Responsible Conduct of Research Training

RCR instruction is available to all students and postdoctoral researchers in the sciences* and engineering, and may be required by your program director, mentor, or principal investigator.

*Science is broadly defined to include all fields of science, e.g., physical, mathematical & statistical, computer, biological, biomedical, social, economic, and behavioral sciences.

When Is RCR Required?

  • A student’s degree program or postdoctoral fellow’s school may require completion of the RCR program.
  • For regulatory compliance purposes, RCR instruction is required by NSF and NIH for students and postdoctoral researchers, if they are “covered individuals” on “covered awards” (definition of covered awards and covered individuals).

Levels of RCR at Boston University

The Boston University RCR Program includes three cumulative levels:

  1. Introductory RCR consists of a PowerPoint presentation and quiz aimed at achieving basic awareness of each RCR topic
  2. Intermediate RCR adds three online modules (Data Management, Authorship and Publication, and Research Misconduct and Whistle-Blowing) containing more detailed information, case studies and historical and societal context
  3. Advanced RCR adds four live two-hour workshops, in which small groups discuss case studies

RCR for Undergraduates (Introductory)

Those undergraduates who have an RCR compliance requirement, under an NIH training grant or an NSF research grant, must complete Introductory RCR within 30 days of receiving support from said grant (your PI will inform you).

Other undergraduates may complete at any time.

Introductory Responsible Conduct of Research (Ongoing)

The program provides advice on mentorship; introduces basic responsibilities of data management, collaboration, and publication; and introduces Boston University procedures relating to scientific misconduct and conflicts of interest in research through a PowerPoint presentation and quiz.

The program and quiz take about of one hour to complete. RCR administration will track Blackboard requirement statuses, maintain completion status lists, and issue certificates of completion upon request.

Log in to Blackboard

Note: Participants may self-enroll in the Blackboard course. To self enroll: go to your Blackboard Learn homepage, click on the second tab all blackboard learn courses, and on the left hand side of that page  search for RCR and the course will be displayed in a list. Make sure you select Introductory Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) (Ongoing). Please email the IT Help Center for assistance with setting up a Blackboard Learn account, if needed. Any other administrative questions can be directed to Alissa Beideck.

Audience: Undergraduates, Master’s candidates and Doctoral candidates and Postdoctoral researchers in the sciences or engineering

Duration: Approximately 1 hour

Teaching Medium: Online (PowerPoint presentation and quiz)

Prerequisite: None

How Often: Ongoing


 

RCR for Master’s Degree Candidates (Intermediate)

Those master’s candidates who have an RCR compliance requirement, under an NIH training grant or an NSF research grant, must complete Intermediate RCR within 30 days of receiving support from said grant (your PI will inform you).

Other master’s degree candidates may complete at any time.

Step 1. Complete Introductory Responsible Conduct of Research (Ongoing):

Introductory Responsible Conduct of Research (Ongoing)

The program provides advice on mentorship; introduces basic responsibilities of data management, collaboration, and publication; and introduces Boston University procedures relating to scientific misconduct and conflicts of interest in research through a PowerPoint presentation and quiz.

The program and quiz take about of one hour to complete. RCR administration will track Blackboard requirement statuses, maintain completion status lists, and issue certificates of completion upon request.

Log in to Blackboard

Note: Participants may self-enroll in the Blackboard course. To self enroll: go to your Blackboard Learn homepage, click on the second tab all blackboard learn courses, and on the left hand side of that page  search for RCR and the course will be displayed in a list. Make sure you select Introductory Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) (Ongoing). Please email the IT Help Center for assistance with setting up a Blackboard Learn account, if needed. Any other administrative questions can be directed to Alissa Beideck.

Audience: Undergraduates, Master’s candidates and Doctoral candidates and Postdoctoral researchers in the sciences or engineering

Duration: Approximately 1 hour

Teaching Medium: Online (PowerPoint presentation and quiz)

Prerequisite: None

How Often: Ongoing


Step 2. BU RCR for master’s candidates, consisting of three required modules on Data Management, Authorship and Publication, and Research Misconduct and Whistle-Blowing through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI):

CITI Course Sign-Up Instructions


To enroll in the CITI course:

  1. Sign up for a CITI account.
  2. Affiliate with Boston University (please note that if you affiliate with Boston University Medical Campus through CITI, you will not be able to access the RCR course).
  3. Enroll in and complete the BU RCR for Master’s Candidates course.

