USDA NIFA RCR Training Requirement

Effective for awards subject to the February 2013 Research Terms and Conditions (and those issued subsequently), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has mandated that program directors, faculty, undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and any staff participating in the research project receive appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research (RCR) (see page 5 of above PDF).

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)

The University of New Hampshire (UNH) has adopted the following plan to fulfill the NIFA training requirement. The requirements of this plan are applicable to all awards subject to the USDA NIFA February 2013 Terms and Conditions or subsequent Terms and Conditions that contain the RCR training requirement except: 1) Formula Funded Programs; 2) the 1890 Facilities Program; and 3) the Small Business Innovation Research Program; as well as 4) awards to individuals.

Training Program

Undergraduate Students

Program #1a: Completion of UNH’s Web-based RCR instructional modules, followed by

Program #1b: 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

Master's Students (complete one of the following programs)

Program #1a: Completion of UNH’s Web-based RCR instructional modules, followed by

Program #1b: 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.

Program #2: Completion of GRAD 930: Ethics in Research and Scholarship (individuals who have taken GRAD 930 are grandfathered).

web-based RCR instructional modules

RCR Training at UNH

Doctoral Students (complete one of the following programs):

Program #1a: Completion of UNH’s Web-based RCR instructional modules, followed by

Program #1b: 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.

Program #2: Completion of GRAD 930: Ethics in Research and Scholarship (individuals who have taken GRAD 930 are grandfathered).

Program #3: Completion of the UNH doctoral RCR training. This training is a UNH Graduate School requirement for all new doctoral students. (Individuals who have completed the UNH doctoral RCR training are grandfathered).

web-based RCR instructional modules

RCR Training at UNH

Postdoctoral Researchers (complete one of the following programs):

Program #1a: Completion of UNH’s Web-based RCR instructional modules, followed by

Program #1b: 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.

Program #2: Completion of GRAD 930: Ethics in Research and Scholarship (individuals who have taken GRAD 930 are grandfathered).

web-based RCR instructional modules

RCR Training at UNH

Program Directors, Faculty, or Eligible Staff (complete one of the following programs):

Program #1a: Completion of UNH’s Web-based RCR instructional modules.

Program #2: Completion of GRAD 930: Ethics in Research and Scholarship (individuals who have taken GRAD 930 are grandfathered).

web-based RCR instructional modules

Training Timeframe

Program #1a and #1b (program directors, faculty, staff, postdoctoral researchers, graduate students, and undergraduate students): 

  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 NIFA 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 Hazardous Materials.

  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 NIFA 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 program director.

Program #2 (program directors, faculty, staff, postdoctoral researchers and graduate students only):

  • Individuals must register for the next offering of GRAD 930 available after their first day of employment on a grant and successfully complete the course.

Program #3 (doctoral students only):

  • Individuals must comply with the UNH Graduate School requirements.

  • Individuals transferring to UNH from another institution and supported by NIFA 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 NIFA-funded projects at UNH.

Program Directors' Responsibilities

Program directors are responsible for:

  • Identifying individuals who are participating in the research project and ensuring that they comply with the NIFA RCR training requirement; and,
  • Providing appropriate oversight in the ethical and responsible conduct of research for all personnel participating in the research project

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 NIFA funds must assure that the aforementioned individuals receive training and maintain documentation of such training.  Documentation of training is subject to review upon request by NIFA.

View Responsible Conduct of Research & Scholarly Activity Knowledge Base

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Contact Information

Julie Simpson, Director
Research Integrity Services
Service Building Room 107
51 College Road
Durham, NH 03824
Phone: (603) 862-2003
Email: julie.simpson@unh.edu