Research compliance includes requirements related to human subjects research, conflict of interest, responsible conduct of research, animal care and use, safety and environmental protection, and appropriate use of sponsor funds. Montana Tech is committed to ensuring all research complies with federal, state, university, and sponsor policies.

Starting January 1, 2024, The University of Montana will use the web system Cayuse Human Ethics for human subject research, replacing the paper-and-email submission system. We have stopped accepting paper applications as of March 18, 2024. Click here for more information and guidelines for the new Cayuse platform.

About the IRB

As a part of the University of Montana (UM) affiliation of campuses, Montana Technological University participates in UM’s humans subjects protection system and its Institutional Review Board (IRB). The mission of the UM Institutional Review Board (IRB) is to ensure the protection of human participants in research, maintain federal regulatory compliance, and facilitate research within the University of Montana affiliation.

All projects involving human subjects research by Montana Tech faculty, staff, or students must be approved by the UM IRB. Grant applications for these projects also must show evidence of IRB approval before they are processed by the RO and OSP.

In general, an institution is considered engaged in a particular non-exempt human subjects research project when its employees, students, or agents for the purposes of the research project obtain: (1) data about the subjects of the research through intervention or interaction with them; (2) identifiable private information about the subjects of the research; or (3) the informed consent of human subjects for the research. See the Federal guidance on engagement.

Is Your Project Human Subjects Research?

The UM IRB reviews projects in accordance with the Federal definitions of research and human subjects. For detailed clarification and examples, please refer to "Is your project Human Subjects Research?" Investigators should err on the side of caution and consult with the IRB to establish the status of their projects.

IRB Essentials

  • All research team members need to complete a Human Subjects Protection course before the IRB application can be approved (may be waived by the IRB Chair for some exempt projects).
  • The IRB review must be conducted before you involve human participants in your research, including any study advertisement or subject recruitment.
  • You need to have final, written IRB approval before you begin.  All consent forms and flyers must be approved, date-stamped, and signed by the IRB before being used.
  • If you do not have IRB approval for your research, your research project cannot be recognized by Montana Tech and, for students, may not be accepted to fulfill any academic requirements.
  • Except in very limited circumstances, the IRB cannot review research that has already been conducted.

Helpful URLs


Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects

The Montana Board of Regents defines a conflict of interest when an employee’s professional actions or decisions are or could be influenced by considerations of personal or financial gain. Conflicts can involve the employee, spouse, domestic partner, or dependent children – and must be disclosed, as if they applied directly to the employee.

Examples of possible conflict of interest are

  • Equity interests (e.g. stocks, stock options, or other ownership interests) in a publicly traded entity valued in excess of $5,000 or greater than 5% ownership, or a combination of stock and income from the entity that exceeds $5,000.
  • Any ownership interest in a non-publicly-traded entity (such as a start-up company), regardless of the value.
  • Income from intellectual property rights (e.g. patents, copyrights, and royalties) paid by any source other than Montana Tech.

For a full list of conflicts of interest, see the Conflict of Interest policy.

Montana Tech is responsible to ensure that all potential conflicts of interest are identified and for managing/eliminating conflicts, so that they do not improperly affect Montana Tech, decisions made by Montana Tech, or any Montana Tech research, education, and public service activities. We want to ensure the integrity of research and sponsored work, to maintain public trust and confidences, and to protect the University and its faculty, staff, and students.

The scientific enterprise is built on a foundation of trust. Society trusts that scientific research results are an honest and accurate reflection of a researcher’s work. Researchers equally trust that their colleagues have gathered data carefully, have used appropriate analytic and statistical techniques, have reported their results accurately, and have treated the work of other researchers with respect. When the trust is misplaced and the professional standards of science are violated, researchers are not just personally affronted—they feel that the base of their profession has been undermined.

Everyone—especially established researchers—is responsible for upholding and promulgating high standards and for making sure that students and new researchers learn the values associated with ethical research conduct.

Montana Tech is responsible for enabling faculty, staff, and students to perform research responsibly by treating research subjects with the highest respect and doing the research honest, accurately, efficiently, and objectively. It is vital that research mentors convey these values to student researchers and ensure students that understand how to perform research ethically and responsibly.

Faculty, staff, MBMG researchers, and students who participate in research at Montana Tech are required to take the RCR training prior to participating in research activities, along with a refresher every 4 years.

Research misconduct is the fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results according to 42 CFR Part 93. Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion. At Montana Tech allegations of research misconduct are taken seriously, investigated, and whistleblowers are protected.

Review the Montana Tech Research Misconduct Policy.

Connect with Us.

We are here to answer your questions, and connect you with the right resources to optimize research, growth, and discovery.

Research Office & Office of Sponsored Programs
MUS 210, 212, 213
(406) 496-4106