Student Research Practices

Student research comprises an important element of the UTA experience for undergraduate and graduate students. The Student Research Website is intended to provide information regarding regulatory issues and ethical practices pertaining to research, internal and external opportunities for funding research projects, and campus recognition of student research.


Students may be involved in research in several different ways. The most common is a directed or independent research project, such as a master's thesis or a doctoral dissertation. Another possibility is a project that is part of a class curriculum, such as an assignment for a grade. Depending on what the research involves, there may be additional requirements necessary before the research may commence. These requirements are based on various federal regulations, funding agency requirements and UTA policies. Students are responsible for the conduct of their research; this includes maintaining a high ethical standard and ensuring that the project complies with all federal regulations and local policy.

Before commencing research, consider if the project involves any of the following:

Human Subjects

  • Does your research involve living person(s) about whom you will obtain data through either interaction or intervention? For instance, obtaining data via a survey, questionnaire, or interview.
  • Does your research involve collection of identifiable private information pertaining to a living individual?
  • Will the data collected be intended to contribute to generalizable knowledge? For instance, publication or presentation (thesis/dissertation). Student projects designed for a course with no intention of distribution of the information outside of the classroom are not considered a contribution to generalizable knowledge.

If you answered yes to these questions, please visit the Human Subjects Research Page for additional information and procedures.

Animal Subjects

  • Does your research involve the use of live vertebrate animals?
  • If it is field research, does your project involve any interaction that includes an invasive procedure or may harm or materially alter the animal's behavior? For instance, collection, trapping, biopsy, tail clip, alteration of environment, etc.

If you answered yes to these questions, please visit the Animal Subjects Research Page for additional information and procedures.

Recombinant DNA & Infectious Agents

  • Does your research involve the use of recombinant DNA molecules (rDNA)? rDNA is defined as (i) molecules that are constructed outside living cells by joining natural or synthetic DNA segments to DNA molecules that can replicate in a living cell, or (ii) molecules that result from the replication of those described in (i) above.
  • Does your research involve materials that could be considered infectious? For instance, bacteria or viruses which could cause disease in humans or animals, or human blood, cells, tissue, or body fluids.

If you answered yes to these questions, please visit the Biosafety Research Page for additional information and procedures.

Related Items

  • Does your research involve radioactive materials or radiation producing machines (x-rays)?
  • Does your research involve lasers?
  • Does your research involve hazardous chemicals or generation of chemical waste?
  • Does your research involve shipping infectious substances or hazardous materials?
  • Does your research involve the use of controlled substances? See the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Controlled Substance Schedules.

If you answered yes to these questions, please contact the Office of Environmental Health & Safety for additional information, procedures, and assistance.

If you have questions please call Regulatory Services at 817-272-2105 or email us at



Process for obtaining funding for your planned research project:

  • Think of an idea for a research project.
  • Find a faculty member interested in working with you and advising you on your project. Use the Profile System to find a faulty member that matches your research interests.
  • Develop your research idea into a proposal. General Information is available on our website of different proposal and award types and an overview of creating and submitting a proposal.
  • Bring your proposal and budget to your Grants and Contracts Specialist. Training on budget development is available on our website. A self-calculating budget builder is also available when logged into the Profile system. Don’t forget to complete the required internal paperwork that is available online.
  • After Grants and Contracts Review and Approval, submit your proposal to the sponsor.
  • Wait for your award letter, then start your research!

Contact the Grants and Contracts Office for additional information.



Intellectual property is any invention, discovery, trade secret, technology, scientific or technological development, computer software, or other form of expression that is in a tangible form. Intellectual property can be protected by patent, trademark or copyright laws or it can be protected as a trade secret by not disclosing the "know how" to others.

Whenever intellectual property is created by someone with the support of the University, it is necessary for the inventor to disclose his or her intellectual property to the Intellectual Property Committee (IPC). This disclosure is made by completing and submitting to the IPC, through the Office of Research, one copy of the "Intellectual Property Disclosure Form."
Intellectual Property Handbook


Laboratory notebooks are used not only to provide valuable insights into the creation of inventions but also to provide the federal government with documentation to support the university’s compliance with various federal regulations. These regulations include but are not limited to disclosure of intellectual property, time and effort certification, misconduct in science, and objectivity in research.

Laboratory notebook records (lab books) are one of our best sources of evidence for establishing a date of invention. In order to do this all lab books should be signed daily by the researcher and a witness and all pages in lab books should be numbered and bound so that the pages cannot removed. (Full Policy)

Contact the Office of Technology Management for additional information.


Students have the same responsibility as faculty members to conduct and report the results of their research in an honest, transparent and ethical manner. All research projects are expected to be in compliance with the highest ethical standards. In research, ethical misconduct is any "fabrication, falsification and plagiarism in proposing, conduct in reporting research or other scholarly activities." Fabricating research findings is a term used to describe the act of inventing or making up results; falsifying research results refers to altering, misrepresenting, or selectively reporting findings. Either of these violates the honesty and integrity of the research process and is a violation of accepted ethical standards. Good and ethical research practice dictates that students conduct their research honestly to ensure the accuracy of their findings.
Another form of ethical misconduct in research is plagiarism. Plagiarism consists of the "use of the words, ideas, diagrams of publicly available work without appropriately acknowledging the sources of these materials." Plagiarism can either be intentional or unintentional. Any use of the words, phrases, ideas, or work of others in any form without acknowledging the original sources constitutes plagiarism and is subject to serious penalty. The ordering of ideas in a discussion, the content of a literature review, and the listing of references at the end of a discussion may reflect the thinking of others.

Research Programs

Participation in undergraduate research programs provides a framework for your undergraduate research experience. Interested undergraduate students may also directly contact faculty members.

Learn More about Research Programs

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