Responsible Conduct of Research at TTU
TTU NSF Ethics Plan
What do the NSF rules require?
All proposals submitted to NSF after 4 January 2010, must certify that TTU has
"… a plan to provide appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research to undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers who will be supported by NSF to conduct research."
Do I need to include an RCR plan in my NSF proposal?
No. Office of Research Services (ORS) will provide RCR certification when they submit
your proposal in FastLane.
Again, do not include an RCR training plan in your proposal. If NSF requests a training plan, alert ORS, and they will submit the TTU plan.
Who needs to participate in RCR training?
At TTU, the NSF RCR training requirement applies to all (paid and unpaid, for-credit or volunteer) undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers who work or participate in projects supported by NSF awards or subawards made from proposals submitted on or after January 4, 2010. As external sponsors expand requirements for RCR training, the requirement for training will expand to include all (paid or unpaid, for-credit or volunteer) undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers who work or participate in projects funded by these sponsors. With concordance of the faculty, the requirement for training may expand to include all research trainees.
Type and format of training will differ among trainees, and will change as the Office of the Vice President for Research, the Ethics Center, and other TTU units develop training and curricular resources.
How and when do I certify that my trainees are taking RCR training?
How? When your award is funded, fill out the RCR training form to certify that all students and postdoctoral trainees whose research is supported by your NSF award have completed safety training (before) and on-line RCR training (within 30 days of days of joining the project). Submit the form electronically to ResearchIntegrity@ttu.edu and by paper to the OVPR, c/o Alice Young, within 90 days of your award and then annually on the anniversary date of the award for the duration of the project, updating any additions of students and postdocs since the last report and certifying the required training has occurred. This record will be forwarded to ORS and kept with the NSF award file for your award.
What kind of RCR training should my trainees take?
As a PI, co-investigator, or collaborator on an NSF project, you are asked to direct your trainees to take the following training. Remember that all trainees at TTU must complete TTU safety and research training courses appropriate to their research areas.
- TTU safety and research training courses appropriate to their discipline(s).
- Basic on-line RCR courses appropriate to their discipline(s).
- Undergraduate trainees who are engaged in organized research experiences directed by the Center for Undergraduate Research, the Honors College, or the HHMI or other training programs should participate in RCR training offered by their program(s).
- Graduate students whose thesis or dissertation work is supported by NSF awards should complete one of several didactic RCR and research ethics courses or participate in periodic workshop and/or seminar experiences focused on responsible conduct of research, as described in the TTU NSF Ethics Plan.
- Postdoctoral trainees whose work is supported by NSF awards should complete one of several didactic RCR and research ethics courses, unless their graduate transcript demonstrates successful completion of an RCR course. Postdoctoral trainees should also participate in periodic workshop and/or seminar experiences focused on responsible conduct of research.
How will basic RCR training be delivered?
All students and postdoctoral researchers who conduct research that involves use of chemical or biological agents, animal subjects, or human participants must take specialized training provided by Environmental Health and Safety, the Animal Care and Use Committee, or the Protection of Human Subjects Committee.
All students and postdoctoral researchers students and postdoctoral researchers must also complete Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) RCR training modules available here: https://www.citiprogram.org/default.asp. New users should choose “Texas Tech University” from the drop down menu on the registration page; returning users can add TTU to their profiles.
Each CITI training module includes a test. Trainees should forward their completion certificates to their advisors and to ResearchIntegrity@ttu.edu.
CITI RCR training is offered by discipline as follows:
- Biomedical Science
- Social & Behavioral Science
- Physical Science
- Arts and Humanities
- Administrative Roles
How does my department get a course approved as a didactic course in RCR or research ethics?
There are two steps:
- At least one month before the first semester in which students will use the course
to fulfill RCR requirements, e-mail the following to ResearchIntegrity@ttu.edu:
- An electronic copy of the current course syllabus,
- The plans for offering the course (semester, instructor, etc.) over the next couple of years.
- When you receive notification that the course has been approved, send an e-mail that describes the course to ResearchIntegrity@ttu.edu, so that the course can be publicized to the Colleges and to PIs of NSF awards. You might then send this description to directors of graduate programs, undergraduate research programs, and other appropriate audiences.
How do I arrange for conference sessions or group meetings to serve as RCR training?
There are two steps:
- In advance of the session, e-mail the following to ResearchIntegrity@ttu.edu
- A brief description of the event,
- Its content and length, and
- Why it would be good RCR training for your students
- After the session, each student should e-mail the following information to ResearchIntegrity@ttu.edu.
- R #,
- A short synopsis of what s/he learned and how it relates to her/his graduate research, and
- A statement that item (b) represents the trainee's own work.
How will RCR training be monitored?
TTU units that provide face-to-face or on-line training will identify trainees by TTU R-Numbers (on our TTU ID cards) and will provide a record of the type and date of training to the OVPR, where it will be maintained in a secure database. Each CITI module will provide a certification of completion when the trainee completes the course and passes the test. A record of the trainee's certification will be maintained in the CITI database and in the OVPR database, and trainees will be instructed to send copies of their certificates to OVPR and the Principal Investigator (PI) of their research project. For RCR training provided on-campus, attendees will sign in and out with their TTU ID card and a record of the date and type of training will be maintained in the OVPR database.