Responsible Conduct of Research training is mandatory for students employed on:
Responsible Conduct of Research Mentoring and Healthy Research Environments training is mandatory for faculty or staff:
The responsible and ethical conduct of research is critical for excellence, as well as maintaining the public trust in research, both for individual students, professors and staff, and for NKU as an institution. Education in RCR is essential in the preparation of future researchers and scholars. As defined by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), research integrity is "the use of honest and verifiable methods in proposing, performing and evaluating research, and reporting research results with particular attention to adherence to rules, regulations, guidelines and commonly accepted professional codes or norms."
There are nine overarching RCR categories:
1. Conflict of interest – personal, professional, and financial
2. Policies regarding human subjects, live vertebrate animal subjects in research, and safe laboratory practices
3. Mentor/mentee responsibilities and relationships
4. Collaborative research including collaborations with industry
5. Peer review
6. Data acquisition and laboratory tools, management, sharing and ownership
7. Research misconduct and policies for handling misconduct
8. Responsible authorship and publication
9. The scientist as a responsible member of society, contemporary ethical issues in biomedical research, and the environmental and societal impacts of scientific research RCR training.
The RCR training requirements pertain to the following groups:
Although RCR training is only required for the aforementioned groups, it is strongly recommended that any individual engaged in research at NKU complete the CITI training modules as well.
As of the fall of 2009, both the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF) require trainees and students to receive training on the Responsible Conduct of Research.
As of 2023, faculty and staff listed as senior personnel on grants awarded through RGC must complete mentor-specific RCR training, as per NKU policy.
NKU abides by federal guidelines in pursuant to the RCR mandates and offers various resources to meet these requirements.
NKU has identified two phases of RCR training.
Phase 1 - NKU has contracted with a third party, Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) to provide online training for RCR. The RCR program through CITI is divided into nine categories and is managed through the NKU Office of Research, Grants and Contracts.
At a minimum, NKU requires all students, trainees, faculty and staff listed above to complete RCR CITI training. NKU requires that each training module must be passed with a minimum score of 80%.
Phase 2 - Involves ongoing training including but not limited to, face-to-face instruction, reading assignments, etc., identified and tracked by each Principal Investigator.
NIH - The NIH recommends eight hours of instruction/training and requires face-to-face discussions. The NIH policy states that online education format alone is insufficient. It is the Principal Investigator’s responsibility to ensure that students/trainees on NIH grants complete RCR training beyond CITI.
NSF - The NSF has not recommended a certain number of hours training, wishing rather to leave it up to individual Principal Investigators, based on individual project needs.
Faculty/Staff (Senior Personnel on Grants)
At a minimum, must complete one module of RCR called Mentoring and Healthy Research Environments. This training is provided by CITI. However, it is recommended that senior personnel obtain additional training specific to mentoring.
Phase 1 Students/Trainees - The CITI RCR training modules must be completed within 30 days of joining a research project or within 30 days of being notified of the requirement. Both NIH and NSF require ongoing training that goes above and beyond solely online education. This supplemental training should be identified and facilitated by the PI.
Phase 1 Faculty/Staff (Senior Grant Personnel)
One module specific to Mentoring must be completed through the CITI training system before grants may be activated. The training only needs to completed once every four years.
Phase 2 - Ongoing training identified or provided by the Principal Investigator does not have a deadline.
Phase 1 Student/Trainee - Any individual who is required to, and does not complete the RCR training within the time frame allocated, will be removed from the award at the time of discovery and cannot be reinstated to the award until training is complete.
Phase 1 Faculty/Staff (Senior Personnel) - Grants may not be activated without having completed the Mentoring and Healthy Research Environments module within CITI training.
Phase 2 - Due to federal requirements, if Phase 2 RCR training requirements are not met, the study and institution could be considered out of compliance with federal regulations.
Since much of our research funding comes from the NIH and the NSF, we are providing information and options to assist PIs in satisfying the RCR requirements, above and beyond the required CITI modules.
RCR or ethics training is not limited to just NIH and NSF; the courses and websites listed below can be helpful to anyone that is doing research, regardless of the source of funding.
Office of Research Integrity (ORI), Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research
ORI Casebook: Stories about Researchers worth Discussion (Casebook)
ORI Casebook (Abridged Web Version): Stories about Researchers worth Discussing, Instructor’s Manual
Research Cases for Use by the NIH Community
Conflict of interest – personal, professional, and financial
Office of Research Integrity (ORI) Conflicts of Interest and Commitment
Office of Research Integrity (ORI) Human Subject Research
Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, book available to borrow in the NKU Office of Research, Grants and Contracts.
Mentor/mentee responsibilities and relationships
A Guide to Training and Mentoring in the Intramural Research Program at NIH
Peer Review Reviewer
Resource – NIH Center for Scientific Review
Research misconduct and policies for handling misconduct
Office of Research Integrity (ORI) Research Misconduct
Responsible Authorship and Publication
Processes for Authorship Dispute Resolution Office of Research Integrity (ORI) Publication/Authorship Columbia University Responsible Authorship and Peer Review (online program)
The scientist as a responsible member of society, contemporary ethical issues in biomedical research, and the environmental and societal impacts of scientific research RCR training.
Research Cases for Use by the NIH Community - Theme 9 - Science and Social Responsibility - Dual Use Research (2009)Research Cases for Use by the NIH Community - Theme 10 - Science and Social Responsibility, continued (2010)