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POLICY #6.70
SUBJECT: Requirement to Complete Training in Responsible Conduct of Research


To promote research integrity and ethical conduct in research, Southern Utah University provides Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training to students, staff, and faculty researchers.


  1. National Science Foundation Requirements

    The NSF requires the University to certify it has a plan to provide appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research to students who receive NSF support to conduct research.

    Specific requirements are found in Chapter IV.B Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) of the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide.
  2. Public Health Service Requirements

    All faculty, trainees, students and participants, receiving support through any National Institutes of Health (NIH) training grant, career development award (individual or institutional), research education grant, or dissertation research grant must receive instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). The Public Health Service training requirements differ from the NSF policies in that faculty are required to complete the training as well as students supported by PHS funds. See the specific requirement in the link above.
  3. National Institute of Food and Agriculture RCR Requirements

    NIFA requires that all program directors, faculty, undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and any staff participating in a research project funded by NIFA receive RCR training. Documentation of the training is subject to review by NIFA upon request. For the complete RCR policy, see Article 7 of NIFA Research Terms and Conditions.


  1. AMERICA COMPETES ACT: Section 7009 of the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science (COMPETES) Act (42 USC 1862o–1) requires "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."
  2. Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Program: The Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI Program) is an online subscription based program dedicated to promoting the public’s trust in the research enterprise by providing high quality, peer-reviewed, web-based educational courses in research, ethics, regulatory oversight, responsible conduct of research, research administration, and other topics pertinent to the interests of member organizations and individual learners.
  3. Office of Research Integrity (ORI): Office of Research Integrity oversees and directs Public Health Service (PHS) research integrity activities.
  4. Responsible Conduct in Research (RCR): The practice of scientific investigation with integrity. RCR involves the awareness and application of established professional norms and ethical principles in the performance of all activities related to scientific research.
  5. Sponsored Programs, Agreements, Research, and Contracts (SPARC): The SPARC office at Southern Utah University promotes externally funded research, training, and demonstration projects. It is a central source of information on major government agencies, foundations, and corporations which provide contractual support for research and scholarship.


  1. Scope

    Southern Utah University (SUU) promotes scientific integrity through certification and training in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). All faculty, staff, and students engaged in research are strongly encouraged to participate and maintain a current certification in RCR. Proof of certification will be required when mandated by the sponsoring agency of an award (see Section II). Certification normally lasts three (3) years, whereupon, a refresher course is available for renewal purposes.
  2. General
    1. SUU complies with agency regulations for Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) by providing RCR training to faculty, staff, and students at the beginning of their involvement in a research project, as required by the sponsoring agency. This requirement can be fulfilled by completing University-approved training and procedure available on the Sponsored Programs, Agreements, Research, and Contracts (SPARC) website.
    2. The training will cover the following instructional areas as designated by the Office of Research Integrity, Department of Health and Human Services:
      1. Research Misconduct;
      2. Data Acquisition, Management, Sharing and Ownership;
      3. Publication Practices and Responsible Authorship;
      4. Peer Review;
      5. Mentor and Trainee Responsibilities;
      6. Animal Welfare;
      7. Conflicts of Interest and Commitment;
      8. Collaborative Research;
      9. Human Subjects.
  3. Responsibilities
    1. Principal Investigators must inform the student of the requirement and assist with any questions that may arise about the topics of RCR.
    2. It will be the responsibility of the student to complete the online course and forward the document of completion to their associated Principle Investigator (PI)/Project Director (PD). The PI/PD will forward all required documentation to the SPARC office. Course completion is required before salary can be authorized. Faculty and students funded through the PHS research programs must also complete the training.
    3. Training completion will be monitored and documentation of participation will be kept by the PI and the SPARC office. This documentation may be produced upon request from the sponsor.




The responsible office for this Policy is the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs. For questions about this Policy, contact the Office of Sponsored Programs, Agreements, Research, and Contracts (SPARC).


Date Approved: August 7, 2020

Amended: N/A