- University Life
Tubman, Jonathan G.
Vice Provost for Research & Dean of Graduate Studies
Research, scholarship, professional and creative activities conducted at American University are to be done according to the highest ethical and professional standards. A framework for imparting the “best practices” associated with ethical and professional standards, and increasingly regarded as a critical component of scholarly and career development, is training in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). The initial National Institutes of Health (NIH) policy on RCR was published in 1989. RCR training was mandated for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows and faculty funded by the NIH training grants and career awards. New standards for RCR training were issued by the NIH on January 24, 2010. RCR training is required for NIH Institutional Research Training Grant Awards, Individual Fellowship Awards, Career Development Awards (Institutional and Individual), Research Education Grants, Dissertation Research Grant Awards, and other grant awards with a training component as noted in the funding opportunity announcement (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-10-019.html) and must meet more specific guidelines. As of January 4, 2010, RCR training is also required for undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) (http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/E9-19930.htm). Beyond these regulations, RCR training is strongly encouraged for all faculty, staff, and students engaged in scholarly work, regardless of funding source or field of study.
RCR training usually includes the following topics.
Other topics frequently considered in RCR training include ethical deliberation, whistle blowing, lab management, environmental and lab safety, intellectual property, national security and export control, research in international and intercultural environment, public diplomacy / policy.
AU is in the process of developing resources for RCR training, including an on-line course developed by the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI). The CITI on-line course can be accessed at https://www.citiprogram.org/Default.asp? Be sure to affiliate with American University during registration. Do not select “Human Subjects Research” modules from the “Select Curriculum” screen unless directed by your faculty advisor or the Institutional Review Board (IRB).
Training grant and career award applicants are required to include a plan for their training in RCR. It is important to review the specific terms of the award announcement to determine what is required as this may vary with the type and level of award. However, NIH recently released a notice outlining new standards for RCR training and these requirements are effective January 25, 2010. Note that training plans must address in full the five instructional components: format, faculty participation, subject matter, duration, and frequency of instruction, and that on-line training alone is not considered sufficient.
Here is summary of the new requirements:
This Notice applies to the following programs: 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.
Starting with new applications after January 4, 2010, all undergraduates, graduates, and postdoctoral fellows funded by NSF awards are required to complete RCR training. The requirement can be fulfilled by completing an on-line RCR course available through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI). The course can be accessed at https://www.citiprogram.org/Default.asp? Be sure to affiliate with American University during registration. Do not select “Human Subjects Research” modules from the “Select Curriculum” screen unless directed by your faculty advisor or the Institutional Review Board (IRB).
Below is a summary of the elements of the NSF RCR training requirements.
Institutions are responsible for verifying that undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers supported by NSF to conduct research have received training in the responsible and ethical conduct of research.