While it is a general expectation that all research conducted by Cal Maritime faculty, staff, and students will be conducted responsibly, the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other sponsors have specific training requirements for responsible conduct of research. If your project is sponsored by NSF, NIH, or any other agency with this requirement, and you are employing staff and/or students to work on that research, it is your responsibility to ensure they receive the required training.

The ethical and responsible conduct of research is critical for the practice of scientific investigation. RIO provides oversight in an effort to offer appropriate training and resources in the responsible and ethical conduct of research. In accordance with RCR compliance requirements, any undergraduate or graduate student who will be conducting research on behalf of NSF, NIH, or any other sponsor with an RCR requirement, whether as an employee or in any educational capacity, must complete the appropriate RCR training per funding agency.

Compliance with Sponsor Regulations

The NSF requires that, at the time of proposal submission, the institution has a plan to provide appropriate RCR training and oversight to all students who will be supported by NSF to conduct research. All students who will be conducting research as part of an NSF funded project must complete an online training course appropriate to their project available through CITI (Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative). 

The NIH requires applications related to training, career development, and research education to include a description of a program to provide instruction in the responsible conduct of research. NIH requirements indicate that all trainees, fellows, participants, and scholars (i.e., students) must be engaged in a rigorous training program with the Principal Investigator (PI) in order to request funding from a grant solicitation. Moreover, in the event of an NIH award, the PI must oversee all training of these individuals towards NIH policies as part of the funding requirements. The completion of one of the CITI training does NOT fulfill NIH’s requirement as there need to be substantial face-to-face discussion (at least eight contact hours).

Other sponsors may have an RCR requirement as well, which are typically listed in the sponsor's request for proposals, on their website, and/or in the award terms and conditions and should be communicated to the post-award administrator and PI.

Federal Policy Guidance

NSF Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research
NIH Research Integrity
Contact RIO staff for information regarding the CITI Program Responsible Conduct of Research Training