Terms of Reference for Biosafety Committee

Nipissing University Biosafety Committee 

Terms of Reference

Updated May 2021


The University has an obligation to its community, funding agencies and the public at large to conduct its teaching and research activities in a responsible and accountable manner.  To that end, the Nipissing University Biosafety Committee is mandated by the office of the Provost and Vice President, Academic and Research and administered by the office of Graduate Studies and Research to provide policy direction and make recommendations to the Provost and Vice President, Academic and Research for all matters pertaining to the use of biohazardous materials in research and in teaching.   


The Biosafety Committee has representation from members who have expertise and/or interest in biosafety at Nipissing University. Members are appointed for a two-year period with the possibility of renewal by the Provost and Vice President, Academic and Research as follows:    

  • Human Resources Generalist - Health, Safety and Wellness/BSO 
  • Laboratory Technician 
  • Two (2) faculty** members who represent two different academic departments 
  • Senior administrator reporting to the Provost and Vice President, Academic and Research; 
  • One (1) member at large from the community 

** The chair will be a member of faculty who is elected by the membership and appointed by the Provost and Vice President, Academic and Research 

Reporting Structure 

The Biosafety Committee is advisory to the Provost and Vice President, Academic and Research. The committee, through the chair shall report at least annually to the Provost and Vice President, Academic and Research, summarizing the activities of the year.  


Meetings shall be held twice a year in the spring and the fall. The chair reserves the right to call additional meetings as required. Quorum consists of at least three members of the biosafety committee and decisions will be made by consensus.  If consensus is not achieved, outside advice may be requested by the Chair.   


The Committee monitors the use of biohazardous material in teaching and research by performing the following duties: 

  • Develop and maintain University policies for handling biohazardous materials in compliance with internal and external standards including: Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), National Institute of Health (NIH), Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations (OHSA), and Nipissing University’s policies; 
  • To ensure that all users, are fully aware of the guidelines and of the nature of containment required for research/teaching; 
  • Review and approve applications for use of biohazardous materials. 
  • Advise the Provost and Vice President, Academic and Research on matters relating to biohazards; 

Note: The biosafety committee will review and amend the terms of reference annually at the spring meeting.