Skip to main content

Responsible Conduct of Research

Purdue is reaffirming its commitment to research integrity and responsible conduct of research, ensuring that all researchers are trained to conduct their research in an informed and responsible manner, by implementing a new Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Standard (S20), effective July 1st, 2020.

RCR topics include authorship, mentoring, peer-review, conflicts of interest, plagiarism, data management, and reproducibility of research results.

The RCR training standard applies to all faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students of the University who design and conduct research and/or report and publish research outcomes. It has two components:

  1. general online RCR training course offered through the CITI Program, and

  2. research field-specific RCR training that includes education on specific RCR issues faced by each particular research field.

The deadline for training completion varies by training and researcher types, as detailed in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section below.

Further information is provided below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About RCR

Question

Answer

Why do I need to complete the training requirement?

National survey results indicate that the public is increasingly concerned about the integrity of the scientific process and the robustness of reported results. Purdue aims to maintain and promote a culture of research integrity among all who conduct research in our system, from the newest researcher to the most experienced. Training in the responsible conduct of research provides exposure to important current information on critical topics faced by researchers, both in general (as covered by the online training), field-specific and career level-specific (as covered by contents determined by each campus, college, or center). In addition, several federal sponsors (NSF, USDA/NIFA, NIH) require training on RCR as a condition of granting research funding.

Who is affected by the new RCR standard?

All Researchers at Purdue. A Researcher is a person who is responsible for the design, conduct and reporting of research; it includes the following categories of employees and students:

  • Faculty, trainees, and staff who design and conduct research and/or report and publish research outcomes
  • Graduate students who are enrolled in a Ph.D. or master’s program with a research thesis or component, and
  • Undergraduate students involved in a research project or conducting student-initiated research.

Note that with the exception of those receiving funding from specific federal granting agencies (currently NSF, USDA/NIFA, NIH), both field-specific and online training are completed one time only during a researcher's career at Purdue, with no required renewals. For example, if you are one of more than 12,000 researchers at Purdue who have already completed the online segment of the RCR training requirement and are not currently paid from specific Grants*, there is no further online training requirement for you.

What is required to complete the RCR training and how long will it take?

The RCR Training requirement has two components:

  • Online core RCR training – administered through the CITI Program and customized for each researcher’s career level, i.e., undergraduate and faculty, postdoctoral, and graduate students; a list of online courses and modules for Purdue researchers is available here. Completion of the required modules will take approximately two hours for undergraduate researchers and four hours for faculty, postdoctoral, and graduate student researchers.
  • Research Field-Specific RCR training – as suggested by colleges, departments, and research centers; minimum of two hours.

When and how often should I complete the RCR training requirement?

The deadlines for completion of the RCR training requirement are a function of Sponsor requirements and the career level of the individual researcher. Note that with the exception of those receiving funding from specific federal granting agencies, both field-specific and online training segments are completed one time only during a researcher's career at Purdue, with no required renewals.

Core online segment – deadlines and frequencies are listed in the Table below.
Researcher Category Deadline for Completion Training Frequency
Researchers (Faculty, Staff, Graduate and Undergraduate Students) Paid from Grants* 30 Days - from the date of first payroll from Grants* Every 4 years (Refresher courses after 4 years)
Current Faculty and Research Staff (Not Paid from Grants*) 120 Days - from July 1, 2020 One time only
New Faculty and Research Staff (Not Paid from Grants*) 120 Days - from Employment Date One time only
Graduate Students (PhD and research-based MS programs) 60 Days - from the start of Graduate Studies One time only
Undergraduate Students (Conducting Research) 30 Days - from starting work on a research project One time only

* Grants refers to research grants from federal agencies that require RCR training, currently: NSF, USDA/NIFA, and NIH.

Research Field-Specific Training – attend research group meetings when RCR is discussed, and/or attend departmental and college level RCR seminars, workshops, and classes. Deadlines and frequencies are listed in the Table below.
Researcher Category Deadline for Completion Training Duration
Current Researchers 24 Months – from July 1, 2020 Minimum of two hours, one time only
New Researchers 24 Months – from Employment Date Minimum of two hours, one time only

Completing General Online RCR Training

Purdue uses the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI Program) for researcher online training, including RCR training. For each assigned RCR module, review of the materials and completion of the quiz takes about 30 minutes. Based on this estimate, completion of the required modules will take approximately two hours for undergraduate researchers and four hours for faculty, postdoctoral, and graduate student researchers. Researchers may choose to complete the required course in multiple sessions, choosing to complete a couple of modules per session. A minimum score of 80% is required to pass the assigned core RCR online course. Materials can be reviewed multiple times and quizzes can be repeated until a passing score is attained.

