Responsible Conduct of Research Requirements
Federal requirements stipulate that undergraduates, graduate students and post-doctoral researchers must receive training in Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). Every University receiving grant support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) must have in place an RCR program as a condition or accepting these grants.
At Binghamton all undergraduate and graduate students supported in any part by a grant from the NSF or the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are required to complete an online training program. Since all graduate students complete such a program as part of their normal graduate student requirements, they have already fulfilled this requirement. All undergraduates supported in any part by the NSF or the NIH must complete an online training program as described below. All post-doctoral researchers must complete the online training program regardless of their source of support.
Each semester there will be one required seminar (there may be additional optional seminars provided by the Research Division for general audiences where you will be invited to attend). The topics will be different each time, depending on requests, timeliness of the topics and availability of guest speakers.
Background on the America COMPETES Act
In 2007, the president of the United States signed into law the America COMPETES Act. Section 7009 of this act mandates that the director of the National Science Foundation “require each institution that applies for financial assistance from the Foundation for science and engineering research or education describe in its grant proposal a plan to provide appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research to undergraduate students, graduate students and postdoctoral researcher participating in the proposed research project.”
Since the enactment of the America COMPETES Act, NSF has been developing implementation strategies. Plans include the addition of a new certification requirement to be provided by the Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) at the time of proposal submission. The AOR will certify that the institution has a plan to provide appropriate training and oversight in responsible and ethical conduct to researchers participating in NSF-funded projects.
NSF implemented this requirement on Jan. 4, 2010.
NIH requires that all trainees, fellows, participants and scholars receiving support through any NIH training, career development award, research education grant and dissertation research grant must receive instruction in responsible conduct of research. That policy took effect with all new and renewal applications submitted after Jan. 25, 2010. This requirement will extend to all continuation (Type 5) applications with deadlines on or after Jan. 1, 2011.
At Binghamton, we will require anyone with any NIH support to undergo the training program.
RCR training is comprised of nine topics:
- acquisition, management, sharing and ownership of data
- animal welfare
- conflict of interest
- human subject protections
- peer review
- research misconduct
At Binghamton, the combination of online and face-to-face training covers these topics for each of the selected groups.
Procedures for Training
Graduate students have an RCR program designed for them and all graduate students must undergo this training during their first semester at Binghamton or they will not be permitted to register for the second semester.
Everyone else will be required to complete an online RCR program provided by the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI). This same program is in use by many research-intensive universities nationwide.
If you are not already registered with CITI, you will need to register here:
For those who are registered, you may go to the same page and sign in.
When you complete registration or sign in you will need to select the RCR program.
Skip questions numbered 1 through 4
For question 5, select: Yes
The next page will verify your affiliation with SUNY – University at Binghamton and asks if you would like to be affiliated with another institution. Select: No.
A list of programs may come up.
For the purposes of Binghamton University’s RCR requirements, you only need to complete
“Binghamton’s Responsible Conduct of Research, Stage 1” and this consists of the Integrity Assurance Statement and the following modules:
- Research Misconduct
- Data Acquisition, Management, Sharing and Ownership
- Publication Practices and Responsible Authorship
- Peer Review
- Mentor and Trainee Responsibilities
- Collaborative Research
- SUNY Binghamton University
Additional modules are available and you are free to review these modules as well. They are not required for satisfying Binghamton University’s RCR requirement.
This requirement must be completed within the first six months of support/employment on the award.
All postdoctoral research associates are required to complete this requirement regardless of the source of their support. All covered Individuals must complete this basic training regardless of the length of time they are supported by a grant.
Documentation of Training
The Division of Research will monitor completion of the CITI modules and will contact you once if not completed promptly. Documentation will be maintained by the Division of Research. You may also print for your own records a completion certificate from CITI. A copy of this certificate should be maintained by the student or postdoctoral researcher should there be any question concerning completion of this requirement.
Option for Graduate School Professional Ethics Training
The Division of Research provides the option of a different online training module. Click here for that training. You will have to contact the Division or Research to select this option before you can access the site.