University Classification: Compliance Specialist
Job Code: PNB3
Pay Level: 5B 
Org/Dept/Sub-dept #: 04-0200
Position Reports to: Jennifer Lassner
Position #00126694

Position Specific Summary:

The Research Integrity Officer (RIO) is charged with promoting a research environment that encourages the responsible conduct of research, administering the Ethics in Research Policy by responding to and investigating allegations of research misconduct, and providing necessary expertise to evaluate evidence and issues related to misconduct allegations.  Assist faculty in establishing and coordinating Responsible Conduct for Research (RCR) training programs. The RIO works closely with and is supported by the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR).

Key Areas of Responsibilities and Specific Job Tasks

Key Areas of Responsibility

Specific Job Duties and Tasks

Investigation, Remediation and Reporting of Complaints and Reviews

·      Receives and reviews allegations of research misconduct and leads the investigative process in collaboration with appropriate administrative or academic offices.

·      Performs inquiries based upon a complaint that requires interviews and interpretation of practices and regulations; assign and coordinate information gathering and analysis.

·      Make recommendations regarding research misconduct as outlined by the Ethics in Research Policy.

·      Ensure confidentiality of allegations and proceedings, deliberations and identities of individuals involved in investigations.

·      Coordinate the work of investigative committees to implement remediation actions.

·      Prepare final reports for submission to internal audiences and external agencies.

Consultation, Risk Assessment and Interpretation/Research of Regulations

·      Advises the Vice President for Research on appropriate courses of action related to research misconduct.

·      Identify risks and recommend avoidance strategies, including best practices. Monitor research and interpret in specialized areas.

·      Monitor regulatory requirements in related areas of research compliance;evaluate internal compliance practices and recommend updates to existing policies.

·      Compare practices with peers and recommend best practices.

Management of External Standards Review Processes

·      Direct staff to develop protocols in response to review(s).

·      Responds to requests and recommendations from Compliance Manager or VPR.

·      Interface with internal units and external agencies.

Policy Development

·      Assist in identifying new institutional misconduct policies as needed based upon regulatory changes and/or internal needs.

Training and Educational Programs

·      Oversees education and training of responsible conduct of research.

·      Develop training and educational materials.

·      Implement training and best practices.

Human Resources & Financial Management

·      Provide functional supervision and training to unit staff.

Universal Competencies

Collaboration/Positive Impact

Ability to work with a variety of individuals and groups in a constructive and civil manner and utilize existing resources and learning to achieve or exceed desired outcomes of current and future organizational goals/needs.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Ability to work with a variety of individuals and groups in a constructive and respectful manner while appreciating the unique contribution of an inclusive workforce that brings together the talents of people across multiple identities, including: race, creed, color, religion, national origins, age, sex, pregnancy, disability, veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or associational preferences.

Service Excellence/Customer Focus

Ability to meet or exceed customer service needs and expectations and provide excellent service in a direct or indirect manner.  Ability to effectively transmit and interpret information through appropriate communication with internal and external customers.

Technical Competencies

Analytical Thinking


·      Chooses among a diverse set of analytical tools according to the nature of the situation.

·      Identifies many possible causes for a problem based on prior experience and current research.

·      Quantifies the costs, benefits, risks and chances for success before recommending a course of action.

·      Seeks discrepancies and inconsistencies in available information; explains variances.

·      Organizes and prioritizes the sequence of steps to be taken to remedy the situation.

·      Approaches a complex problem by breaking it down into its component parts.

Business Ethics


·      Deals with a variety of potential ethical conflicts in various business situations.

·      Participates in investigating, documenting, and addressing allegedly unethical behavior.

·      Monitors and controls specific ethical issues such as speculative activity or sexual harassment.

·      Resolves legal and business consequences of a breach of ethics.

·      Uses local, state, and federal legislation and guidelines for managing business conduct.

·      Applies policies and procedures designed to ensure compliance with ethical code.

Compliance Investigations


·      Develops a system to monitor and track compliance outcomes and report trends.

·      Recommends remedies to reduce the level of compliance issues.

·      Advises on alternative actions used to solve issues and meet regulatory and legal requirements.

