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Responsible Conduct of Research Program

The responsible and ethical conduct of research (RCR) is critical for research excellence at Illinois Institute of Technology, as well as public trust in science and engineering. Consequently, education in RCR is considered an essential component in the preparation of future Illinois Institute of Technology scientists and engineers.

Providing Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) instruction is a legislative mandate for institutions receiving research support from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). While Illinois Institute of Technology also receives funding from NIH, the NIH RCR requirements only apply to certain award programs that are currently not at IIT. There are consequences for not completing the NIFA or NSF RCR program.

RCR education covers topics such as conflict of interest – personal, professional, and financial; human research subjects, live vertebrate animal research subjects, and safe laboratory practices, plagiarism, fabrication, falsification, data acquisition and laboratory tools; data sharing and ownership; research misconduct and policies for handling misconduct, and responsible authorship and publication.

Illinois Insitute of Technology requires all undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers engaged (or will be engaged) in research to complete a RCR training course in CITI whether or not they have funding support.

For undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers that have already completed the RCR course in CITI it is not necessary to complete another course.

For all undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers involved in research supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) are REQUIRED to complete one RCR course through CITI and attend one lecture/workshop/ webinar session presented in-person or virtually by the Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions (CSEP).

For all principal investigators, investigators, staff, undergraduates, graduate students, and post-doctoral researchers supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) are required to complete one RCR course through CITI and either attend one lecture/workshop/ webinar session presented in-person or virtually by the Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions (CSEP) OR a session prepared specifically for the Department of Food Science and Nutrition that will be scheduled at later date.

Undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers supported by an Illinois Institute of Technology or externally funded project must also complete one RCR course through CITI and should attend one lecture/workshop session presented in-person or virtually by (CSEP).

CSEP lecture/workshop/webinar sessions will be offered twice each semester. Check the Upcoming Lectures, Workshops and Webinars section below for scheduled lectures/workshops/webinars.

Completion of the CITI RCR course is required within 60 days from the date the researcher is hired or if already hired as soon as possible.

Certification of attendance at a CSEP lecture/workshop/webinar or Food Science and Nutrition session is required within two semesters from the date of hire or if already hired on a NSF or NIFA project as soon as possible.

Researchers should select the RCR course in CITI appropriate to their research discipline. The list of available courses includes:

Biomedical Responsible Conduct of Research

Humanities Responsible Conduct of Research

Social & Behavioral Responsible Conduct of Research

Responsible Conduct of Research for Engineers

Physical Science Responsible Conduct of Research

Responsible Conduct of Research for Administrators

CSEP Upcoming Lectures, Workshops, and Webinars

If you have previously attended a CSEP lecture/workshop/webinar you have fulfilled the requirement.

Register for upcoming CSEP lectures and workshops by clicking “Register”, the hyperlinked text below. The CSEP sessions below will be presented in-person and require participants to attend. CSEP is in the Gavin Tower at 10 W 35th St., 2nd Floor, Room 2D7-1.

Registration is required to receive credit for attending a lecture or workshop.

Register by choosing one session choice and entering first name, last name, status at Illinois Institute of Technology, Hawk or A#, department/college/center/institute and Illinois Institute of Technology email address here:  Register

For more information or questions please contact ORIC at oric@iit.edu

Lecture/Workshop/Webinar InformationDate and Time
Responsible Research and Building an Ethical Culture To Be Scheduled for Spring of 2023

Completion of a CITI RCR course and attendance at a Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions (CSEP) lecture/workshop/webinar is tracked and documented in Banner on behalf of the Illinois Institute of Technology Office of Research Integrity & Compliance (ORIC). 

NIFA RCR Requirements

NIFA REQUIRES principal investigators, key personnel, faculty, undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and any staff participating in a NIFA sponsored research project receive appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research (RCR).

NIFA requires the general content of the RCR training will, at a minimum, emphasize three key areas of research ethics: authorship and plagiarism, data and research integration, and reporting misconduct.

To meet NIFA RCR training requirements Illinois Institute of Technology requires completion of the CITI course for Responsible Conduct of Research by principal investigators, key personnel, faculty, undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and any staff within 60 days of receiving a NIFA award or being hired for an ongoing NIFA funded project and attend a Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions (CSEP) lecture/workshop session OR a session prepared specifically for the Department of Food Science and Nutrition that will be scheduled at later date.

Principal investigators, key personnel, faculty, undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and any staff currently working on active NIFA funded research who haven’t completed the CITI RCR course should complete the course as soon as possible and register for the next available CSEP Lecture/Workshop/Webinar OR the session for the Department of Food Science and Nutrition.

National Science Foundation (NSF) RCR Requirements

The National Science Foundation (NSF) requires an institution have a Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) plan in place to provide appropriate training and oversight, with completion verification, for undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers who will be supported on a NSF award to conduct research.  NSF RCR Rule

NSF requirements for RCR instruction applies to the breadth of research disciplines that the Foundation funds. The training provided should be effective and must be appropriately tailored to the specific needs and circumstances at each institution. Accordingly, it is the responsibility of each institution to determine the content, focus and the delivery method for the RCR training in all areas at the institution for which NSF provides support.

