Professional Standards

UAF researchers are expected to maintain high professional standards as appropriate for their discipline.  Researchers must also comply with Federal regulations and, for projects receiving external funding, sponsor requirements; these requirements should serve as minimum professional standards.  It is the responsibility of principal investigators and student advisers to lead by example and to mentor trainees and staff in all aspects of research ethics and the responsible conduct of research.

Working with indigenous populations or disadvantaged groups requires additional care and preparation to ensure that activities are conducted in a culturally appropriate manner.  Since much of the work of UAF researchers is conducted with Alaska Native communities, we have tried to provide links to information issued by Native organizations and to groups that have a history of working with Native communities.

Federal Regulatory Agencies

Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is the primary regulatory agency affecting UAF research involving human participants. This site has a wealth of information and guidance for the investigator as well as the institution.

45 CFR 46 Protection of Human Subjects - This is the actual regulatory code that that defines the roles and responsibilities of institutions, IRBs and principal investigators.

Indian Health Service, US Department of Health and Human Services

Model Tribal Research Code (PDF) (copyright by American Indian Law Center, Inc. 1999) has sample consent forms and documents providing guidance for research involving Alaska Natives and American Indians.

Guidance on Extension of an FWA to Cover Collaborating Individual Investigators. Issued by the Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP). Individual Investigator Agreements extend an institutions Federalwide Assurance to cover an unaffiliated collaborator. A sample form is available on the Forms page.

Guidance on the use of another institution's IRB. Issued by the Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP). IRB Authorization Agreements allow one FWA institution to rely on another FWA institution's IRB for review and oversight. A sample form is available on the Forms page.

Federal Funding Agencies

NIH Policy for IRB Review in Grant Applications

NSF Guidance on Human Subjects

U.S. Department of Education: Protection of Human Subjects in Research (this site provides links to pertinent guidance and regulations addressing research in an education setting - includes a link to 34 CFR part 99 FERPA)

U.S Food and Drug Administration: Guidance for Institutional Review Boards and Clinical Investigators

Research Guidelines

NEW!! ‘Walk softly and listen carefully’: Building research relationships with tribal communities. The National Congress of American Indians Policy Research Center and Montana State University's Center for Native Health Partnerships published this policy paper in 2012 called, "Walk Softly and Listen Carefully: Building Research Relationships with Tribal Communities". It was produced with insights from those involved with tribal research in Montana and elsewhere.

Principles for the Conduct of Research in the Arctic. Prepared by the Interagency Social Science Task Force in response to a recommendation by the Polar Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences and at the direction of the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee. They are not intended to replace other existing Federal, State, or professional guidelines, but rather to emphasize their relevance for the whole scientific community. Examples of similar guidelines used by professional organizations and agencies in the United States and in other countries are listed in the publications.

Guidelines for Improved Cooperation Between Arctic Researchers and Northern Communities: This is a draft (8/23/2004) document created by the NSF Office of Polar Programs Arctic Sciences Section and Barrow Arctic Science Consortium with input from the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission, the Barrow Whaling Captains Association, the Alaska North Slope Borough Department of Wildlife Management, and the Alaska Native Science Commission.

Alaska Federation of Natives Research Guidelines (available on the Alaska Native Knowledge Network Website)

Declaration of Helsinki, Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects (revised Oct. 2008). This document was originally adopted by the World Medical Association in June 1964.

The Belmont Report released in 1979 by the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects in Biomedical and Behavioral Research, provides the ethical framework for the Federal Regulations designed to protect human research subjects.

Professional Organizations and Societies

Most of these links direct you to white papers, standards of professional conduct, or the code of ethic for a specified organization.

American Anthropological Association

American Historical Association

American Psychological Association

American Sociological Association (Code of Ethics)

Oral History Association

Social and Behavioral Science Working Group of the National Human Research Protection Advisory Committee

Public Responsibility in Medicine & Research (PRIM&R) is dedicated to creating, implementing, and advancing the highest ethical standards in the conduct of research.

Respecting Cultural Knowledge and Traditions

Informational Websites

Alaska Native Knowledge Network (ANKN)

Guidelines for Respecting Cultural Knowledge

Cultural Intellectual Property Rights

Code of Research Ethics as adapted by the Alaska Native Science Commission from
the Kahnawake Schools Diabetes Prevention Project Copyright 459302 (January 22, 1997) available on the Alaska Native Science Commission website

Native American Rights Fund

Keepers of the Treasures


Draft of the Inter-American Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (ANKN)

Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (A/RES/61/295). Adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, 9/3/07.

Principles & Guidelines for the Protection of Heritage of Indigenous Peoples (ANKN)

The Mataatua Declaration on Cultural and Intellectual Property Rights of Indigenous Peoples (ANKN)

Coolangatta Statement on Indigenous Rights in Education

Other Resources

National Bioethics Advisory Commission

Principles for the Conduct of Research in the Arctic

The Protection of Indigenous Peoples under the ILO Convention

Rights of Indigenous People

Alaska Federation of Natives

Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium