Responsible conduct of research
Northern Arizona University is committed to the highest standards of ethics, integrity, and accountability in all aspects of research. We recognize that the responsible and ethical conduct of research (RCR) is critical for excellence, as well as public trust, in science and engineering; and that education in RCR is considered essential in the preparation of future scientists and engineers.
What is Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)? Accordion Closed
Responsible Conduct of Research is defined as the practice of scientific investigation with integrity. It involves the awareness and application of established professional norms and ethical principles in the performance of all activities related to scientific research.
Who is required to be trained in RCR? Accordion Closed
NAU expects that all individuals engaged in funded or non-funded research, scholarship, and creative activities will receive RCResearch Training.
NAU requires that all Principal Investigators and faculty directly involved in NIH/NSF research, or in the supervision of students, postdocs, and staff who are involved in NIH/NSF research will be trained in RCR and will provide mentoring and discussion sessions with their students, and all those under their supervision. NAU expects that these PIs and faculty will document these activities for reporting purposes.
National Institutes of Health: NIH requires that 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 must receive instruction in RCR. This policy also applies to any other NIH-funded programs supporting research training, career development, or research education that require instruction in RCR as stated in the relevant funding opportunity announcements.
National Science Foundation: NSF expects institutions to be able to verify that those students (undergraduates and graduates) and postdoctoral researchers who receive NSF funds (support from salary and/or stipends to conduct research on NSF grants) have obtained RCR training.
How can I receive training in RCR? Accordion Closed
RCR Training consists of two components, (A) An online course module, and (B) Face-to-face training:
Online training can be completed through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Program. Currently there are five training areas: Biomedical, Physical Sciences, Arts and Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Engineering. You may pick the module most closely related to your academic background/research area.
Face-to-face training can be completed through one or more of the following options:
- Complete an in-person RCR course offered through an NAU department or college (courses can receive this designation upon approval by the OVPR’s RCR Committee).
- Complete an in-person RCR course at another institution (upon approval of the RCR Committee), within the last four years.
- Attend an RCR symposium or workshop (upon approval by the RCR Committee, a certificate of attendance and description of course content must be provided to the RCR Committee).
Please contact the Office of Research Compliance for in-person training opportunities.
How often must a researcher undergo training in RCR? Accordion Closed
For NIH funded researchers: instruction must be undertaken at least once during each career stage, and at a frequency of no less than once every four years.
For NSF funded researchers: Each institution is responsible for the content requirements of its RCR training program, and the frequency with which such training determination must occur.
NAU expects that RCR training will be completed prior to the start of NIH or NSF funded research, and that a refresher course will be completed every four years and at least once during each stage of one’s career as an undergraduate, master, doctorate, postdoctoral scholar, and at each stage of faculty rank. It is the responsibility of the PI or faculty member to determine that each researcher under one’s supervision has completed the appropriate RCR training.