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Responsible Conduct of Research

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FSU Policy 7A-8, Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Training


Introduction
Potential Training Topics
Required Training Matrix
HHS/NIH RCR Requirements
NSF RCR Requirements
USDA/NIFA RCR Requirements
Contact Information

 

Introduction

Certain Federal funding agencies have adopted requirements for training on the responsible conduct of research for certain individuals supported by or participating in projects funded by those agencies. The University has created Policy 7A-8, Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Training, which outlines FSU’s policy and procedures for ensuring compliance with these requirements. The Director of the Office of Research Compliance Programs (ORCP) is responsible for overseeing compliance with requirements for training on the responsible conduct of research.

Potential Training Topics

While there are no specific curricular requirements for instruction in responsible conduct of research, acceptable topics may include:

  • conflict of interest – personal, professional, and financial
  • policies regarding human subjects, live vertebrate animal subjects in research, and safe laboratory
    practices
  • mentor/mentee responsibilities and relationships
  • collaborative research including collaborations with industry
  • peer review
  • data acquisition and laboratory tools; management, sharing and ownership
  • research misconduct and policies for handling misconduct
  • responsible authorship and publication
  • the scientist as a responsible member of society, contemporary ethical issues in biomedical research, and the environmental and societal impacts of scientific research

Required RCR Training Compliance Matrix

Funding Source Career Stage
Undergraduate Master’s Doctoral Post-Doc Faculty/Staff
NSF Online Online Online Online Online (Not required but strongly recommended.)
NIH* Online and 8 hours in-person Online and 8 hours in-person Online and 8 hours in-person Online and 8 hours in-person Online and 8 hours in-person for fellows and career award recipients. (Also, strongly recommended for other faculty and staff.)
USDA/NIFA Online Online Online Online Online

*NIH applies to the following award types: 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.


Federal Agency Information

HHS/NIH Requirements

  • Applicability: NIH requires that all trainees, fellows, participants, and scholars receiving support through any NIH training, career development award (individual or institutional), research education grant, and dissertation research grant must receive instruction in responsible conduct of research.  Acceptable programs generally involve at least eight contact hours. Applicable programs include 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. 

  • Training Plan: NIH requires an RCR Training Plan be included in each proposal submitted to one of the programs listed above. The plan must include substantial face-to-face discussions among the participating trainees, fellows, scholars, and participants; a combination of didactic and small-group discussions (e.g. case studies); and participation of research training faculty members in instruction in responsible conduct of research are highly encouraged. While on-line courses can be a valuable supplement to instruction in responsible conduct of research, online instruction is not considered adequate as the sole means of instruction.

    A plan that employs only online coursework for instruction in responsible conduct of research will not be considered acceptable, except in special instances of short-term training programs (see below), or unusual and well-justified circumstances.

    NIH RCR Training Plan Template

  • NIH Formal Training Options:
    • Option 1: Satisfactory completion of FSU Graduate School's in-person, for-credit Responsible Conduct of Research course, which is available only to graduate students and is offered each Spring Semester.
    • Option 2: Satisfactory completion of FSU College of Medicine’s in-person, for-credit course entitled "Ethics and Professional Integrity in Research." This course is open only to graduate students and is offered each Fall Semester.
    • Option 3: Satisfactory completion of the Office of Research Compliance Program's one-day Responsible Conduct of Research Workshop. The Workshop will be held each Fall and Spring Semesters, beginning in Fall 2020, and will provide eight (8) hours of face-to-face instruction and discussion. This Workshop fulfills the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture requirements for formal RCR instruction. This training is open to all FSU-affiliated individuals (faculty, postdocs, graduate students, staff and undergraduates) regardless of their funding sources. Certificates of Completion will be provided to individuals who complete the program. Information on registering for this workshop will be posted by August 2020. 
    • Option 4: Any of the above Options 1-3, PLUS satisfactory completion of the online training course offered by CITI (Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative). This option is available to anyone with an @FSU email address, including faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students. Click here for instructions on creating a CITI account. 

