Compliance & Stewardship

We must be cognizant and comply with the relevant policies, standards, laws, and regulations that guide our work. Regulations serve to maintain the public trust; that is, trust in research results and outcomes; trust that patients and human subjects are given the best care and treatment; trust that public funds are spent for the benefit of all, and trust that scientific investigation is done responsibly. 


Office of the Chief Risk Officer

Culture of Compliance and Ethics

Stanford Code of Conduct

The University values integrity, honesty, and fairness and strives to integrate those values into its teaching, research, and business practices.

Stanford’s mission: Engage in the highest level of education, patient care, research, and scholarship.

The Stanford Code of Conduct is our guide for ethical, professional, and legal standards of behavior, and was built on three core values:

  1. Commitment to upholding the ethical, professional, and legal standards we use as the basis for our daily and long-term decisions and actions.
  2. Guidance for how to conduct business responsibly, taking into account our duties and obligations to higher principles, society, government, the environment, and all stakeholders, i.e., anyone who is affected by our action or inaction. It clearly and effectively communicates our core values and reinforces the essential business standards, practices, ethics, and behavior for all individuals who represent the University.
  3. Compliance - we all must be cognizant and comply with the relevant policies, standards, laws, and regulations that guide our work.

View the University Code of Conduct

Back to Top

Accountability and Responsibility

As members of the research community we have both accountability and responsibility to the donors of generous gifts, to students, to the parents of students, to governmental authorities, sponsors, Stanford faculty, and Stanford staff.

We must earn and maintain a reputation for integrity in order that we continue to be trusted by external organizations. We must never compromise integrity for expediency. We must avoid misconduct or even the appearance of misconduct or impropriety, which can be very damaging to individuals and the institution.

Back to Top

How to Report Suspected Violations Internally

Suspected violations should be made initially through standard management channels, beginning with your immediate supervisor, instructor, or advisor.

If for any reason it is not appropriate to report suspected violations to your immediate supervisor, you may go to a higher level of management within your school or department. The Director, Office of Research Financial Policy and Compliance and the Associate Vice Provost for Research are also available to assist you with compliance concerns.

If you're still unsure or uncomfortable, the Ethics and Compliance Help Line is a confidential, anonymity optional, reporting mechanism that facilitates reporting of possible illegal, unethical, or improper conduct when the normal channels of communication have proven ineffective or are impractical under the circumstances. You may also contact the Office of the General Counsel at (650) 723-9611.

The more information given, the easier it is to investigate the report. All Stanford community members are expected to cooperate fully in the investigation of any misconduct.

Back to Top

In this section: