Notice Number: NOT-OD-15-163
Release Date: September 29, 2015
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
NIH is announcing the 2015 iteration of National Biosafety Stewardship Month and reminding institutions of the NIH requirement to meet all applicable Federal, State, and local health and safety standards, as well as the specific terms and conditions of awards as outlined below.
National Biosafety Stewardship Month is a period during which institutions are encouraged to reinforce their attention to biosafety policies, practices and procedures. In 2014, NIH announced a new initiative to promote stewardship of the life sciences and biosafety awareness. NIH also reminded institutions of the NIH requirement to meet all applicable Federal, State, and local health and safety standards, as well as the specific terms and conditions of award outlined below. National Biosafety Stewardship Month was instituted as a period during which institutions were encouraged to reinforce their attention to biosafety practices. In 2015, October has been designated National Biosafety Stewardship month and NIH is again encouraging institutions to participate and build on last year’s activities.
The focus of National Biosafety Stewardship Month in October 2015 is on sustaining and enhancing a culture of safety/responsibility in life science research laboratories. Thematic elements of enhancing a culture of safety/responsibility include:
NIH is encouraging grantee institutions to develop policies, procedures, and programs that further the above goals.
Grantees institutions are expected to run rigorous programs of biosafety oversight that include attention to safe laboratory practices, training, appropriate policies and procedures. National Biosafety Stewardship Month is an opportunity for institutions to optimize further biosafety oversight, and to strengthen the partnership with their investigator community to achieve shared biosafety goals. Institutional Biosafety Committees (IBCs) and Biological Safety Officers (BSOs) have an important role to play in the continued success of this effort, and NIH will again be sending them a letter to encourage their participation. Institutional leadership should do what it can to support IBCs and BSOs in this effort and in the conduct of their duties generally.
NIH continues to require its grantees to meet applicable Federal, State, and local health and safety standards and for establishing and implementing necessary measures to minimize their employees' risk of injury or illness in activities related to NIH grants. In addition to applicable Federal, State, and local laws and regulations, terms and conditions of all NIH grant awards require that grantees adhere to the following when developing and implementing health and safety operating procedures and practices for both personnel and facilities:
The following guidelines are among other resources available for use in developing and implementing health and safety operating procedures and practices for both personnel and facilities:
Questions about National Biosafety Stewardship Month or adherence to the NIH Guidelines can be directed to:
NIH Office of Science Policy
Office of the Director
National Institutes of Health
Questions about the NIH Guide Notice or NIH grants requirements:
Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration
Office of Extramural Research
National Institutes of Health
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