Detailed guidance for completion of the online RCR training requirement is available here. Abbreviated versions of the guidance tailored to a researcher’s circumstances are available below.

Question

Answer

How do I access the CITI Program and complete the core online RCR training if I am an existing CITI Program user and my CITI account is already synchronized with my Purdue Career Account?

Follow these ten steps to access the CITI Program and complete Purdue’s core online RCR training requirement.

  1. Login to the CITI Program through Purdue -> click here
  2. Choose “Purdue University” from the list of organizations that use the CITI/SSO program
  3. Log in using your BoilerKey two factor authentication and Purdue Career account credentials
  4. On the Institutional Courses page, click on the “View Courses” button and then click on the “Add a Course” link
  5. Select the RCR curriculum by choosing “Q2 for Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)” and then select the learner group that matches your career level/researcher type, i.e., “Faculty, Post-Doc, Graduate” or “Undergraduate”.
  6. To complete the RCR training, click on “Courses Ready to Begin” tab and the “Start Now” button
  7. Complete all the Required modules for your learner type/career level
  8. Complete supplemental/optional modules that may be required by your College as part of the Field-Specific RCR training (if any) or may be of interest to you as a Researcher
  9. Once the required/desired modules are completed, click on the “Completed Courses” tab and then on “View- Print-Share Record”
  10. Save/Print the completion report and or certificate for your records and share a copy with your Supervisor, PI, and/or graduate coordinator.

How do I access the CITI Program and complete the core online RCR training if I am a new CITI Program user, or have not yet linked my CITI Program account to my Purdue Career account?

You will need to associate your SSO Purdue account with an existing CITI account or create a new account.

Follow these steps to get ready and complete the desired core online RCR training.

  1. Follow the link here to begin access to the CITI Program through Purdue
  2. Choose “Purdue University” from the list of organizations that use the CITI/SSO program
  3. Log in using your BoilerKey two factor authentication and Purdue Career account credentials
  4. Depending on your particular circumstances follow step 4.a. or 4.b. below.
    1. New CITI Program users: Choose “I don’t have a CITI Program account and need to create one”. Create your account following the CITI guidance.
    2. Existing CITI Program users without an associated SSO Purdue account: Choose “I already have a CITI Program Account”. To complete the synchronization with the CITI account, enter your CITI login information.
  5. On the Institutional Courses page, click on the “View Courses” button and then click on the “Add a Course” link
  6. Select the RCR curriculum by choosing option “Q2 for Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)” and then select the learner group that matches your career level/researcher type, i.e., “Faculty, Post-Doc, Graduate” or “Undergraduate”
  7. To complete the RCR training, click on “Courses Ready to Begin Tab” and the “Start Now” button
  8. Complete all the Required modules for your learner type/career level
  9. Complete supplemental/optional modules that may be required by your College as part of the Field-Specific RCR training (if any) or may simply be of interest to you as a Researcher
  10. Once the required/desired modules are completed, click on the “Completed Courses” tab and then on “View- Print-Share Record”
  11. Save/Print the completion report and/or training certificate for your records and share a copy with your Supervisor, PI, and/or graduate coordinator, as needed.

How do I update my Institutional Affiliation and/or Transfer course credit(s) between Purdue and another Institution using my SSO account in CITI?

Once logged into the CITI Program, from the “Institutional Courses” page, click on the “Add Affiliation” button to transfer credits to or from Purdue.

Note: Transferred credits for training completed at other Institutions may or may not match the required credits/modules for Purdue’s core online RCR training courses and you may need to complete additional modules to satisfy the online RCR training requirements.

If you no longer wish to be associated with a particular Institution/University, you can click on the “remove affiliation” link on the Institutional Courses page and follow CITI instructions.

Beyond training in RCR, researchers who work with human and/or animal subjects, biological or radiological materials, or export/ITAR controlled topics, are required to take additional, specialized training. Some of these training courses are also offered through the CITI Program but are not a substitute for RCR training.

Contact RCRTraining@purdue.edu if you encounter any difficulties logging into the CITI Program or need assistance with any RCR training matters.

Completing Research Field-Specific RCR Training

Field-specific RCR training is not a “one size fits all” and is best considered within the contexts of RCR issues faced by a given research field. Each individual researcher is responsible ultimately for research integrity and responsible conduct of research and must understand the impact of their actions on their career, lab, field, and society.

