Research Integrity and Assurance

Responsible Conduct of Research Program

Responsible Conduct of Research

What is RCR?

 

The acronym RCR stands for the responsible conduct of research. As defined by federal agencies, RCR encompasses the following nine areas: research misconduct; human participants; research involving animals; data acquisition, management, sharing and ownership; mentor/trainee responsibilities; publication practices and responsible authorship; peer review; collaborative science; and conflicts of interests. The ASU operational plan includes a 10th element, “Responsible and Safe Laboratory Practices” in accordance with NIH regulations.

Why is the training required?

The America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science (America COMPETES) Act of 2007 was enacted to ensure our nation’s competitive position in the world through improvements in math and science education and a strong commitment to research. RCR training is required to comply with the Congressional mandate under the America Competes Act and to demonstrate the ASU commitment to providing the highest quality education for all students and scholars. Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research is essential to produce the best scientists and researchers for the future.

Who has to take the training?

Undergraduates, graduate students and postdoctoral researchers who are supported on an ASU sponsored project must take the training. The ASU RCR training plan has been tailored to meet the needs of the individuals and the career stage of those who participate in sponsored research. We believe a graduated, tiered approach is the best solution to meet these needs.

What do students have to do to satisfy the requirement?

Undergraduate students must complete Phase I online basic RCR training, which involves basic online reading assignments with an online question and answer session. Students must earn a passing grade of 80% or higher to complete the training. The principal investigator must provide Phase III education to the students on an ongoing basis as part of the daily research routine. 

Graduate students must complete Phase I online RCR training related to their area of study, which involves online reading assignments with an online question and answer session. Students must earn a passing grade of 80% or higher to complete the training. The principal investigator provides Phase III education to the students on an ongoing basis as part of the daily research routine. 

Post-doctoral students must complete Phase I online RCR training AND attend a Phase II workshop. You can find a schedule of current workshops here. The principal investigator must provide Phase III education to the students on an ongoing basis as part of the daily research routine. 

Please note: When a student's status at ASU changes (i.e., undergraduate to graduate, graduate to post doc), the student must meet the requirements for the new status.

Will I receive a certificate when my training is complete?

Yes, CITI provides a certificate upon completion of Phase I and ORIA will send out a certificate of completion to individuals who have completed Phase II.

How long do I have to take the training?

You must complete Phase I online training within 60 days of hire. Postdoctoral researchers must complete Phase II training within one year of employment.

How long is the training good for?

The Phase I and II training is required one time only. During Phase III all students and postdoctoral researchers on sponsored research projects will be provided continuing education in RCR topics in the research setting with the principal investigator or qualified designee. The goal of Phase III is to provide continuous mentoring of the students and postdoctoral researchers to allow them to understand, discuss, and apply responsible conduct of research in the research setting.

What happens if I don’t complete the training within the timeline?

The responsible principal investigator will be notified and a corrective action plan will be required.

How will undergraduates/graduate students and postdocs know if the training requirement pertains to them?

ORIA will notify them by email and place a task flag on their My ASU “To Do” list.

What happens when someone does not comply?

ORIA will follow up individually with principal investigators to monitor compliance and will work with ORSPA in terms of implementing necessary corrective actions, which can include suspending the student’s paid activities.

If I have taken RCR training at another institution does that satisfy the ASU training requirements?

Phase I online training is transferable for components that are shared among institutions. Phase II and Phase III training requirements are ASU specific and are not transferable.

Why do I need to complete RCR training?  I’ve already done IRB training in CITI.

IRB training is not the same as RCR training.  Human Subject Protections regulations and IRB policies have specific training requirements.  While there is some overlap in some of the topics, RCR training is very different from IRB training.

Does the CITI online training plan count for animal care and use training?

No. Animal Welfare requires additional specific training for certification in this area as required by federal regulations and institutional policies of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.

Is the RCR training requirement the same thing as NSF’s “postdoctoral mentoring requirement”?

No, the postdoctoral mentoring requirement is a separate initiative requiring the submission of a mentoring plan that is described in a supplemental document specific to each proposal submission. The plan is considered during the merit review process.

Do the RCR training requirements apply to subcontractors?

Yes, certification by each subcontractor is required.

Do undergraduates, graduate students and postdoctoral researchers paid by cost share accounts have to complete the training requirements?

Yes.

Who maintains the RCR training records?

The Office of Research Integrity and Assurance (ORIA) will maintain records of training certifications.

Who is responsible for documenting ongoing Phase III training required by the Plan?

The principal investigator is responsible for providing continuing education in RCR topics in the research setting. The goal of this phase is to mentor the student or postdoctoral researcher to understand, discuss and apply responsible conduct of research in the research setting. ORIA has provided sample mentoring plans here.

I completed my training already.  Why does the task still show up in my “To Do” list in MyASU?

There are two scenarios for why your training may be showing up as incomplete:

  • Your personal profile in CITI is not complete or
  • Your ASURITE ID in the profile in CITI is not correct.  If the ASURITE ID is not correct, the completion will not transfer over into ASU’s system to record the completion and remove the task from your “To Do” list.

To correct either of these issues, take the following steps:

  1. Go to CITI Program website at www.citiprogram.org
  2. "Log in through my institution" by clicking the "Log in via SSO" button
  3. Click "Arizona State University" under the list of organization names
  4. Click "My Profiles" across the top
  5. Click the "Arizona State University Profile" blue bar at the bottom of the screen
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