Research Compliance

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Responsible Conduct in Research


Each member of the university community has a responsibility to create and foster an environment promoting intellectual honesty and the highest standards of academic integrity. This includes attributing appropriate credit for work that is not your own, communicating responsibilities clearly to collaborators, practicing accurate and unbiased data collection, and being a good role model to other members of the research team.

Research misconduct constitutes unacceptable personal conduct with respect to scholarship and research. Disdain for misconduct in any aspect of research or scholarly endeavor must be upheld, as misconduct in any form is destructive of the standards the university attempts to instill in its students, the public perception of academia and academic disciplines, and the financial support of the government and other sponsors for scholarship and research.


Students (undergraduate, graduate and post-doc) who are hired to work on research projects funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or the National Science Foundation (NSF) are required to complete training on the responsible conduct of research (RCR).  Research Integrity staff in Sponsored Programs and Research Compliance (SPARC) will contact PIs who have been awarded NSF or NIH funds to notify them of RCR training requirements for applicable students and provide updates on upcoming training workshops.

PIs subject to the above requirements must provide SPARC with the names of all students who are or will be paid from NSF or NIH funds, or respond that they currently do not have any students who are subject to the requirement.

PIs are ultimately responsible for ensuring that applicable students complete the training requirements itemized below. SPARC will assist PIs in notifying and prompting students to the extent possible.

Students who are subject to the above requirements must complete the three components listed below.

  1. Online Training: Students must complete an online course offered through the CITI Program. SPARC will post current links to the training website and instructions for registering for the RCR course on its Research Integrity website.
  2. Formal Face-to-Face Instruction: Students must complete formal face-to-face instruction on RCR topics.  The curriculum will include the following topics:
    • Conflicts of Interest
    • Research Subjects
    • Mentor-Mentee Responsibilities
    • Collaborative Research
    • Peer Review
    • Data Acquisition and Management
    • Research Misconduct
    • Responsible Authorship and Publication
    • Ethical Issues in Research
  3. Informal Guidance: PIs subject to the above requirements must provide informal guidance to their mentee students in an ongoing way in laboratory and classroom settings.

SPARC maintains records of online and formal student training and issues training certification to students when online and formal training are completed.

RCR Contact Information or 910-962-7774