Responsible Conduct of Research

In compliance with the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) implementation of Section 7009 of the America COMPETES Act (42 U.S.C. 1862o-1), all undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers supported by NSF to conduct research will be required to complete training in the responsible and ethical conduct of research. The effective date of implementation is January 4, 2010 and will be applied to proposals submitted on or after January 4th and subsequently issued as an award. NSF will incorporate the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) requirement into the terms and conditions of applicable awards.

In response to this requirement, Mount Holyoke College will direct NSF-supported students and postdoctoral researchers to an online course in the Responsible Conduct of Research offered by CITI,* Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative. (https://www.citiprogram.org). The Sponsored Research Office, will contact Principal Investigators (PIs) immediately after an award is issued and then at least annually to ensure that all affected individuals complete the required training. Evidence of training (e.g., completion report) will be required within 60 days of the date the student/post doc begins work on the project. Completion reports will be tracked by the Sponsored Research Office. Incidents of non-compliance will be directed to the Associate Dean of Faculty for Science.

A student or postdoc who has completed Responsible Conduct of Research training at another institution may be exempt from completing the training provided through Mount Holyoke College. Proof of training must be provided to the Sponsored Research Office for consideration.

During the closeout process of an award, the college’s Grants Accountant will contact the Sponsored Research Office to ensure that the RCR training requirement was satisfied.

*The CITI program is available at https://www.citiprogram.org. If you are a new user, create a user account and affiliate with Mount Holyoke College. If you are an existing user, be sure you are affiliated with Mount Holyoke College. Once affiliated, follow instructions for enrolling and completing the The RCR for Science, Math and Computer Science or Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) for Social and Behavioral Sciences - whichever is appropriate to the grant funds.

Policy updated 11/18/2010