines.