While it is a general expectation that all research conducted by SSU faculty, staff and students will be conducted responsibly, the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other sponsors have specific training requirements for responsible conduct of research. If your project is sponsored by NSF, NIH, or any other agency with this requirement, and you are employing staff and/or students to work on that research, it is your responsibility to ensure they receive the required training.
Introduction to responsible conduct of research regulations
The responsible and ethical conduct of research is critical for the practice of scientific investigation with excellence and integrity. ORSP provides oversight in an effort to offer appropriate training and resources in the responsible and ethical conduct of research. In accordance with the SSU Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) compliance requirements, any undergraduate or graduate student or postdoctoral trainees who will be conducting research on behalf of NSF, NIH, or any other sponsor with an RCR requirement, whether as an employee or in any educational capacity, must complete the appropriate RCR training per funding agency.
SSU’s Efforts to Comply with Sponsor Regulations
The NSF requires that, at the time of proposal submission, the institution has a plan to provide appropriate RCR training and oversight to all students (undergraduates, graduate, and postdocs) who will be supported by NSF to conduct research. All students or postdocs who will be conducting research as part of an NSF funded project must complete a online training course appropriate to their project available through CITI (Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative). Another method to fulfill this requirement is through instructor/classroom training, workshop, conference, etc.
Since July 1990, the NIH has required applications related to training, career development, research education, and dissertation research to include a description of a program to provide instruction in the responsible conduct of research. NIH requirements indicate that all trainees, fellows, participants, and scholars (i.e., students and postdoctoral trainee) must be engaged in a rigorous training program with the Principal Investigator (PI) in order to request funding from a grant solicitation. Moreover, in the event of an NIH award, the PI must oversee all training of these individuals towards NIH policies as part of the funding requirements. The completion of one of the CITI training does NOT fulfill NIH’s requirement as there need to be substantial face-to-face discussion (at least eight contact hours).
NIH requires all applications for Institutional National Research Service Award (NRSA) Research Training Grants (T32, T34) to include a description of a program to provide instruction in the responsible conduct of research. NIH requirements indicate that any student and postdoctoral trainee must be engaged in a rigorous training program with the PI to request funding from a grant solicitation. Moreover, in the event of an NIH award, the PI must oversee all training of staff and students towards NIH policies as part of the funding requirements. Note that completion of one of the CITI modules does NOT satisfy the NIH requirement.
Other sponsors may have an RCR requirement as well. It would be listed in the sponsor's request for proposals, on their website, and/or in the award terms and conditions and should be communicated to the post-award administrator and PI.
Federal Policy Guidance
- NSF Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research
- NIH Research Integrity
- CITI Program Responsible Conduct of Research Training
Required Training for Students or Postdocs Conducting Research
All students and postdoctoral scholars conducting research on behalf of sponsor with an RCR requirement must complete the online RCR training through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) before they begin work. To access the CITI RCR online course, you must register for a user name and password and select the Group 1: Responsible Conduct of Research - Students course. Note the minimum score is 80 percent. Once the required RCR course has been finished, the grade book should be checked to ensure that all of the course modules have been completed. Users should complete the confirmation form and submit. The ORSP Compliance Officer, Arcelia Sandoval, will receive notification of completion from CITI.