Responsible conduct of research training provides basic information about accepted practices in scientific inquiry. Training requirements vary across funding agencies.

Funding Source

NIH

NSF

USDA/NIFA

Applicability

All researchers funded by NIH career development and training grants (i.e., F, K, T, etc.). See Training Details below for specific grants.

Faculty and other senior personnel, undergraduate students, graduate students and postdoctoral researchers.

All researchers funded off of this source (i.e., program directors, faculty, undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and staff).

Topics

See Training Details below and Training Resources for content

Frequency

Every 4 years

Every 4 years

Once

Format & Duration

8 hours of discussion-based, face-to-face instruction.

Not specified by agency. CITI training will suffice. Not specified by agency. CITI training will suffice.

Tracking

Individual learners are responsible for documenting and tracking their training.

 

 

 

Who is required to complete training?

NIH-funded trainees, fellows, participants, and scholars. Faculty highly encouraged.

Applicability: D43, D71, F05, F30, F31, F32, F33, F34, F37, F38, K01, K02, K05, K07, K08, K12, K18, K22, K23, K24, K25, K26, K30, K99/R00, KL1, KL2, R25, R36, T15, T32, T34, T35, T36, T37, T90/R90, TL1, TU2, and U2R any other NIH-funded programs supporting research training, career development, or research education that require instruction in responsible conduct of research as stated in the relevant funding opportunity announcements.

What topics are recommended by NIH?
  • collaborative research, including collaborations with industry and investigators and institutions in other countries
  • conflict of interest – personal, professional, and financial – and conflict of commitment, in allocating time, effort, or other research resources
  • data acquisition and analysis; laboratory tools (e.g., tools for analyzing data and creating or working with digital images); recordkeeping practices, including methods such as electronic laboratory notebooks
  • human subjects in research
  • live vertebrate animal subjects in research
  • mentor/mentee responsibilities and relationships
  • peer review, including the responsibility for maintaining confidentiality and security in peer review
  • research misconduct and policies for handling misconduct
  • responsible authorship and publication
  • safe laboratory practices
  • safe research environments (e.g., those that promote inclusion and are free of sexual, racial, ethnic, disability and other forms of discriminatory harassment)
  • scientist as a responsible member of society, contemporary ethical issues in biomedical research, and the environmental and societal impacts of scientific research
  • secure and ethical data use; data confidentiality, management, sharing, and ownership

Not all topics are relevant to all learners. Add or substitute other research integrity-related topics at your discretion and in accordance with your approved plan.

How often is training required?

NIH encourages RCR instruction at every stage of a researcher’s career and at a frequency of no less than once every four years. NIH also highly encourages that initial RCR training for predoctoral researchers takes place as early as possible in graduate school.

What is the recommended format and duration?

Discussion-based instruction is a key feature of RCR training and must include substantive face-to-face interaction among participants and faculty. See Notice for details and exceptions. Instruction should involve substantive contact hours between the trainees/fellows/scholars/participants and the participating faculty.  NIH has indicated that acceptable programs generally involve at least eight contact hours.

How should training be documented?

Individual learners are responsible for documenting and tracking their training. Researchers funded by NIH, NSF, or USDA  will be asked to submit an ANNUAL REPORT of that training to OSRAA.

Where can I find more information from NIH?
Background

Research integrity is essential to excellence and public trust in science. Training in the responsible and ethical conduct of research is one of the components necessary to ensuring that all researchers are prepared to engage in research activities with integrity and maintain a high standard of conduct.

In recent years, federal funding agencies have updated the requirements for responsible conduct of research (RCR) training; these requirements differ across funding agencies and their applicability varies by career stage. Requirements set forth by NIH, USDA/NIFA are outlined in other sections of this page. Principal Investigators are responsible for ensuring that the members of their research team complete RCR training in accordance with the requirements of the agency or agencies funding their research.

In addition to the training requirements below, the National Science Foundation (NSF) requires each institution applying for NSF funds to have a responsible and ethical conduct of research training plan. 

OSU's plan must include the following components:

  1. Provide for all undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, faculty, and other senior personnel who will be supported by NSF to conduct research to receive RCR training
  2. Ensure that such training addresses mentor training and mentorship
  3. Define the content, focus and the delivery method of the RCR training
  4. Designate one or more persons to oversee compliance with the training requirement
  5. Establish a method of verifying that applicable trainees have received the required training

While this plan does not have to be included in each proposal submitted to NSF, it is subject to review upon request by NSF. OSU has established the following plan to fulfill the above requirements.

