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Responsible Conduct of Research – Training Requirements by Agency

NIH specifies that RCR training must include a face-to-face component; online training alone is insufficient.

  NIH NSF USDA-NIFA
Who needs RCR training? 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. All undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers who are supported from NSF sponsored programs. Program directors, faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and any staff participating in the research project.
When should RCR training take place? NIH encourages RCR instruction at every stage of a researcher’s career and at least once every four years. Initial RCR training for predoctoral researchers should take place as early as possible in graduate school. The institution's plan for training should specify when individuals are to receive the training. NSF allows an institution to determine the frequency of RCR training. USDA-NIFA does not specify a timeframe within which RCR training must be completed.
What subjects must be included? No specific curricular requirements, although NIH has identified nine topics[1] that have been included in most acceptable RCR instruction plans. No minimum content requirements are specified; NSF allows the institution to determine the content of RCR training, acknowledging that training needs may vary depending on the circumstances. The general content of the ethics training will, at a minimum, emphasize three key areas of research ethics: authorship and plagiarism, data and research integration, and reporting misconduct.
How much training is required? NIH notes that acceptable RCR training programs generally involve at least eight contact hours. No minimum requirements; NSF allows institutions to determine the duration of RCR training. No minimum requirements; USDA-NIFA does not specify a required duration for RCR training.
How should RCR training be delivered? NSF does not specify any required RCR training methods. Training can be delivered in a face-to-face setting or through online resources. No minimum requirements; USDA-NIFA does not specify a required duration for RCR training. USDA-NIFA does not specify any required RCR training methods. Training can be delivered in a face-to-face setting, or through online resources.
References https://nifa.usda.gov/responsible- and-ethical-conduct-research

 


[1] The nine topics that NIH has identified as core topics for RCR instruction are:

  1. Research Misconduct
  2. Protection of Human Subjects
  3. Welfare of Laboratory Animals
  4. Conflicts of Interest
  5. Data Management Practices
  6. Mentor and Mentee Responsibilities
  7. Collaborative Research
  8. Authorship and Publication
  9. Peer Review

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