Responsible Conduct of Research

National Science Foundation Responsible Conduct of Research Requirement

According to the NSF, "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."  Effective January 4, 2010, NSF began requiring 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.

Statutory Requirement

"The Director shall require that 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 researchers participating in the proposed research project." 

Institutional Responsibilities

a. An institution must have a plan in place 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. Institutional certification to this effect is required for each proposal.

b. 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.

c. An institution must designate one or more persons to oversee compliance with the RCR training requirement.

d. Institutions are responsible for verifying that undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers supported by NSF to conduct research have received training in the responsible and ethical conduct of research.

Valparaiso University Policy

In order to address the NSF requirement, all undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers involved in the conduct of research of NSF funded grants are required to complete RCR training prior to beginning work on the NSF funded grant.  Individuals must register for and complete the RCR online training provided through the EthicsCORE CMDITR RCR modules.  The training is optional for students conducting research on other research related projects.  The CMDITR RCR modules are a series of interactive tutorials on Responsible Conduct of Research available at no cost to groups affiliated with educational or other non-profit institutions.  These tutorials were developed and originally hosted by The Center on Materials and Devices for Information Technology Research (CMDITR), a National Science Foundation funded Science and Technology Center headed at University of Washington.  The Office of Sponsored Research will verify that any students included on NSF projects have completed the training.

Instructions for registering for and completing the training can be found here.

For more NSF resources on the RCR requirement, please visit the NSF website here.

For questions, please contact the Office of Sponsored Research.

 

Rasha Abed, MBA, CRA

Associate Director of Sponsored Research

Office of Sponsored and Undergraduate Research

1400 Chapel Drive, Valparaiso, IN 46383

Arts and Sciences Building 212

Email: rasha.abed@valpo.edu

Phone: 219-464-5798

Fax: 219-464-5511