Who is required to complete training?

All undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, faculty, and other senior personnel who will be supported by NSF to conduct research to receive RCR training.

Successful completion of this training is required within 60 days of being notified of the requirement to do so and before new project award set-up will be completed.

What topics are recommended by NSF?
  • mentor training and mentorship (required)
  • authorship and publication
  • collaborative research
  • conflicts of interest
  • data management and sharing
  • human subjects research
  • peer review
  • protection of proprietary information and intellectual property from inappropriate disclosure
  • research misconduct
  • safe laboratory practices
  • welfare of laboratory animals

NSF encourages consideration of the following reports by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in meeting RECR requirements: Fostering Integrity in ResearchSexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; and Reproducibility and Replicability in Science.

Not all topics are relevant to all learners. Add or substitute other research integrity-related topics at your discretion and in accordance with your approved plan.

How often is training required?

At OSU, a baseline level of RCR training must be completed once every four years.

What is the recommended format?

RCR training can and should take many forms, such as investigator-led discussions, formal course work, seminars, and workshops. There are numerous training resources available to learners through the Office of Research Integrity.

Because NSF requires that the institution track and verify training, OSU requires that a baseline level of training be completed through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) program. The CITI system keeps track of all completion data.

A minimum, aggregate score of 80% is required to pass the RCR course. CITI allows users to retake the quizzes if the minimum score was not obtained to pass the course. CITI estimates that review of the required materials and completion of the quizzes takes about 30-35 minutes per topic.

CITI Instructions

  1. Login to CITI from the Office of Research Integrity training webpage.
  2. Login using your ONID credentials
  3. If you do not have an existing profile, complete the registration and select Oregon State University as your affiliation
  4. If you have an existing profile, select “Add a Course”
  5. For question 5, select “Responsible Conduct of Research (All Disciplines)”
Are there exceptions or alternatives?

The completion of CITI’s RCR modules is required unless a waiver of this requirement is granted by an Institutional Official in the Division of Research and Innovation. The Division of Research and Innovation will review requests for a waiver of the RCR requirement from individuals who:

  • are supported by NSF to conduct research but do not have an applicable appointment type, or
  • provide documentation of having completed substantively equivalent training within the preceding two years (e.g. GRAD 520), or
  • have not been supported by NSF to conduct research in the past 12 months and do not anticipate being supported by NSF to conduct research in the next 12 months

If you have been notified of the requirement to complete RCR training but you meet one of the above waiver criteria, please complete a Request for Waiver form.

How should training be documented?

Individual learners are responsible for maintaining documentation of their training. Upon course completion, a copy of the completion certificate will be available to print and retain for your records. The Director of the Program for Responsible Research Practices will access completion data directly from that system.

Where can I find more information from NSF?
Who is required to complete training?

Program directors, faculty, undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and any staff participating in the research project.

What topics are recommended USDA?
  • authorship and publication
  • collaboration
  • conflict of interest
  • data acquisition and management - collection, accuracy, security, access
  • human subject research
  • mentor/trainee responsibilities
  • peer review
  • research misconduct
  • use of animals in research

USDA directs that the general content of the ethics training, at a minimum, will emphasize three key areas of research ethics: authorship and plagiarism, data and research integration and reporting misconduct. Not all other topics are relevant to all learners. Add or substitute other research integrity-related topics at your discretion and in accordance with your approved plan.

How often is training required?

USDA allows an institution to determine the frequency of RCR training. At OSU this training is required once.

What is the recommended format?

USDA does not specify the RCR training methods. Training can be delivered in-person or virtually through group or lab meetings, seminars, or courses. Online resources, such as CITI may also be utilized.

How should training be documented?

Individual learners are responsible for documenting and tracking their training. Researchers funded by NIH, NSF, or USDA  will be asked to submit an ANNUAL REPORT of that training to OSRAA.

Where can I find more information from USDA/NIFA?

If you would like to make an anonymous report related to any violation of ethical standards or institutional policies, we encourage you to use the Accountability & Integrity Hotline: EthicsPoint