Research Compliance

It is important that Memorial Sloan Kettering researchers be familiar with the policies and procedures that govern our research and business conduct. These include issues such as how to avoid conflicts of interest, the best way to conduct business relationships with members of industry and other institutions, and how to keep data — including information related to patients — safe and secure.

The following policies and procedures are particularly relevant for postdocs, because they relate to issues that will come up regularly during their training and beyond.

Authorship Guidelines

Scientific credibility depends not only on the accuracy of reporting research results but on the complete and accurate reporting of authorship on all research. In order to support a culture of integrity and trust, it is important that investigators not take credit for the published or unpublished works of others or refer to such work without attribution and/or permission. MSK’s Authorship Guidelines provide guidance on the minimum requirements for authorship of and acknowledgements in research papers. They also provide information about how to avoid ghost authorship as well as honorary authorship.

Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct outlines the ethical and legal standards that all MSK employees must follow. The Code of Conduct is not intended to replace existing policies and procedures, but rather is to be used in combination with them.

Conflict of Interest and Commitment

Postdocs are permitted to participate in outside activities including consulting with industry. However, these activities are governed by MSK’s Policy on Financial Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment. Postdocs interested in working with industry must first seek approval before entering into an agreement or performing work. Postdocs are also required to disclose certain financial holdings in companies that are involved or could be involved with their work at MSK.

Interaction with Industry

Our policies on Interaction with Industry set out the guidelines for ethical and appropriate interaction with industry. These include guidelines on accepting business courtesies, gifts, financial and in-kind support for department meetings and other events, and contributions. Compliance with these policies is a requirement of all MSK employees. MSK also provides vendors with written notification of these policies.

Intellectual Property Review

MSK investigators who have made an advance that might constitute an invention or who have developed other types of intellectual property should disclose such information to the Office of Technology Development.

Institutional Biosafety Committee Policy

Postdocs whose research entails doing experiments with recombinant DNA (rDNA), as described in the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules, or non-recombinant DNA involving infectious agents classified as Risk Group 2, 3, and 4 in the NIH Guidelines, Appendix B, must register with MSK’s Institutional Biosafety Committee prior to initiating the work. This policy applies to all postdocs regardless of funding source.

MSK’s NIH Public Access Policy

All investigators funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are required to submit, or have submitted for them, an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts to the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central upon acceptance of the manuscript for publication. The NIH requires that these manuscripts be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication.

Research Misconduct

MSK is committed to ensuring that research is conducted in a responsible manner. Therefore, we have internal policies and procedures in place for responding to allegations of misconduct in science. Allegations are reviewed promptly, thoroughly, and objectively, with concern for the rights, reputations, and privacy of all those involved.