NSF RCR Training Requirement

Effective Jan. 4, 2010, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has mandated that all postdoctoral researchers, undergraduate and graduate students supported by NSF to conduct research must receive appropriate training and oversight in the ethical and responsible conduct of research (RCR).

National Science Foundation (NSF)

The University of New Hampshire (UNH) has adopted the following plan to fulfill the NSF requirement.

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Training Program

Program 1: Completion of UNH’s web-based RCR instructional modules, followed by participation in a ½-day seminar. Seminars are offered three times a year (early in the Fall semester, early in the Spring semester, and early May). See the RCR Training at UNH webpage for information on an upcoming seminar.

Web-based RCR instructional modules

RCR Training at UNH

Program 1: Completion of UNH’s web-based RCR instructional modules, followed by participation in a ½-day seminar. Seminars are offered three times a year (early in the Fall semester, early in the Spring semester, and early May). See the RCR Training at UNH webpage for information on an upcoming seminar.

Web-based RCR instructional modules

RCR Training at UNH

Program 2: Completion of GRAD 930: Ethics in Research and Scholarship (any student who has taken GRAD 930 is grandfathered).

Program 1: Completion of UNH’s web-based RCR instructional modules, followed by participation in a ½-day seminar. Seminars are offered three times a year (early in the Fall semester, early in the Spring semester, and early May). See the RCR Training at UNH webpage for information on an upcoming seminar.

Web-based RCR instructional modules

RCR Training at UNH

Program 2: Completion of GRAD 930: Ethics in Research and Scholarship (any student who has taken GRAD 930 is grandfathered).

Program 3: Completion of the UNH doctoral RCR training. This training is a UNH Graduate School requirement for all new doctoral students.

Program 1: Completion of UNH’s web-based RCR instructional modules, followed by participation in a ½-day seminar. Seminars are offered three times a year (early in the Fall semester, early in the Spring semester, and early May). See the RCR Training at UNH webpage for information on an upcoming seminar.

Web-based RCR instructional modules

RCR Training at UNH

Program 2: Completion of GRAD 930: Ethics in Research and Scholarship (any student who has taken GRAD 930 is grandfathered).

Training Timeframe

  1. Ordinarily, training will be initiated within six weeks of an individual’s first day of employment on a grant, and will be completed within the first six months of employment on that grant or prior to the end of an individual’s employment on that grant, whichever comes first.  Exceptions to this timeframe requirement may be approved on a case-by-case basis by the Chair of the Responsible Conduct of Research and Scholarly Activity (RCR) Committee.
  2. Postdoctoral researchers, and graduate and undergraduate students enrolled at UNH and hired on a temporary basis to conduct research on an eligible NSF grant and whose employment on the grant ends before one of the triennial trainings must complete, at a minimum, the following UNH web-based RCR instructional modules within two days of their first day of employment on the grant: Misconduct in Scholarly  Activity, and Data Management. If the research also involves use of human subjects, use of vertebrate animals, and/or use of hazardous materials, individuals also complete within two days of their first of employment on the grant the following modules, as applicable: Human Subjects; Vertebrate Animals; and/or Laboratory Safety.
  3. Postdoctoral researchers, and graduate and undergraduate students not enrolled at UNH who are hired at UNH on a temporary basis to conduct research on an eligible NSF grant and whose employment on the grant ends before one of the triennial trainings may complete appropriate RCR training at their home institution prior to arriving at UNH, and provide documentation to their UNH PI/PD.

Individuals must register for the next offering of GRAD 930 available after their first day of employment on a grant, and complete the course with a passing grade (course is pass/fail).

  • Individuals must comply with the UNH Graduate School requirements.

  • Individuals transferring to UNH from another institution and supported by NSF funds must complete UNH’s RCR training within the required timeframe, even if they have completed similar training at another institution.

  • Individuals need to only take UNH’s training once, even if they work on multiple NSF-funded projects at UNH.

Individuals need to take UNH’s training only once, even if they work on multiple NSF-funded projects at UNH.

Principal Investigators'/Project Directors' Responsibilities

Principal Investigators (PIs) and Project Directors (PDs) are responsible for:

  • Determining if individuals are being supported on an applicable NSF-funded project to conduct research and if so, ensuring that the applicable personnel under their supervision comply with the NSF training requirement; and,
  • Providing appropriate oversight in the ethical and responsible conduct of research for postdoctoral researchers, and undergraduate and graduate students supported by NSF to conduct research.

Questions

For questions about this requirement or the trainings, please contact Julie Simpson, (603) 862-2003, in Research Integrity Services.

General

Each institution applying for NSF funds must have in place a plan to provide the training and oversight. The above is UNH's plan.  While these plans do not have to be included in each proposal submitted to NSF from an institution, they are subject to review upon request by NSF**.

This requirement is applicable for all new proposals due or submitted to NSF on or after January 4, 2010. The requirement flows down to subrecipients. All subrecipients will be required to provide written assurance that they are in compliance with the NSF requirement.

**NSF instituted in January 2009 a requirement that each proposal that requests funding to support postdoctoral researchers must include a description of the mentoring activities that will be provided for such individuals. Effective January 2010, this information must be provided as Special Information and Supplementary Documentation and must be no greater than one page. (See http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappguide/nsf10_1/gpg_2.jsp#IIC2j for information.) Proposers may include the RCR training as an activity in the mentoring plan; the RCR training, however, is a separate NSF requirement.