Wayne State University

Policy on restricted and proprietary research now available

Posted: Friday, April 29, 2011

On April 20, 2011, Wayne State University's Board of Governors approved an amended version of University Statute #2.41.01.140 on Classified Research.

The former version of University Statute 2.41.01.140 prohibited conducting classified research at Wayne State University. The original statute was outdated on two counts: (a) currently there are additional types of research that are not considered "fundamental" (besides classified) that require further clarification, and (b) the original statute did not provide a process for faculty to petition to waive the statute.

A policy on restricted and proprietary research has been created whereby faculty can petition to conduct classified, restricted or proprietary research under specified conditions. An amendment to the university statute is necessary to direct faculty to the policies on waiving the statute.

This amended statute states:

Open dissemination of research results is a cornerstone of academic integrity. There are certain circumstances, however, in which WSU faculty have the opportunity to participate in research that limits or abrogates the right to free and open disclosure. This includes restricted, proprietary and classified research. Examples of the former two categories include some forms of industry-sponsored research, in which industries that lack sufficient research and development staff to carry out restricted or proprietary research, rely on university faculty to undertake this research. Additionally, some governmental agencies seek the expertise of university faculty to participate in classified research related to national security. Classified research places additional restrictions which require dedicated facilities not available at Wayne State University.

On a case-by-case basis, Wayne State University will consider accepting research contracts or agreements for restricted or proprietary research if the proposed work can be accommodated without compromising the University's pursuit of its academic mission, if the academic value of the research can be justified by the Principal Investigator (PI), and provided that the proposed restrictions do not cause the University or the PI to violate any state or federal regulations that might be implicated as a result of the restrictions. To request a waiver to undertake restricted or proprietary research, a PI should refer to the University's research policy on restricted and proprietary research.

WSU PI's with grants or contracts under review by the University that would restrict or prohibit the freedom to publish or otherwise disseminate the research results beyond a 90-day review period, may request a waiver from the Vice President for Research that would allow acceptance of the relevant grant or contract, acting in accordance with the University's research policy on restricted and proprietary research.