In November 2009, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued an update to its policy on instruction in the responsible conduct of research. Under this policy, 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 responsible conduct of research.
The updated requirements took effect for all new and renewal applications submitted on or after January 25, 2010, and for all continuation (Type 5) applications with deadlines on or after January 1, 2011.
Applications lacking a plan for instruction in responsible conduct of research will be considered incomplete and may be delayed in the review process or not reviewed.
The programs to which the requirement applies include: D43, D71, F05, F30, F31, F32, F33, F34, F37, F38, K01, K02, K05, K07, K08, K12, K18, K22, K23, K24, K25, K26, K30, K99/R00, KL1, KL2, R25, R36, T15, T32, T34, T35, T36, T37, T90/R90, TL1, TU2, and U2R.
NIH has outlined five instructional components that RCR training plans must address:
- Format: Plans should include substantial face-to-face discussion. Online instruction alone is not sufficient to satisfy the requirement.
- Subject Matter: Recommended areas of instruction include: conflict of interest; human and animal subjects; mentor/mentee relationships; collaborative research; peer review; data management, sharing and ownership; research misconduct; responsible authorship and publication, and the scientist as a responsible member of society.
- Faculty Participation: Training faculty and mentors/sponsors are highly encouraged to contribute to instruction both formally and informally.
- Duration: Instruction should involve at least eight contact hours.
- Frequency: Instruction is required at least once during each career stage (undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, predoctoral, postdoctoral, and faculty) and at a minimum frequency of once every four years.
Research Compliance Services has developed guidance on creating an RCR instruction plan for NIH funding applications.
For specific requirements and procedures by type of award, please consult the following resources:
Update on the Requirement for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research
NIH Grants Policy Statement
Effective January 4, 2010, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has implemented a requirement that all undergraduate students, graduate students and postdoctoral researchers that are supported by NSF to conduct research receive training in the responsible conduct of research. This requirement implements the provisions of Section 7009 of the America COMPETES Act.
The NSF requires that a plan to provide this training be in place at the institutional level and that institutional certification to this effect be provided for each grant proposal. Training plans are not required to be included in proposals submitted to NSF, but are subject to review upon request.
For more information on the NSF RCR requirement, including implementation guidance and frequently asked questions, please visit: http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/rcr.jsp