Skip to main content
Learn More

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Training Policy

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Training Policy

Authority: 
Academic Affairs
Date enacted or revised: 
August 22, 2011
In F/S Handbook: 
yes

McNeese State University is committed to ensuring the responsible and ethical conduct of research, upholding public trust, and fostering an environment of research integrity.

Background

In 2007, the President signed into law the America COMPETES Act.  Section 7009 of the America COMPETES Act requires that ``each institution that applies for financial assistance from the National Science 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 researchers participating in the proposed research project.''  NSF posted its final implementation plan for Section 7009 of the American COMPETES Act in the Federal Register on August 20, 2009.
 
Effective January 4, 2010, NSF requires that, at the time of proposal submission to NSF, a proposing institution's Authorized Organizational Representative certify that the institution has a plan to provide appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research to undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers who will be supported by NSF to conduct research. While training plans are not required to be included in proposals submitted to NSF, institutions are advised that they are subject to review upon request.

Purpose and Scope

McNeese State University's RCR Policy establishes the institutional plan for meeting RCR training requirements related to National Science Foundation funding.
 
The RCR training requirement applies to new proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 4, 2010, to conduct research.  This excludes conference, symposium, workshop, or travel proposals.  The RCR training requirement does flow down to all sub awardees, at any tier. 
 
McNeese State University will provide a comprehensive RCR web-based training program through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI).  Students (undergraduates and graduates) and postdoctoral researchers who receive NSF funds (support from salary and/or stipends) to conduct research are required to complete this training.  Also, students must take RCR training if they receive NSF scholarship or stipend support to engage in research, or if conducting research is included in their academic program.

Role of the PI

The PI for the NSF award is primarily responsible for ensuring compliance with award conditions. Responsibilities are as follows:
Work with RSSP to identify individuals who require training
Notify individuals in a timely manner of the RCR training requirements
Facilitate the training process
Ensure completion of the training
Collect and retain verification documents
Submit a copy of the verification documents to RSSP
 
If the grant is funded, then RCR training for students and postdoctoral researchers is required to be completed no later than six weeks after the start date of the individual hired. If additional students and/or postdoctoral researchers join the project during the grant period, then the PI must ensure that these individuals complete the RCR training no later than 6 weeks after the start date in which the individual is hired. 
 
Verification of training must be submitted to Research Services and Sponsored Programs after completion of training.

Role of RSSP

Ensure that the RCR training plan is in place
Work with PI to identify individuals who require training
Verify compliance with NSF's RCR requirements
Verify that the appropriate students and postdocs have completed the RCR training

Failure to Complete Training

The Office of Research Services and Sponsored Programs will work with faculty to ensure compliance.  RSSP will contact the responsible faculty member in case of non compliance with NSF's RCR requirement.  Failure to comply with training requirements will result in financial consequences.