Units (i.e., colleges and research centers) in which researchers are nested stand ready to assist in recommending field-specific training in the proper conduct of their research projects. Units or sub-units (e.g., departments and programs) may direct their researchers toward focused training opportunities that could include RCR workshops offered by the Graduate School, departmental or college RCR seminars and/or discussions of case studies, or PI-led research group discussions. Units may choose to have their sub-units decide what is best for researchers nested within specific fields. Duration and frequency of field-specific training is set by each unit, with the general rule that the training should be a minimum of 2 hours total. Whenever possible, topics for discussions should be tailored to the career stage of the researcher (e.g., undergraduate students, graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, faculty). Contact your college's associate for dean for research or your department/center director for suggested field-specific offerings.

RCR Training Opportunities through Purdue’s Research Integrity Office

In addition to training opportunities offered by colleges, schools, and centers, Purdue’s Research Integrity Office conducts customized RCR workshops that can be taken to help satisfy requirements for field-specific training. Please contact Purdue’s Research Integrity Officer, Professor James Mohler (jlmohler@purdue.edu), to arrange for one of these workshops or to find out more about the offerings provided through the Graduate School Professional Development Office.

Additional guidance for colleges, departments, and research centers is available here.

When deciding what kind of field-specific RCR training might be best for a given unit or sub-unit, one may start with the “big picture” question: Why should we be concerned about field-specific RCR training? Because our goal as researchers is to advance knowledge and humanity, the conduct and outcome of our work and the methods that we use must be trustworthy, for our own benefit and that of the general public (who often pay for our research). National survey results show that public trust in research is eroding due to many factors, including mistrust in the scientific method and real or perceived crises of research reproducibility and replicability in a number of fields. We must strive to preserve and promote a culture of research integrity at Purdue that will ensure public trust in all we do.

Keep in mind that CITI online training in RCR, that all researchers above undergraduate level take, focuses on the following topics: (1) Collaborative Research, (2) Conflicts of Interest, (3) Data Management, (4) Mentoring, (5) Peer Review, (6) Plagiarism, (7) Authorship, and (8) Research Misconduct. What the CITI training does NOT do is allow for discussion of these issues and other field specific concerns such as reproducibility of research results. In designing and identifying field-specific RCR curriculum/topics, units or sub- units may want to consider including discussion of these topics and also address questions such as the following:

  1. Are there recent cases of research misconduct in our field? If yes, discuss these cases and their root causes, including how we can work together to prevent such occurrences here at Purdue.
  2. Are there real or perceived crises of reproducibility and replicability in our field? If yes, discuss how these can be addressed and prevented.
  3. Are there Questionable Research Practices in our field? What are they are why are they questionable?
  4. What are the prevalent research methods used in our field and are we preparing our students/trainees to use them appropriately (e.g., ensuring that they are trained in using appropriate statistical analysis methods)? Note that presentations from experts on data analysis and statistical methods could be considered field-specific RCR training.

Tracking Your RCR Training

Online Application for Monitoring and Tracking Completion of RCR Training

The Office of the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships (EVPRP) has developed a new online application (coming soon) for monitoring and tracking completion of RCR training requirements for all Purdue researchers, system-wide.

Tracking General Online RCR Training

Purdue researchers’ online RCR training records have been downloaded from the CITI Program and are currently captured in our internal databases and online application. New CITI RCR training records are downloaded from CITI on a daily basis and updated accordingly in the online application. Researchers who do not complete their RCR training requirements by the designated deadlines will receive a notification from the system.

Tracking Research Field-specific RCR Training

Individual researchers can monitor and enter their own field-specific training in the new online application (coming soon).

In addition, researchers and administrators at Purdue (i.e., anyone with a Purdue Career account) can complete and upload into the system field-specific RCR Training information for themselves, their respective research groups, departments, and colleges and research centers.

Customized field-specific RCR Training Forms for groups of researchers, affiliations, and training events are available here.

RCR Resources and Contacts

RCR Educational Materials – Presentations

RCR Infographics

Infographics provided by the Office of Research Integrity, U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services

Purdue University Education Plan to Satisfy the Requirements of NSF's Implementation of Section 7009 of the America COMPETES Act (42 U.S.C. 1862o-1)

Questions?

For answers to questions about:

  • Interpretation of the RCR Standard (S20)
  • Online/CITI and Field Specific RCR Training
  • Updating and reporting Field Specific RCR Training events for individual researchers and groups of researchers
  • Training records for Colleges, Departments, research groups
  • Any other questions about RCR training for Purdue researchers,

email RCRTraining@purdue.edu. Contact Purdue’s Office of Regulatory Affairs staff for any assistance you may need with the new RCR training requirement.

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (765) 494-4600

© 2020 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Office of the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships

If you have trouble accessing this page because of a disability, please contact Office of the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships at vprweb@purdue.edu.

竞彩app