·      Collaborates on operational aspects of monitoring and adhering to regulatory and legal requirements.

·      Leads investigations and directs efforts to train less experienced staff members.

·      Delivers comprehensive guidelines on the investigation process.

Data Gathering and Reporting


·      Oversees multiple data-gathering and analysis initiatives.

·      Analyzes complex reports as revealed by the data.

·      Teaches others the calculations necessary to capture data and develop more complex reports.

·      Prepares cost-benefit analyses of alternative approaches.

·      Develops criteria for selecting data gathering and reporting tools and techniques for various projects.

·      Reviews and verifies data and reports for accuracy.

Managing Multiple Priorities


·      Demonstrates an expectation that there will be ongoing shifts in demands and priorities.

·      Clarifies and handles multiple concurrent and diverse activities.

·      Addresses potential conflicts that impact current delivery commitments.

·      Works with or leads others to re-prioritize work and reschedule commitments as necessary.

·      Responds to shifting priorities while maintaining progress of regularly scheduled work.

·      Shifts focus among several efforts as required by changing priorities.

Operational Risk Management


·      Consults on a variety of risk assessment approaches and applications.

·      Recommends risk assessment procedures and techniques based on organizational need.

·      Advises others on a variety of risk and reward factors and their relationships.

·      Evaluates the benefits and drawbacks of alternative risk management approaches.

·      Updates and implements improvements to risk assessment and management methods.

·      Evaluates, recommends, and justifies optimum risk management scenarios.

Training Delivery


·      Coordinates the delivery of training sessions and their associated activities.

·      Monitors the progress of training session delivery to ensure training schedules are followed.

·      Coaches junior colleagues in choosing proper delivery methods for complicated training situations.

·      Evaluates the benefits and drawbacks of each delivery mechanism for various training programs.

·      Evaluates the quality of training delivered throughout the organization.

·      Collaborates with other functions to adjust training delivery in light of practical requirements.

This description is intended to indicate the kinds of tasks and levels of work difficulty that will be required of positions that will be given this title and shall not be construed as declaring what the specific duties and responsibilities of any particular position shall be.  It is not intended to limit or in any way modify the right of any supervisor to assign, direct, and control the work of employees under his or her supervision.  The use of a particular expression or illustration describing duties shall not be held to exclude other duties not mentioned that are of similar kind or level of difficulty.

As part of performing the key areas of responsibility and competencies described above, staff members are expected to meet reasonable standards of work quality and quantity, as well as expectations for attendance established by their supervisor.  Staff members are also expected to comply with policies governing employee responsibilities and conduct, including those contained in the University Operations Manual.

Proficiency levels are defined as:

Basic Application - Uses basic understanding of the field to perform job duties; may need some guidance on job duties; applies learning to recommend options to address unusual situations.

Working Experience - Successfully completes diverse tasks of the job; applies and enhances knowledge and skill in both usual and unusual issues; needs minimal guidance in addressing unusual situations.

Extensive Experience - Performs without assistance; recognized as a resource to others; able to translate complex nuances to others; able to improve processes; focus on broad issues. 

Expert/Leader - Seen as an expert and/or leader; guides, troubleshoots; has strategic focus; applies knowledge and skill across or in leading multiple projects/orgs; demonstrates knowledge of trends in field; leads in developing new processes.

Position Qualifications

Education or Equivalency Required

A Master’s degree or related field or an equivalent combination of education and experience is required.

Required Qualification

·      3-5 years of experience in academic research and compliance

·      Extensive experience and knowledge of sponsored programs and federal agency policies

·      Strong record demonstrating a high degree of judgement, diplomacy, and confidentiality

·      Demonstrated evidence of a commitment to and or experience with diversity in the educational and medical communities

Desirable Qualification

·      Understanding of academic and research enterprise

·      Experience working with collegiate or central administration

·      Experience in conducting compliance and/or ethics investigations

·      PhD or JD

See requisition # 21001241 at

Applicable background checks will be conducted.

The University of Iowa is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment free from discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, religion, associational preference, status as a qualified individual with a disability, or status as a protected veteran.