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Safe Research is Smart Research

Dear Colleagues,

Safety is not only of the utmost personal concern to all of us; it also underlies the rigor, repeatability, and overall excellence of our research and academic programs. To help ensure the quality of our research and the safety of all involved, the U-M Office of Research (UMOR) and the department of Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) have launched the “Research Smart” campaign, the next phase of the Laboratory and Research Safety Initiative created to strengthen the culture of safety at the University of Michigan.

Safety is an on-going challenge at U-M because of the extraordinary size and diversity of our research enterprise; the turnover of students, post-doctoral fellows, faculty, and staff engaged in research; and the potential hazards that often arise as our cutting-edge programs push the boundaries of knowledge.

At the heart of our new approach is a network of local Safety Coordinators and Safety Committees appointed by fifteen schools, colleges, and institutes, and other major units to work alongside faculty, staff, and trainees to address their particular needs, and to act as liaison to EHS. The Safety Committees support the work of their Safety Coordinators, oversee academic or research activities that pose risks, review emerging concerns, and recommend improvements and mitigation actions.

Coordinating the overall effort is a central faculty-led U-M Laboratory and Research Safety Committee established to assist departments by reviewing how safety incidents and concerns are addressed, and to advise UMOR and EHS on University policies for implementing federal and state safety regulations across campus.

For further details on the Laboratory and Research Safety Initiative, on resources, and on whom to contact in your area with questions, we encourage you to visit the Research Smart web site at

The Research Smart campaign is intended to clarify and keep us alert to the risks we may encounter in our research as well as of the proper procedures and guidelines for dealing with them. Ultimately, safety is everyone’s responsibility. Working together, we will be able to establish a strong culture of research and laboratory safety that will sustain U-M’s reputation as the nation’s leading public research university.




S. Jack Hu, Vice President for Research

Kevin P. Hegarty, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer