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 attend the RCR workshop offered annually (this year held on August 21st, 2018, from 8am-5pm in DRC1 1004) and complete an Individual Development Plan (IDP).


NOTE: Reappointment is conditional on the completion of the CITI, IDP, and RCR workshop attendance requirements.


After completion of the CITI modules, the postdoc will need to provide proof of completion by uploading the CITI Gradebook showing the scores of all of your quizzes into the RCR Canvas Course assignment. The postdoc must receive at least an 80% on each module to pass. 

The postdoc must also provide proof of their IDP completion and upload into their RCR Canvas course assignment. After they have discussed their IDP with their mentor, they must follow the instructions on Canvas to complete this assignment. Please note that neither myIDP nor AAAS will retain a record of this certificate. They must print to PDF and save on their computer to upload.


(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 10 RCR  modules (instructions here):

(2) IDP Certificate is an auto generated checklist which indicates your current progress in completing each section of myIDP. No content you have entered into myIDP will be included in the certificate; this is simply a report on whether or not you completed each section.

(3) In-Person RCR Workshop: The Office of Postdoctoral Education offers an RCR training workshop each fall (this year is August 21st from 8am-5pm). The postdoc must only take this once during their postdoctoral career at UNMC. Remember: Your initial contract renewal is conditional on completion of this mandatory RCR Workshop!


More on 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).


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. NPA website
  4. NSF website