Federal research sponsors have implemented regulations requiring that training in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) is provided to study personnel as a condition of certain awards, although it is expected that robust training in RCR should routinely be provided to all students, postdoctoral scholars and research personnel regardless of the funding source.
National Science Foundation (NSF) Requirement for RCR Training
As a recipient of National Science Foundation (NSF) funding, UCI must comply with Section 7009 of the America COMPETES Act, which mandates training in the responsible conduct of research (RCR) for students and postdoctoral fellows who receive NSF funds (either stipends or salary support). The NSF has prepared Frequently Asked Questions regarding its RCR policy. UCI has developed an online training module, accessible through the UC Learning Center, that will satisfy the NSF requirement. The system will record information about individuals who complete the training under their UCInetID logon. The NSF also requires that Principal Investigators describe their RCR training plans in proposals, as well as verify whether training plans for postdocs and graduate students have been carried out for each year of projects where this requirement is relevant.
National Institutes of Health (NIH) Requirement for RCR Training
Applicants for National Institutes of Health institutional training grants are required to describe formal and informal activities related to instruction on RCR as part of their proposal. The RCR program should provide instruction in scientific integrity and/or the responsible conduct of research. No specific curriculum is prescribed, but programs are encouraged to consider instruction in: conflicts of interest, responsible authorship, policies for handling misconduct, policies regarding the use of human and animal subjects, and data management. NIH also endorses a discussion of the topics from a trainee and institution perspective. Applications without RCR plans are considered incomplete. Note that the NIH requires substantial face-to-face training, therefore the online module alone will be insufficient to meet the NIH training grant RCR requirement.