  • Informal Training: NIH recognizes that instruction in responsible conduct of research occurs formally and informally in educational settings and that informal instruction occurs throughout the research training experience. Informal instruction occurs in the course of laboratory interactions and in other informal situations throughout the year. Training faculty may contribute to formal instruction in responsible conduct of research as discussion leaders, speakers, lecturers, and/or course directors. Types of informal training may include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • Review and discussion of topics from the NIH RCR Casebook
    • Selective Readings:
      • Shamoo, A. E. (2015). Responsible conduct of research. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
      • Institute of Medicine. 2003. Responsible Research: A Systems Approach to Protecting Research Participants. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/10508.
      • National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering (US) and Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy. On Being a Scientist: A Guide to Responsible Conduct in Research: Third Edition. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2009. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK214568/ doi: 10.17226/12192
    • Mentorship during laboratory meetings or while conducting research.

  • Frequency of Instruction: Education on responsible conduct of research should recur throughout a scientist’s career: at the undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, predoctoral, postdoctoral, and faculty levels. Institutional training programs and individual fellows/scholars are strongly encouraged to consider how to optimize instruction in responsible conduct of research for the particular career stage(s) of the individual(s) involved. Instruction must be undertaken at least once during each career stage, and at a frequency of no less than once every four years.

  • RCR Casebook: The Casebook provides case studies, role plays, and reflection questions to foster ethical problem-solving skills, promote sense-making skills, and increase a researcher’s awareness of the many dimensions in ethical decisions.

  • Citation: National Institutes of Health, Requirement for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research, as published in Notice No. NOT-OD-10-019.

NSF RCR Requirements

  • Applicability: An institution must have a plan in place 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. NSF encourages training of faculty in the responsible and ethical conduct of research. While training plans are not required to be included in proposals submitted to NSF, institutions are advised that they are subject to review, upon request.

  • Timing of Training: NSF-supported postdoctoral fellows and graduate students must complete their training within two months of their initial appointment or assignment to the grant. NSF-supported undergraduates must complete their training within one month of their initial appointment or assignment to the grant.

  • NSF Formal Training Options:
    • Option 1: Satisfactory completion of the online training course offered by CITI (Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative). This option is available to anyone with an @FSU email address, including postdoctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students, and USDA/NIFA project personnel. Click here for instructions on creating a CITI account. Note: USDA/NIFA project staff should follow the instructions provided for Postdoctoral scholars. 
    • Option 2: Satisfactory completion of the Office of Research Compliance Program's one-day Responsible Conduct of Research Workshop. The Workshop will be held each Fall and Spring Semesters, beginning in Fall 2020, and will provide eight (8) hours of face-to-face instruction and discussion. This Workshop fulfills the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture requirements for formal RCR instruction. This training is open to all FSU-affiliated individuals (faculty, postdocs, graduate students, staff and undergraduates) regardless of their funding sources. Certificates of Completion will be provided to individuals who complete the program. Information on registering for this workshop will be posted by August 2020. 

  • Informal Training: See Informal Training under NIH above.

  • Citation: National Science Foundation, Responsible Conduct of Research, as published in NSF’s Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide.

USDA/NIFA RCR Requirements
  • Applicability: By accepting a NIFA award the grantee assures that program directors, faculty, undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and any staff participating in the research project receive appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research and that documentation of such training will be maintained.

  • USDA/NIFA Formal Training Options:
    • Option 1: Satisfactory completion of the online training course offered by CITI (Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative). This option is available to anyone with an @FSU email address, including postdoctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students, and USDA/NIFA project personnel. Click here for instructions on creating a CITI account. Note: USDA/NIFA project staff should follow the instructions provided for Postdoctoral scholars. 
    • Option 2: Satisfactory completion of the Office of Research Compliance Program's one-day Responsible Conduct of Research Workshop. The Workshop will be held each Fall and Spring Semesters, beginning in Fall 2020, and will provide eight (8) hours of face-to-face instruction and discussion. This Workshop fulfills the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture requirements for formal RCR instruction. This training is open to all FSU-affiliated individuals (faculty, postdocs, graduate students, staff and undergraduates) regardless of their funding sources. Certificates of Completion will be provided to individuals who complete the program. Information on registering for this workshop will be posted by August 2020. 

  • Informal Training: See Informal Training under NIH above.

  • Citation: 2 CFR Part 422, Sections 2, 3, and 8

Contact

For questions about the RCR Policy, training options, or agency regulations please contact Diana Key, dkey@fsu.edu, Director, Office of Research Compliance Programs.

 

Contact Us

Research Compliance
Diana Key, Director
2019 Westcott North
Tallahassee, FL 32306-1330
Ph: (850) 644-8648
Fax: (850) 645-0108
dkey@fsu.edu
research-compliance@fsu.edu