Northeastern University Responsible Conduct of Research Training Plan
The following formal training will also be supplemented via informal instruction by active mentoring throughout the individual's educational and research training experience.
Phase 1: Online instruction
- Required review of an introduction to RCR, at:
Selection of 3 topics to examine in-depth (not to include animal or human research modules) in a relevant RCR module discipline set (i.e., biomedical, social behavioral, physical science, humanities, engineering) within the web-based Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI), located at www.citiprogram.org.
Topic selections should be based on interest of topics generated from the review of - An Introduction to RCR. A passing grade of 80% must be achieved on the quizzes taken at the end of these modules. Notification of successful completion of on-line training will be provided by e-mail to the undergraduate, and to the Office of Research Compliance.
Graduate students, postdocs, fellows, faculty, etc.):
Completion of the relevant RCR module discipline set (i.e., biomedical, social behavioral, physical science, humanities, engineering) within the web-based Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI), located at www.citiprogram.org. A passing grade of 80% must be achieved on the quizzes taken at the end of these modules. Notification of successful completion of on-line training will be provided by e-mail to the student, post-doc fellow, or faculty, and to the Office of Research Compliance.
Phase 2: Discipline-specific, credit-earning curriculum to be integrated into the coursework within each department/school
The University plan assumes and expects that all graduate students in the divisions of the social and natural sciences and engineering, as part of their doctoral or research master's education, receive RCR instruction by means of a course, and that post-doctoral researchers, unless researchers can present documentary evidence (e.g., certificate of completion or copy of an undergraduate or graduate transcript showing successful completion of an RCR course) that they have already received RCR training consistent with the University's requirement, complete the training program.
Minimum requirement to satisfy this phase:
Course curriculum content must include training in:
- conflict of interest - personal, professional, and financial
- human subjects, live vertebrate animal subjects in research, and safe laboratory practices (general; formal training and certification is required, outside of the RCR instructional program, in order to do research involving human or animal subjects etc)
- mentor/mentee responsibilities and relationships
- research involving collaborations, internal and external to the University
- peer review
- data acquisition and laboratory tools; management, sharing and ownership
- research misconduct (fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism) and policies for handling misconduct
- Publication Practices and Responsible Authorship
- The scientist as a responsible member of society, contemporary ethical issues in biomedical research, and the environmental and societal impacts of scientific research
Course Model to be followed:
An example of the type of Course that will be completed would be comprised of a small group break-out sessions headed by faculty, with goal of active participation by learner in applying the principles outlined in the lecture to relevant case studies. Examinations will be required for quantitative assessments. Attendance and participation is required at all sessions.
Faculty from the school/department or other applicable individuals with expertise in the content being addressed may teach the lectures or lead the break-out sessions. A passing grade of 80% constitutes successful completion of Phase II training. Additional educational tools may be used as applicable, see Appendix I for examples.
Phase 3: RCR Recertification
All individuals conducting research must recertify in RCR no less than once every four years, with a minimum of 8 contact hours.
After successful completion of the course, the departmental/school RCR coordinator will enter the requisite information into the centralized RCR database that also houses the Phase I (CITI online training) certifications.
Responsibility for compliance with the RCR mandate rests primarily with Principal Investigators. Accordingly, principal investigators will:
- Identify research team members (undergraduates, graduate students, and post-doctoral associates) to be hired on NSF/NIH-funded projects and inform the Office of Research Compliance & Research Administration of these hires.
- Ensure completion of RCR training for required students and postdoctoral researchers as soon as possible;
- Engage with post-doctoral appointees and outline the commitments of both the PI and the post-doctoral appointee relative to the post-doctoral appointee/mentor relationship;
The NU Division of Research Compliance will:
- Verify compliance with RCR training requirements;
- Build collaborations with departments and that promote faculty involvement in the RCR training program; and
- Recommend policies and procedures that will promote RCR awareness and education campus-wide
This plan and future updates and improvements to the training plan will be posted here as it evolves over the coming months.