California State University, Northridge has developed a plan (.pdf) to provide appropriate training and oversight in the responsible conduct of research (RCR), as required by the National Science Foundation's (NSF) implementation of Section 7009 of the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science (COMPETES) Act. CSUN affirms the NSF position that, “The responsible and ethical conduct of research (RCR) is critical for excellence, as well as public trust, in science and engineering. Consequently, education in RCR is considered essential in the preparation of future scientists and engineers.”
Who is required to take the training?
- Projects Funded by NSF
All undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers supported by NSF funding on a part-time or full-time basis are required to complete RCR training. Training must be completed no more than 90 days after a student or postdoctoral researcher is hired to work on the project, and at least every four years thereafter for the duration of the project.
- Projects Funded by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), U.S. Department of Agriculture
All program directors, faculty, undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and any staff participating in a NIFA-funded research project are required to complete RCR training. Principal investigators and project directors must complete the training within 90 days after acceptance of funding. Any others (students/staff/postdocs/etc.) must complete the training within 90 days after they first participate in the research. A refresher course is required at least every four years thereafter for the duration of the project.
How to Complete the Training
2. Login or register for a new account. (Be sure to select California State University, Northridge as your institution during the registration process.)
3. Once registered, add the most applicable RCR course to your queue. Available RCR courses include the following:
- Biomedical Responsible Conduct of Research
- Social and Behavioral Responsible Conduct of Research
- Physical Science Responsible Conduct of Research
- Humanities Responsible Conduct of Research
- Responsible Conduct of Research for Engineers
- Responsible Conduct of Research Administrators
4. Complete the course. The Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative will provide confirmation of successful completion of the course directly to CSUN's Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. The training is valid for four years, after which time a student or postdoc must retake the course if still actively working on an NSF-funded project. The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs will provide reminders to students and postdocs to retake the training prior to its expiration.