Responsible Conduct of Research

Responsible conduct of research is defined as the practice of scientific investigation with integrity.  It involves the awareness and application of established professional norms and ethical principles in the performance of all activities related to scientific research (NIH NOT-OD-10-019).

National Institutes of Health

NIH requires that all trainees, fellows, participants, and scholars receiving support through any NIH training, career development award (individual or institutional), research education grant, and dissertation research grant must receive instruction in responsible conduct of research.  This policy will take effect with all new and renewal applications submitted on or after January 25, 2010, and for all continuation (Type 5) applications with deadlines on or after January 1, 2011.  This Notice applies to the following programs:  D43, D71, F05, F30, F31, F32, F33, F34, F37, F38, K01, K02, K05, K07, K08, K12, K18, K22, K23, K24, K25, K26, K30, K99/R00, KL1, KL2, R25, R36, T15, T32, T34, T35, T36, T37, T90/R90, TL1, TU2, and U2R.   This policy also applies to any other NIH-funded programs supporting research training, career development, or research education that require instruction in responsible conduct of research as stated in the relevant funding opportunity announcements (NIH NOT-OD-10-019).

The NIH requires substantial face-to-face discussions among the participating trainees/fellows/scholars/participants; a combination of didactic and small-group discussions (e.g. case studies); and participation of research training faculty members in instruction in responsible conduct of research are highly encouraged.  While on-line courses can be a valuable supplement to instruction in responsible conduct of research, online instruction is not considered adequate as the sole means of instruction. A plan that employs only online coursework for instruction in responsible conduct of research will not be considered acceptable, except in special instances of short-term training programs (see below), or unusual and well-justified circumstances. 

For the online portion of the training Wesleyan is a participating institution with the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI). The completion of the training is monitored by the University. When accessing the CITI system please create your own account and select "Wesleyan University" as the participating institution.

The Dean of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at Wesleyan works with those faculty who have grants funded through the mechanisms and programs listed above to be sure that this requirement is met.

For further information on the NIH policy and requirements for Responsible Conduct of Research please click here.

National Science Foundation

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. Section 7009 of the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science (COMPETES) Act (42 U.S.C. 1862o–1 requires 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.” (NSF website)

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. To this end Wesleyan does have a plan in place that requires undergraduates, graduate students and postdoctoral associates to participate in an online course through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI). The completion of the training is monitored by the University. When accessing the CITI system please enroll by creating your own account and select "Wesleyan University" as the participating institution.

For more information on the NSF policy and requirements for Responsible Conduct of Research please click here (scroll to the section titled "Responsible Conduct of Reserach).