Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)
The objective of the RCR training plan is to define the policies and procedures that
will be used to meet the training requirements for the Responsible Conduct of Research
(RCR). The Training Plan is a working document. It will be revised on a continuous
basis as assessment of the plan is conducted.
The goals of the training plan are:
- To educate all staff, students and faculty to conduct research ethically and in a
manner that supports the integrity of the institution.
- Promote responsible conduct of research strategies.
- Increase awareness of the consequences that research has on society.
- Prevent unethical behavior that will affect the individual and the institution using
mentoring and training.
- Prevent research misconduct through effective compliance standards and whistleblower
Scope: All staff, students, and faculty involved in research and research administration
should receive training on conducting research in a manner that supports ethical and
responsible standards; this policy does not apply to projects that are not classified
in the financial system as research. It is recommended that all staff, students, and
faculty conducting research as part of any sponsored project receive training on the
responsible conduct of research and to complete, at a minimum, an RCR overview training
session. All staff, students, and faculty conducting research on any projects funded
by the National Science Foundation and any Department of Health and Human Services
agency must receive training on responsible conduct of research prior to engaging in research
on the project.
Offerings: Training will be offered via an on-line training program and through classrooms,
workshops, training sessions, lectures, and discussion series presentations. All faculty,
staff, and students, will have the opportunity to take the on-line courses. There
are two requirements to successful completion of the training. The first requirement
is the regular training which can be completed on-line or can be satisfied by attending
the two-session live training, scheduled at least once an academic year. The second
requirement is attendance at an ethics case discussion session or viewing/participating
in an interactive ethics video. Every four years a training refresher will be required. The refresher will be met by either attending the two-session live RCR training or
successfully passing the refresher quiz. If the refresher quiz is not passed on the
first attempt, the individual will either have to attend the live training sessions
or complete the regular online training. The Training Program will be administered
through the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.
The Responsible Conduct of Research training will cover the following instructional
- Research Misconduct
- Research/Scholarly Ethics
- Conflict of Interest and Commitment (COI)
- Export Controls and Related Issues
- Human Subjects (IRB) and Animal Welfare (IACUC)
- Data Acquisition, Management, Sharing and Ownership
- Fiduciary Responsibility
- Responsible Authorship
- Peer Review
Roles and Responsibilities:
- The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs in collaboration with the University
Compliance Officer and the University Counsel will be responsible for preparing, conducting,
and evaluating the training.
- Faculty, staff, and students who will be involved in research projects funded by federal
agencies will participate in the training sessions.
- The Principal Investigator on federally-funded research projects will provide mentorship
to junior faculty and students (undergraduate and graduate) for guidance on expectations
regarding research projects.
NSF Implementation Activities:
SEC 7009: Responsible Conduct of Research
"The Director shall require that each institution that applies for financial assistance
from the Foundation for science and engineering research or education describe in
its grant proposal a plan to provide appropriate training and oversight in the responsible
and ethical conduct of research to undergraduate students, graduate students, and
postdoctoral researchers participating in the proposed research project."
SEC 7009: Implementation Plan
- Effective January 4, 2010, a proposing institution's AOR must certify that the institution
has a plan to provide appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical
conduct of research to undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers
who will be supported by NSF to conduct research.
- While training plans are not required to be included in proposals submitted, institutions
are advised that they are subject to review upon request.
- NSF will modify its standard award conditions to clearly stipulate that institutions
are responsible for verifying that undergraduate students, graduate students, and
postdoctoral researchers supported by NSF to conduct research have received RCR training.
- NSF will support the development of an on-line digital library containing research
findings, pedagogical materials, and promising practices regarding the ethical and
responsible conduct of research.
National Institutes of Health RCR Training Implementation:
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is an agency within the DHHS. Other agencies
within DHHS are:
· OS - Office of the Secretary
· ACF - Administration for Children & Families
· AoA - Administration on Aging
· AHRQ - Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality
· ATSDR - Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease
· OC - Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
· CMS - Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
· FDA - Food & Drug Administration
· HRSA - Health Resources & Services Administration
· IHS - Indian Health Service
· OIG - Office of Inspector General
· SAMHSA - Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration
NIH started requiring responsible conduct of research training on their training grants
in 1989 (Volume 18; Number 45. December 22). The training requirement was updated in 1994; this update included a description
of the minimum training to be included in the training plan (NOT-OD-94-200 NIH Guide Volume 23, Number 23, June 17); the update also stated that proposals without a training plan would not be reviewed.
The latest update on the training was published in November 2009 (NOT-OD-10-019). This update provides more details on which programs require the training and what
the training should include.