Project Directors/Principal Investigators (PD/PI) who receive federal funding are responsible for ensuring all work is done in compliance with Worcester State University (WSU) and governmental policies. This includes ensuring that all post docs and undergraduate students supported by federal funds are given proper training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research. This training MUST take place during the first year of employment or, if the period of employment is less than a year, must take place before the termination of the employment period. The student or post-doc need not complete the tutorials in one sitting, but, again, must complete the course prior to the end of the employment period.
Below, the University has provided a number of online tutorials and other reference materials that the PD/PI may use to comply with the RCR requirement. It is the responsibility of the PD/PI to determine what aspects of RCR training are most appropriate for their employees. The NIH, for example, suggests that the RCR instructional program include the following topics: conflict of interest, responsible authorship, policies for handling misconduct, policies regarding the use of human participants and animal subjects, and data management. Please note that some federal grantors require researchers to complete training in relevant areas such as Human Subjects. PIs are encouraged to work with WSU’s Human Subjects Review Board in devising their plans, if appropriate.
Worcester State University is responsible for tracking and verifying completion of this training for employees. Once the student or post-doc has completed the training, they should print off the certification produced by the online training course and send it to the Grants Coordinator in the Grant Office.
Because adherence to the highest ethical and moral standards in the conduct of research and scholarly activity is the expectation for all members of the Worcester State University community, we strongly suggest that all undergraduates engaged in research with faculty participate in RCR training.
The Grants Office is available to meet and discuss with the PD/PI to assist in determining the training plan. The Grants Office must be notified of the final selection.
North Carolina State University provides online courses in Philosophy of Science, Research Ethics, and Animals in Research.
The Center on Materials and Devises for Information Technology Research, with the support of the NSF, has created an online RCR course. Group and Individual registration is required but a preview is available.
The Collaborative Institutional Training Incentive (CITI) provides an online course in the Responsible Conduct of Research.
Columbia University provides a number of online courses on RCR topics, including; Conflicts of Interest, Mentoring, Responsible Authorship and Peer Review, Research Misconduct, Collaborative Science and Data Acquisition and Management.
The University of New Hampshire provides several online modules for RCR training.
NSF funded Visionlearning.com provides a learning module and follow-up quiz on Scientific Ethics.
The Poynter Center at Indiana University has developed a curriculum for Moral Reasoning in Scientific Research. The Center also holds an annual training for research ethics education.
The National Academies Press book "On Being a Scientist: Responsible Conduct in Research" is available online.
The University of Massachusetts at Amherst has developed a course on the Responsible Conduct of Research that is available online. The course covers the core RCR instructional areas including; data management, conflict of interest, publication, authorship, peer review, collaboration, mentoring and research misconduct.
The Responsible Conduct of Research Education Consortium (RCREC) is a nonprofit non-governmental consortium of institutions and organizations which provides the research community in identifying, developing, and promoting programs of education in the RCR.
Books and Journals
Research ethics: a reader (e-book) Elliot & Stern. 1997.
Research ethics: cases and material. Penslar. 1995.
Science and Engineering Ethics
Responsible Conduct of Research at PUIs (CUR 2009)
Research Responsibility and Undergraduates (CUR 2002)
Resources for Research Ethics Education
AAAS Integrity in Scientific Research resource page
NAP's Integrity in Scientific Research: Creating an Environment That Promotes Responsible Conduct
HHS Office of Research Integrity - Educational Resources
Honor in Science (Sigma Xi)