Research at UF: The Research Process

The Researcher's Handbook contains the policies and procedures for conducting research at the University of Florida.  Guidelines for establishment and assessment of centers and institutes can be found at the Institutional Planning and Research Web site.

Funding opportunities

The Research Program Development Office assists University of Florida faculty and staff in the pursuit of internal and external research funding. The office identifies and publishes a list of Funding Opportunities for the UF community, coordinates the selection of UF’s nominees to limited application programs, and coordinates the annual Research Opportunity Seed Fund program. In addition, the office assists in planning and coordinating large interdisciplinary research initiatives, including facilitating the preparation of grants involving multiple schools, colleges, divisions, or institutions to support new research programs at UF.

Proposal Writing

Careful development and rigorous writing of a detailed research proposal are necessary for success in the highly competitive research funding environment at most sponsoring agencies. Members of national review panels state repeatedly that it is not good enough to write a solid proposal. It has to be a "great" proposal. Applicants must be prepared to sell their ideas with professional finesse. The Proposal Development section of the RGP Researcher's Handbook is a useful guide.

Research Compliance

The University of Florida is committed to conducting research in compliance with established federal, state and local rules, regulations, policies and procedures. The Division of Research Compliance assists campus in its commitment through development and implementation of research compliance programs, and coordination of activities with various compliance offices and committees. The goal of the Division of Research Compliance is to promote compliance while facilitating research.

The Division of Research Compliance is responsible for the following areas of compliance:

    • Conflict of Interest
    • Export Controls
    • Misconduct in Research

Additional areas of compliance in which the Division of Research Compliance assists other campus offices and committees include:

    • Animal Subjects
    • Environmental Health and Safety (biologic, radiologic, chemical, etc.)
    • Financial
    • Good Clinical Practices
    • Good Laboratory Practices
    • Human Subjects
    • Intellectual Property
    • Outside Activities
    • Responsible Conduct of Research

Use of Hazardous Materials

The use and storage of biohazards (infectious agents, transformed cell lines, primary human tumors, and regulated biological materials) and recombinant DNA is monitored by the Biological Safety Office within the Environmental Health & Safety Division. Regulated biological agents fall into two major categories: Hazardous Biological Materials and Recombinant DNA (including transgenics).

When radioactive materials or radiation-producing devices are involved in research, procurement, storage, utilization and safety have to be cleared by the Radiation Control & Radiological Services (RC&RS) Department within the Environmental Health & Safety Division. It is the responsibility of the PI to obtain these approvals. There are separate application procedures for human and non-human research projects.

Working with Graduate and Undergraduate Student Research Assistants or Volunteers

General information about Graduate Education can be obtained from the Graduate School. Each college and/or academic department has specific information about research requirements for graduate degrees.

Each college, school, division, and operational unit is authorized and encouraged to utilize volunteers to assist in carrying out its programs. Faculty may choose to involve undergraduate students in their research and scholarship activities in either paid (OPS) or volunteer positions. Rule 6C1-3.0031 covers the responsibilities of the unit regarding volunteers.

The Center for Undergraduate Research helps match undergraduates with researchers in all fields at the university.

The University Scholars Program permits selected undergraduate students to work one-on-one with a chosen faculty member on a research/creative project of mutual interest. University Scholars are awarded a $2,500 stipend for research during the summer. An additional $500 will be available for research support such as travel to a relevant scholarly conference. Faculty mentors receive $500 in research support in recognition of their direction and guidance of the student. Applications for University Scholars Program are available early in the spring semester. All University Scholars Program participants are expected to publish a research paper in the Journal of Undergraduate Research.