Indiana University

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IU RCR Program to meet new NSF requirement

Nov. 9, 2009 - As many of you know, effective 4 January 2010, a new requirement will be in place for all applications submitted to NSF.  By submitting an application, the Institution and PI are certifying that all undergraduate students, graduate students and post-docs supported by that grant will successfully complete an institutional program of education in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR).

After discussion with IU Research Officers, numerous Deans, Associate Deans and Department Chairs, and faculty, the Office of Research Administration has developed a two-part program of education to meet this requirement.

  • Successful completion of selected modules of the on-line RCR program hosted by the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) at University of Miami; and
  • Discipline specific mentoring by the PI and lead investigators during the course of the grant

Indiana University has started the process of subscribing to the on-line RCR program offered by CITI. More information including how to access the program will be provided in the near future.

The CITI program offers RCR core modules that are customized to various discipline categories:

  • Biological/Biomedical Sciences
  • Engineering Sciences
  • Humanities
  • Physical Sciences
  • Social Sciences
  • Research Administration

All undergraduate and graduate students and post-docs support by NSF funds will be required to complete, within their discipline category, chapters and pass tests covering the following RCR core areas. We estimate that this should take between one and a half and three hours to complete:

  • Introduction to RCR
  • Authorship and Publication
  • Collaborative Research
  • Data Acquisition and Management
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Mentoring
  • Research Misconduct
  • Peer Review

Modules covering research with human subjects and research with animals will not be required as these topics are introduced in the overview chapter and if anyone is doing such research, they will be completing the educational program as required by an IRB and IACUC

At the current time, there is no section in the standard NSF application for the PI to write or insert information about this training. It is an institutional certification and by submitting the grant the institution is confirming its intent to comply with this requirement

More information, including examples of modules and instructions for accessing the material will be forthcoming prior to the implementation date of January 4, 2010. In the meantime, if you have any questions or require further information please contact: