Research Investigator Quick Guide

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Given the complex nature of the university environment, you should establish your research program before you arrive at UCSF. Investigators require research space, regulatory approvals, and funding to conduct research. The sooner you obtain these required elements, the sooner you can begin your research.

Research and Office Space:

You can expedite your move into your office and research spaces by working with these UCSF departments before starting your program:

  • Your home department: Contact the department’s manager/director. This person will provide floor plans, keys, security codes, email accounts, computer IT information, telecommunications, and coordinate moving services and installation of equipment. They will serve as your primary contact for all renovations, repairs, and space needs for your research program. On your behalf, they will coordinate with other UCSF departments that provide these services.

Office of Research

  • The Office of Environment, Health and Safety (EH&S) provides consultation on laboratory design and guidance on safety requirements for specialized research equipment
  •  EH&S assigns EH&S Specialists to each Department/Unit to serve as a single point of contact for all of their health and safety needs. Contact your EH&S Specialist as soon as possible to determine if there will be any special requirements or restrictions for the use of your research space or your research materials.


New  Employee Laboratory Safety:

The UCSF Laboratory Managers' Steering Committee has created and provided the following documents for use with new employees:


Volunteering at UCSF - Guidelines for Departments

Volunteers are an integral part of UCSF.  Individuals volunteer as a public service, for civic and humanitarian as well as personal development reasons.  Volunteers freely donate their services without promise or expectation of pay or future employment. UCSF provides these opportunities as a public service.  

It is critical in protecting the interests of both the University and the volunteer that their work status as “volunteer” be distinct and separate from the status of paid employees.  However, it is the responsibility of the volunteer’s department to oversee their work to ensure that volunteers comply with all applicable University policies as well as all State and Federal laws. To assist departments, a Campus Volunteer Packet with guidance and applicable forms has been assembled, Campus Volunteer Packet. Last Revision Date: June, 2011.

Persons participating in the provision of clinical care cannot be enrolled under this program. Please contact the UCSF Medical Center Risk Management office at 415-353-1842.

If the volunteer will be working in the Medical Center, refer the volunteer to the Volunteer Services Department - UCSF Medical Center, 505 Parnassus Avenue, M167  (415) 353-1196

If you have further questions regarding the volunteer packet, please contact the Risk Management Office at (415) 476-3460.


Research Regulatory Approvals and Requirements:

Most of the regulatory committees will not approve your application until your laboratory research space has been cleared for use by the EH&S. However, you can start the application process without this clearance by working with the following:

Your home department:

•  To establish your research accounts,
•  To provide guidance on hiring research staff for your project,
•  To offer other human resource services (employment, benefits, payroll).

They are your primary contact for guidance on UC academic policies for faculty as well as departmental or school policies.