Out & Equal
Research Compliance Officer

Research Compliance Officer

locationUnited States
PublishedPublished: 12/15/2023
Research / Development
Full Time


Research Compliance Officer

University Administration


Job Summary

Working under the general supervision of the Chief Research Compliance Officer, the incumbent ensures that researchers comply with regulatory and ethical laws, regulations and procedures by working with various stakeholders in the management and development of sponsored program policies and procedures related to research compliance; promotes research compliance by working directly with committees, central and school level offices, and researchers in the preparation of and assessment of project-specific regulatory requirements; and serves as a subject matter expert and point of contact to university personnel for advice, resources, education, and coordination of the assigned areas for which s/he has the subject matter expertise. The incumbent acts as a subject matter expert staff person for specific compliance committees. Other duties as needed or required.

Position Description

Reporting to the University Chief Research Compliance Officer, the Research Compliance Officer (RCO) works closely with various stakeholders to develop and implement research compliance policies. The RCO coordinates his/her activities with Advisory Committees, Administrative units within the schools (e.g. Sponsored Programs Administration Offices, Compliance Units, Human and Animal Subject Protection Programs and Committees, Research Integrity Officers, etc.) as well as central units such as the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP), Office of the General Counsel (OGC), Risk Management & Audit Services (RMAS), HU Information Technology (HUIT), Harvard Global Services, Office of Environmental Health, Safety and Emergency Management, etc.

To meet the needs of the Office of Research Compliance - and in addition to technical knowledge of the regulatory environment - coordination and communication are the key functions of the RCO with regard to planning, implementing, and monitoring the compliance program. Specific research regulatory activities cover a wide range of topics such as Conflicts of Interest in research, Export Control, protection of Human Subjects in Research, Animal Care and Use programs, Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety, Research Misconduct, Stem Cell Research, Research Data, and Privacy, International Research Compliance, etc. The RCO will work on any number of these topics by serving as the focal point for compliance activities.

The range of activities includes, but is not limited to:

  • Developing institutional policies, procedures, guidelines, and programs that enable the conduct of research while ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements.
  • Developing, coordinating, and participating in a multifaceted educational and training program that focuses on the elements of the compliance program, and seeks to ensure that all appropriate employees and managers are knowledgeable about pertinent policies and federal and state standards.
  • Coordinating internal compliance review and monitoring activities, including periodic reviews of policies and programs.
  • Participating in investigation of matters related to compliance, including designing and coordinating internal investigations (e.g. with RMAS, School units, or OGC) and any resulting corrective action.
  • Overseeing and monitoring the implementation of compliance program elements.
  • Participating in Provostial Reviews.
  • Acting as a staff person for assigned University-wide Committee reporting to, or ad-hoc committees appointed by, the OVPR.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Basic Qualifications

Candidates MUST meet the following basic qualifications in order to be considered for this role:

A Bachelor’s Degree and a minimum of seven years of relevant experience.  Education may count toward years of experience.


Additional Qualifications and Skills

Advanced degree preferred, in a scientific/technical field, with knowledge of the university environment and knowledge of research activities such as research grants and contracts and the Federal government.
Relevant experience (e.g. working in a research compliance office, a sponsored programs office, or a related field) in the implementation of federal compliance regulations, with an in-depth knowledge of a number of research compliance areas such as human or animal protection, export control, health and safety, stem cell research, research misconduct, etc.

The successful applicant must be able to work independently, build collaborative teams with stakeholders, and be innovative and willing to facilitate compliance while maintaining excellent working relationships, have expert communication skills, and be eager to turn federal mandates and requirements into manageable, user-friendly means of compliance.

Additional Information

Harvard University supports a hybrid workplace model which will actively support some remote work. Specific days and schedules for on campus work and remote work will be discussed during the interview process. Please note hybrid workers must reside in a state where Harvard is registered to do business (CA, CT, GA, IL, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, RI, VA, VT, and WA). 

Harvard University continues to place the highest priority on the health, safety and wellbeing of its faculty, staff, and students, as well as the wider community. Please note that all new employees will be required to provide confirmation of primary series COVID-19 vaccination upon hire, as detailed on our COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement Webpage. Harvard University Health Services employees and other health care individuals are also required to be up to date on vaccination as described by the CDC. Individuals may claim exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons. Additional information regarding this requirement, exemptions, verification of vaccination status, and other related policies and resources may be found on the University’s COVID-19 Information Website.

Job Function

General Administration

Department Office Location

USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code

360058 Admin Offcr/SrIndiv Contrib

Work Format

Hybrid (partially on-site, partially remote)


Office of the President and Provost

Salary Grade





00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Time Status


Pre-Employment Screening

Education, Identity


Full time. Monday through Friday. 35 hours per week. 

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.