FAQ for New Principal Investigators

Welcome to the University of Virginia. I am Clarissa Lynch, Chemical Safety Officer for the University of Virginia. I am here to provide assistance, allowing you to begin your research quickly while achieving compliance with all regulations, guidelines and policies.

As you prepare to move your lab from another institution, or start up your new lab, please feel free to contact me with any questions regarding your new lab space or any special lab equipment requirements (e.g., facility-specific or safety considerations). Please contact your department for questions related to facility requirements you may have. I can also connect you to the appropriate people in various research compliance areas, such as the Institutional Biosafety Committee and Radiation Safety.

The Office of Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) functions as a research support office and as such does not directly bill for any of our services. We will provide whatever assistance we can in making your research lab’s transition to UVA as seamless as possible.

We look forward to working with you!

Best regards,


Frequently Asked Questions

What does the Office of Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) do to assist me in getting started with research and setting up my lab?

Clarissa Lynch is the dedicated EHS representative who will meet with you personally after your arrival at UVA. Please email or call (434-982-4311) her to make an appointment. This is informal and structured as a time for you to ask questions, go over your EHS requirements, resources and services which we provide.

What training am I required to complete upon my arrival?

Training will depend on the research activity in your lab. The base training you must complete prior to starting work in your lab is Chemical Safety and Waste Training for Research Personnel Log-in.

Please refer to Biosafety Training and Radiation Safety Training to determine other training requirements you may have.

I plan to do research with biological materials. Does my work need to be registered?

Yes. For more information see the Institutional Biosafety Committee’s Registration and Approval Process.

I plan to do research with vertebrate animals. How do I get started?

All research with vertebrate animals must be approved prior to implementation. For more information see the Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee’s information for new PIs.

I plan to do research with radioactive material. How do I apply to become an authorized user of radioactive material?

For more information see Radiation Safety’s How to Become Authorized to Use Radioactive Material.

Where can I get a statement for inclusion in my research proposals which require a brief overview of the University of Virginia’s environmental, health, safety, quality assurance practices, and oversight?

See below...

University of Virginia - Environmental Health & Safety Statement

The following statement is for inclusion in research proposals that require a brief overview of the University of Virginia’s environmental, health, safety, quality assurance practices, and oversight.
The University of Virginia is a major research institution. The Office of Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) is responsible for coordinating and monitoring the execution of all health, safety, and hazardous material use activities at the University. EHS assists individuals, departments, and committees, to achieve compliance with University, local, state and federal policies and regulations. EHS serves as the University’s liaison with external regulatory agencies. Compliance is monitored through audit, program development, education, accident investigation, and consultation. Online training modules are provided by EHS to satisfy regulatory training requirements. Full-time Biosafety, Chemical Safety and Radiation Safety Officers, Hazardous Materials Manager, and Industrial Hygienists are available to consult and advise on appropriate safety procedures. The University has developed a Chemical Hygiene Plan, and EHS strongly recommends that each chemical laboratory maintain lab-specific Standard Operating Procedures. Proper Hazardous Waste collection and disposal is provided as a service to researchers through the EHS Hazardous Waste program.
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