Controlled Substances in Research

The Office for Research Protections helps investigators and the University maintain compliance with federal regulations and requirements governing the use of controlled substances in research. Our assistance for controlled substances of any Schedule includes:

  • Helping investigators identify requirements for the registration and use of controlled substances
  • Helping investigators maintain compliance with policies the University may issue for controlled substances
  • Monitoring and tracking investigators' Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registrations
  • Notifying investigators about registration expirations
  • With Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), helping faculty and staff identify and dispose of orphaned substances and substances with lapsed or no registrations

The University does not obtain or maintain DEA registration for investigators. Investigators are responsible for obtaining and maintaining registration directly through the DEA.

Orphaned Substances and Expired Registrations

The ORP and EHS are asking all principal investigators, lab managers, and other appropriate research personnel to thoroughly search and inventory their controlled drugs and other chemicals to identify any controlled substances that were “orphaned” by previous lab occupants, have no DEA registration, or have an expired registration. Please see our letter to researchers for more information on this University-wide inventory and disposal initiative.


The disposal costs for controlled substances are paid for by the University, including substances identified in the University-wide initiative. 

For questions about the disposal of orphaned substances or substances without proper registrations, or for help organizing the disposition of unneeded substances with current registrations, please email or call 814-865-6391.

For More Information

For general questions about  the use of controlled substances in research, please contact Clint Schmidt by email at and 814-865-5437.

You can also visit the following DEA webpages:

For Relevant Regulations (21 CFR 1300-end):