Training in responsible and ethical research practices is an integral part of preparing academic professionals to conduct research. Both the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have requirements for training in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR).
Effective January 4, 2010, proposals submitted to NSF must include certification from the institutional official 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 supported by NSF to conduct research."
Federal Register Notice announcing NSF's final implementation published on August 20, 2009.
Likewise, effective January 25, 2010 ".any NIH training, career development award (individual or institutional), research education grant, and dissertation research grant must receive instruction in responsible conduct of research." These are listed as: 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 proposals and renewals must address the training plan for instruction in RCR.
NIH RCR training requirement policy update published on November 24, 2009.
CSULB supports training to ensure the highest ethical and professional standards for conducting research. RCR training is intended to promote awareness of principles and practices that facilitate ethical and responsible research across all areas of research and scholarship. The plan's flexibility permits training to be appropriate for the discipline and career stage.
This working document describes the plan developed by CSULB to provide training in RCR. At this time, only those individuals required to receive training must comply with the training plan; however, all students, staff and faculty engaged in research are encouraged to receive appropriate training.
The terminal objective is to enhance scientific integrity by training the learner in the accepted standards and norms of science. The enabling objectives of RCR training are as follows:
RCR training generally includes coverage of topics that include:
CSULB's plan for training in RCR includes most, if not all of these topics; however, content may vary depending on the needs of the trainee and relevance to the discipline or project.
All trainees required by NSF or NIH to undertake RCR training will complete an interactive web-based ethics core program on Responsible Conduct of Research either using the CITI training program or the NSF program within 60 days of beginning work on the project. To begin, trainees will complete a new user account registration, and identify California State University, Long Beach as the group. The ORSP will have access to the database to verify completion of the three training modules. The modules are titled: 1- Rights and Obligations; 2- Collaboration and Communication; and 3- Intellectual Property. Completion of the three modules satisfies the minimum training requirements for NSF although students who receive NSF support for more than 90-days are encouraged to complete additional RCR training, in addition to the web-based tutorial.
Those funded through designated NIH support are expected to complete at least eight hours of "contact time" as part of ongoing training as per the NIH update. Additional training can be obtained in a variety of ways. The ORSP is developing a resource list of lectures, workshops, and courses that are available for RCR training. Likewise, training may be offered within a specific center, laboratory, department and college. Opportunities for RCR training may be available through existing courses and within the research setting provided by the faculty supervisor or other knowledgable individual.
The faculty supervisor is responsible for ensuring that eligible trainees receive training within a year of the project's start. An RCR Training website is being developed to assist in documenting training so that the ORSP, faculty member and student have a record of training completed.
If human subjects, animal subjects or biohazardous materials will be used, the trainee must also complete training through the Human Subjects tutorial or the Animal Use and Care tutorial available through the CITI training portal, the ORSP website and/or the biosafety training through the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Safety Office in advance of working with human or animal subjects or biohazardous materials.
RCR training opportunities that may fulfill the 8 hours of "contact time" for NIH RCR compliance include:
Courses offered by department that include coverage of topics associated with RCR may be used as a training source. Other methods for obtaining RCR training include:
Supplementary education may be offered by the faculty member. For guidance on developing RCR education, please visit the Office of Research Integrity, Resources for Research Ethics Education, Online Ethics Center and Ethics in Science and Engineering National Clearing House
RCR training obtained from another institution is acceptable and should be documented by a project's faculty supervisor.
Any individual (i.e. student, staff, faculty) engaged in research is eligible to complete RCR training. Students, and faculty may be required to complete mandatory training depending on stipulations from the funding agency.
The primary objective is to enhance scientific integrity by training scholars in the accepted standards and norms of science. RCR training is intended to promote awareness and understanding of conventions within and across disciplines. The RCR training plan will be assessed periodically by the Director for Research Compliance who will provide recommendations to the Associate Vice President for Research for necessary modifications.
The DRC will work with CSULB Foundation and the GCA's to monitor compliance. DRC will contact responsible faculty in cases of non-compliance.
Please contact Dr. Al Russo (Email: Al.Russo@csulb.edu; Tel: 562-985-2502) with questions concerning Responsible Conduct of Research training and compliance requirements.
ORSP would like to thank Dr. Camille Nebeker from San Diego State University for her assistance and guidance in the generation of this document which is an adaptation from materials developed by San Diego State University, Graduate and Research Affairs, Division of Research Affairs.