Illinois Institute of Technology requires undergraduate students, graduate students and post-doctoral researchers supported on a NSF research award to complete:

  1. RCR training courses in CITI within 60 days of being named on a NSF funded project.
  2. Attend a Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions (CSEP) lecture/workshop session within two semesters of being named on a NSF project.
  3. The principal investigator (PI) on the NSF project may provide RCR instruction to graduate students and postdoctoral researchers relevant to the topic of the funded research.

Faculty Investigator Resources: click here for RCR instructional resources

Undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers currently working on active NSF funded research who haven’t completed the CITI RCR course should complete the course as soon as possible and register for the next available Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions (CSEP) Lecture/Workshop/Webinar.

Researchers should select the RCR course appropriate to their research discipline. The list of available courses includes:

Biomedical Responsible Conduct of Research

Humanities Responsible Conduct of Research

Social & Behavioral Responsible Conduct of Research

Responsible Conduct of Research for Engineers

Physical Science Responsible Conduct of Research

Responsible Conduct of Research for Administrators

Completion of a CITI RCR course and attendance at a Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions (CSEP) lecture/workshop/webinar is tracked and documented in Banner on behalf of the Illinois Institute of Technology Office of Research Integrity & Compliance (ORIC).  For more information or questions contact ORIC at oric@iit.edu

PENALTIES FOR NON-COMPLIANCE WITH NIFA/NSF REQUIREMENTS

Completion of the Illinois Institute of Technology Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) program is a requirement of funding awards to Illinois Institute of Technology from both the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and National Science Foundation (NSF).

Thus a NIFA requirement for investigators, key personnel, faculty, undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and any staff supported on NIFA projects

And a NSF requirement for undergraduates, graduate students and post-doctoral researchers supported on NSF projects.

What are the potential penalties for researchers on NIFA or NSF funded research projects who do not complete the Illinois Institute of Technology RCR training requirements?

Non‐compliance on the part of any student or postdoctoral researcher employed on a NIFA or NSF funded project may result in the termination of employment and possibly result in the disallowance of salary and any associated expenses charged to the sponsored project.

Cases of student non-compliance may also be referred to the Office of the Provost for additional disciplinary action. Non-compliance on the part of any NSF Graduate Research Fellow may result in the failure to certify the Fellow’s Satisfactory Academic Progress and possible termination of the Fellowship.

What are the potential penalties for investigators, key personnel, faculty, undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and staff on NIFA funded research projects who do not complete the Illinois Institute of Technology RCR training requirements?

Non-compliance by investigators, key personnel, faculty, undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and any staff on a NIFA project may result in the disallowance of salary and any associated expenses charged to the sponsored project. Non-compliance by the PI on a USDA NIFA project may also result in the removal of the PI from the project and the appointment of a replacement PI.

CITI Registration Information

New CITI Registrants

If you do not have an account with CITI, follow these steps to establish one affiliated with the university:

  1. Access the myIIT portal and enter your login credentials. After logging in, in the left column, click on the Research tab.
  2. Locate the CITI Training channel in the middle column of the Research window. Click on Access CITI Training Courses. You will be directed to a new window.
  3. Enter your myIIT credentials again and click the Login button.
  4. Agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Select an information release consent duration and click the Accept button to continue.
  5. Select ”I don't have a CITI Program account and I need to create one.”
  6. Click on “Create A New CITI Program Account” button. Your account will be created.
  7. Click on the View Courses button under the Institutional Courses- Illinois Institute of Technology section. Select Add a Course to add CITI training courses to your account.
  8. Question 3 allows you to select which RCR training course pertains to your research. Select one of the available courses to add RCR training to your profile.
  9. Select appropriate responses for all additional questions that pertain to your research. When finished, select Complete Registration.

Once you have established an account, you may complete the RCR training course selected in Question 3. Retain a copy of your completion record upon successful completion of each course.

Returning CITI Registrants

If you already have an account, follow the steps below to complete RCR training:

  1. Access the myIIT portal and enter your login credentials. After logging in, click on the Research tab.
  2. Locate the CITI Training channel in the middle column of the Research tab. Click on Access CITI Training Courses. You will be directed to a new window.
  3. Enter your myIIT credentials again and click the Login button.
  4. If you have already added one of the available RCR training courses to your profile, select the course from the list and complete all of the modules. If you do not have any RCR training courses listed, click Add a Course under "My Learner Tools for Illinois Institute of Technology." Select one of the available RCR training course under Question 3, then click Submit. Then, select the course from Illinois Institute of Technology Courses and complete all of the modules.

Retain a copy of your completion certificate upon successful completion of each course.

Previous Training

If you completed RCR training at another institution, please send a PDF of the training certificate to Office of Research Integrity and Compliance to determine whether it meets Illinois Institute of Technology requirements.

RCR Resources

Students and faculty may reference the resources below to craft RCR instruction to their specific research goals.