Responsible Conduct in Research

The Office of Postdoctoral Education facilitates UNMC’s dedication to the highest standards of research integrity and commitment to responsible and ethical conduct for everyone involved in research, including postdocs. The National Science Foundation requires training in the Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research (RCR) for all students and postdocs supported by NSF projects. Therefore, freshman postdocs are required to complete an on-line course created and maintained by the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) a nationally-recognized source for research-related training within three months of joining UNMC and attend an RCR seminar  offered in March and October, which is offered twice a year. NOTE: Reappointment is conditional on the completion of the RCR training.

After completion of the course, you will need to provide proof of completion by scanning a print-out of the CITI Gradebook showing the scores of all of your quizzes and emailing your gradebook to the Office of Postdoctoral Education with "CITI GRADEBOOK for Your name" in the subject line. You must receive at least a 80% to pass. 

RCR
“To succeed in research is a personal triumph that earns and deserves individual recognition. But it is also a communal achievement, for in learning something new the discoverer both draws on and contributes to the body of knowledge held in common by all scientists. Your work can have a direct and immediate impact on society, which ensures that the public will have an interest in the findings and implications of research. Research can entail frustrations and disappointments as well as satisfactions. An experiment may fail because of poor design, technical complications, or the sheer intractability of nature. A favored hypothesis may turn out to be incorrect after months of consuming effort. Colleagues may disagree over the validity of experimental data, the interpretation of results, or credit for work done. Difficulties such as these are virtually impossible to avoid in science. They can strain the composure of the beginning and senior scientist alike. They must confront such questions as: How should anomalous data be treated? How do values influence research? How should credit for scientific accomplishments be allocated? What are the borderlines between honest error, negligent error, and misconduct in science? These questions are of interest to more than just the scientific community. As the influence of scientific knowledge has grown throughout society, nonscientists have acquired a greater interest in assessing the validity of the claims of science. With science becoming an increasingly important social institution, scientists have become more accountable to the broader society that expects to benefit from their work” adapted from On Being a Scientist: Responsible Conduct in Research (National Academies Press).

The Office of Postdoctoral Education facilitates UNMC’s dedication to the highest standards of research integrity and commitment to responsible and ethical conduct for all those involved in research, including postdocs. The National Science Foundation requires training in the Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research (RCR) for all students and postdocs supported by NSF projects.  Therefore, freshman postdocs are required to complete the following training sessions that will fulfill the requirement of both NIH and NSF.

(1) CITI training: An on-line course created and maintained by the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI), a nationally-recognized source for research-related training.  Within three months of joining UNMC, learners are required to complete up to 9 RCR  modules:

  • Research Misconduct
  • Conflicts of Interest
  • Publication Practices and Responsible Authorship
  • Data Acquisition, Management, Sharing and Ownership
  • Mentor/Trainee Responsibilities
  • Peer Review
  • Collaborative Science
  • Human Subjects Protection
  • Working with Animal Subjects (biomedical researchers only)

 (2) In-Person training: The Office of Postdoctoral Education offers an RCR training seminar in the spring (March) and another in the fall (October).

Note: Your re-appointment is conditional on completion of these two training session. Please send the proof of completion to the Office of the Dean of your school and to the postdoc office.

Postdoc Testimonials:
*I thought the workshop was great at providing studies for further discussion or personal reflection on RCR related issues.
*Good Workshop- I appreciate & enjoyed it.

Other resources:

  1. On Being a Scientist: Responsible Conduct in Research  (National Academies Press)
  2. Introduction to Responsible Conduct of Research, ORI (HHS)(PDF)
  3. NPAwebsite
  4. NSFwebsite
  5. Columbia University website

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