Did you know October is National Biosafety Stewardship Month? Sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the designation aims to encourage institutions to reinforce their attention to biosafety policies, practices and procedures.
The focus of National Biosafety Stewardship Month is on sustaining and enhancing a culture of safety and responsibility in life science research laboratories, which includes:
- Enhancing biosafety training for all staff involved in life sciences research
- Promoting the development and awareness of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
- Engaging senior research administrators to support and communicate the importance of biosafety
- Encouraging principal investigators to take an active role with respect to biosafety in their laboratories
- Encouraging institutions to foster the development of non-punitive incident reporting systems
- Highlighting successes the institution has had in conducting vital research responsibly through a safe and ethical framework
- Promoting public transparency regarding institutional oversight of biosafety
Institutes receiving federal life science funding are “expected to run rigorous programs of biosafety oversight that include attention to safe laboratory practices, training, appropriate policies and procedures,” according to NIH. “National Biosafety Stewardship Month is an opportunity for institutions to optimize further biosafety oversight, and to strengthen the partnership with their investigator community to achieve shared biosafety goals.”
Access biosafety guidelines from NIH for research involving recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules here.