Skip to main content
Close up of research

Research Safety

The Office of Research Safety includes the expertise of the Biosafety, Laboratory Safety, Radiation Safety, and Diving/Boating Safety professional staff, who support the research community in meeting regulatory requirements and managing health and safety risks related to research activities.


Office of Research Safety (ORS) offers a broad range of comprehensive safety training classes, conducts risk assessments, partners with the campus community to identify and address research safety needs and helps with the implementation of controls necessary to minimize risks and to ensure personnel safety.  ORS directly administers the requirements for many of the university’s federal and state licenses and registrations for hazardous and risk significant materials, ensuring that all regulatory commitments are met as the research community achieves their research goals.

Do you have comments or suggestions for ESSR's Office of Research Safety? Tell us more here.


Biological Safety

Learn More

Laboratory Safety

Learn More
Danger Radiation Sign

Radiation Safety

Learn More
Field Research

Field Research

Learn More
Diver Surfaces

Scientific Diving & Boating

Learn More

Expectations for Conducting Safe Research

  • Demonstrate a Commitment to Safety. Lead by example, adhere to the rules and be willing to speak up if you see unsafe practices. Faculty and other supervisors are expected to put safety on the agenda and build it into the way their group works and thinks.
  • Assess and Plan for Hazards and Risks. Take the time to systematically assess risks and plan for the hazards identified. Incorporate safety into laboratory standard operating procedures.
  • Implement Controls. Take action to control your risks. Make sure you have the right protective equipment and that engineering controls are working correctly. Principal investigators must enforce the established rules in their lab.
  • Complete Safety Training. Ensure that new researchers have the knowledge and skill to safely perform their research activities. It is the responsibility of the principal investigator to ensure that researchers receive research specific safety training.
  • Strive for Continuous Improvement. Research is not a static endeavor. Managing safety requires ongoing reassessment, feedback and reinforcement. Encourage reporting and resolve safety concerns. Involve all lab members when identifying and reviewing lessons learned after incidents and near-misses.

What actions can you take to ensure you meet these expectations and improve safety culture? Check out our Summary of Expectations for Conducting Safe Research for ideas on how you can take action today.

University of Maryland Research Safety Standard

Vice President for Research and ESSR announce the University of Maryland Research Safety Standard. The University of Maryland Research Safety Standard and the associated Procedures applies to all research conducted under the auspices of UMD where hazardous materials or hazardous operations are present. This includes research laboratories, studios, makerspaces, workshops, machine shops in research departments, shared support facilities, field research, and research at university-owned farms. For support in implementing this Research Safety Standard please contact

Fearless Vision: Achieving Excellence in Research Safety

Fearless Vision: Achieving Excellence in Research Safety is a campus-wide initiative that focuses on streamlining research safety compliance and lifting the safety culture from transactional to transformational.

Learn More

UMD Safety Committees

The University of Maryland has a variety of safety committees dedicated to addressing and advising senior leadership on the management of research related safety risks and identifying needed support.

Learn More

Lab Research Notebooks

The Office of Research Safety is proud to announce that Official University of Maryland Laboratory Research Notebooks are available for purchase through the Department of Business Services. These attractive, durable notebooks come with a number of features that support robust management of research data.

Learn More

Lessons Learned

Learning and improving from past mistakes is an essential part of a positive safety culture. ESSR assists with incident investigations for incidents and near-misses at the University of Maryland. Root causes identified during these investigations may be used confidentially to improve safety awareness across campus.

Back to Top