RCR: Frequently Asked Questions

Download the RCR FAQ document:

Who is required to complete RCR training?

Consistent with federal mandates from the NIH (2010) and NSF (2009), UM’s Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) policy extends to all trainees who are involved in research.  “Trainees” include undergraduates, graduate students, and post-docs.  It also includes faculty supported by grants that explicitly include an RCR training requirement. 

Persons are considered “involved in research” if they participate substantively in the design, conduct, or reporting of research.  A person who is funded on a research grant is considered to be a substantive participant in research unless demonstrated otherwise.

Can a person be exempted from training if they are federally funded but not “involved in research”?

Yes.  But it is up to each school or college to determine if an exemption is warranted.

What kind of RCR training is required?

The minimum standards for RCR training are based on a trainee’s funding source(s):

NIH: CITI Online Training,- Required; Classroom Training - Required
NSF: CITI Online Training - Required; Classroom Training - Recommended
Other: CITI Online Training - Recommended; Classroom Training - Recommended

Persons supported by NSF research funds are required to complete CITI Program online RCR training.  Persons supported by NIH research funds are required to complete “live” classroom training of some kind in addition to the CITI Program online training.  Classroom training may be offered by the trainee’s home school, college, department, or outsourced to UM Ethics Programs.

UM schools and colleges may choose to exceed this minimum, or mandate RCR training for some types of trainees regardless of funding source.  Check with the school/college RCR contact for information about the particular requirements that apply (contact listing available at http://www.miami.edu/rcr).

Note that other CITI Program online training, such as that required for human or animal subjects research, or to meet conflict of interest requirements, does NOT meet the RCR training requirement.  One of CITI’s RCR courses is required. 

How can a school, college or department confirm which trainees are affected?

Trainees’ sources of funding can be established by contacting Sponsored Programs.

When is training required?

Under federal regulations, training is generally required at each “career stage” or (by NIH requirements) every four years, whichever comes first.  An example of a career stage transition would be from undergrad to graduate student, or graduate student to post-doc.

CITI Program online RCR training should generally be completed as soon as possible after a career transition (e.g., early in the first semester of a trainee’s program).  Classroom training, for which completion of a CITI RCR course is generally a pre-requisite, should ideally be completed within a year of the transition.  However, each UM school or college sets its own timing requirements. 

How is CITI Program online RCR training accessed?

CITI’s RCR courses are available 24/7 online.  The courses are free, because UM is a CITI subscriber; but individual accounts must be established.  UM affiliates with a CaneID should login using that credential.  Go to http://www.miami.edu/citiprogram for instructions on accessing CITI Program using your CaneID.  Persons without CaneIDs or who prefer to use an account previously created directly with CITI Program can go to http://www.citiprogram.org/login to access CITI.
If you do not see an RCR course in your course menu, you can add it by clicking on the “Add Course / Update Learner Group” link in the University of Miami section of your learner menu.

How is classroom-based training arranged?

Classroom-based RCR training is offered by the Ethics Programs three times a year – once each at the Gables, Medical and RSMAS campuses.  The http://www.miami.edu/rcr site has a link to a listing of currently scheduled RCR classes.  Classes are generally open to affiliates of any campus, subject to space availability.

Ethics Programs will also assist schools, colleges, and departments that wish to create their own “live” RCR training sessions by providing supplemental instructional materials or advice on instructional strategies. Contact ethics@miami.edu for such assistance.

What is the cost of Ethics Programs RCR sessions?

There is no charge for attendance at the three regularly scheduled classes. 

How is completion of RCR training recorded and reported?

Ethics Programs will provide attendance lists from classroom sessions at the end of each class session and upon request thereafter.  These attendance lists will also note CITI online RCR course completions where a C-number match allows that to be reported.

What is covered in online and classroom RCR training?

RCR is defined (by the NIH) as “the practice of scientific investigation with integrity … involv[ing] the awareness and application of established professional norms and ethical principles in the performance of all activities related to scientific research.”

RCR training covers a standard set of core topics: authorship and publication, collaborative research, conflicts of interest, data management, mentoring, peer review, research misconduct, research with animal subjects, and research with human subjects.  All of these are covered in both the CITI online RCR courses and in the classroom sessions.

In addition to these core topics, RCR sessions may include: conflicts of commitment and values, export controls and national security, intellectual property (copyright, patent, trademark), lab safety practices (biological, chemical, radiological or other), scientists’ social responsibilities to engage in public policy, whistleblowing and dispute resolution, and other current issues in research policy and practice.

For a detailed listing of topics covered in RCR sessions, see “RCR learning objectives” (also available at http://www.miami.edu/rcr).

How long does the online and classroom training take?

CITI’s online RCR courses generally require a few hours to complete, depending on how much supplemental material the learner chooses to access.  Ethics Programs classroom training sessions are six to eight hours on a single day, with a lunch break between the morning and afternoon sessions.

Is there standard language that can be put in grants and contracts to describe UM’s RCR training program?

Yes.  See the web page “RCR: Statement of Program” available at http://www.miami.edu/rcr.

What if I still have questions about the RCR training program?

For general information, contact Kenneth Goodman, RCR program director, UM Ethics Programs, at 305-243-5723 or Kgoodman@miami.edu

You can also contact your school/college RCR coordinator.