Audience: Master’s candidates, Doctoral candidates, and Postdoctoral researchers in the sciences or engineering

Duration: Approximately 1-2 hours

Teaching Medium: Online modules and quizzes

Prerequisite: Introductory RCR on Blackboard

How Often: Ongoing

 

RCR for Doctoral Degree Candidates & Postdoctoral Researchers (Advanced)

The program has been slightly modified as of September 2013. The overall BU RCR Program has three cumulative levels.  Doctoral candidates and postdoctoral researchers entering the RCR program after September 1, 2013 must first complete Introductory and Intermediate RCR (these are Steps 1A and 1B as outlined below) and then complete Step 2 the four live RCR workshops.

Important note for Continuing RCR participants:  Those who commenced the RCR program prior to the announcement of these changes, by attending at least one workshop before September, 2013, or who completed Advanced Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)-Online Preparation (Old version); before these changes, may substitute Advanced Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)-Online Preparation (Old version) for Step 1.  You will not be required to complete the new Part B of Step 1, although you are urged to do so for your own benefit.

Certificates of completion will not be awarded unless you have completed all steps.

Timing for Program Completion

In terms of timing*, Doctoral candidates are recommended to:

  • Complete Steps 1 (A and B) in the second year of their doctoral program; and
  • Commence Step 2 (the four Core RCR workshops) in their second or third year; and
  • Complete the four workshops at the rate of one workshop per semester, so that all workshops are completed, at the latest, by the end of the fourth year.

In terms of timing*, Postdoctoral researchers are recommended to:

  • Complete Step 1 as early as possible in their position at BU; and
  • Commence Step 2 (the four Core RCR workshops) in the semester in which Step 1 is completed; and
  • Complete the four workshops at the rate of at least one workshop per semester.

Compliance requirement for Advanced RCR

*Compliance requirement for Advanced RCR:  Those who are subject to an NIH or NSF compliance requirement (of which your PI will inform you) under an NIH training grant or a NSF research grant must complete Step 1 within 30 days of receiving support from said grant. If you are a PhD Candidate or Postdoctoral researcher, Advanced RCR Step 2 must then be commenced as soon as available and completed within not more than four semesters (not less than one workshop per semester).

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Step 1. Complete Advanced RCR online preparation, in two parts:

Part A. Complete Introductory Responsible Conduct of Research (Ongoing)

The program provides advice on mentorship; introduces basic responsibilities of data management, collaboration, and publication; and introduces Boston University procedures relating to scientific misconduct and conflicts of interest in research through a PowerPoint presentation and quiz.

The program and quiz take about of one hour to complete. RCR administration will track Blackboard requirement statuses, maintain completion status lists, and issue certificates of completion upon request.

Log in to Blackboard

Note: Participants may self-enroll in the Blackboard course. To self enroll: go to your Blackboard Learn homepage, click on the second tab all blackboard learn courses, and on the left hand side of that page  search for RCR and the course will be displayed in a list. Make sure you select Introductory Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) (Ongoing). Please email the IT Help Center for assistance with setting up a Blackboard Learn account, if needed. Any other administrative questions can be directed to Alissa Beideck.

Audience: Undergraduates, Master’s candidates and Doctoral candidates and Postdoctoral researchers in the sciences or engineering

Duration: Approximately 1 hour

Teaching Medium: Online (PowerPoint presentation and quiz)

Prerequisite: None

How Often: Ongoing


Part B. Complete BU RCR for Doctoral Candidates and Post-docs consisting of three required RCR modules on Data Management, Authorship and Publication, and Research Misconduct and Whistle-blowing through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI).


To enroll in the CITI course:

  1. Sign up for a CITI account.
  2. Affiliate with Boston University (please note that if you affiliate with Boston University Medical Campus through CITI, you will not be able to access the RCR course).
  3. Enroll in and complete the BU RCR for Doctoral Candidates and Post-docs course.

Audience: Master’s candidates, Doctoral candidates, and Postdoctoral researchers in the sciences or engineering

Duration: Approximately 1-2 hours

Teaching Medium: Online modules and quizzes

Prerequisite: Introductory RCR on Blackboard

How Often: Ongoing

The RCR program will track Blackboard requirement statuses, maintain status lists, and issue certificates of completion, generally within 60 days of completion.

Step 2. Complete Advanced RCR (Live) discussion workshops, which examine case studies in research ethics and responsibility. Important note: New RCR Participants (those who commence the RCR program after September 1, 2013) must complete both Step 1A and 1B prior to attending any workshop or alternative RCR course.

Advanced RCR (Live)

Four 2-hour workshops are to be completed over not more than two years and involve small groups of students and postdoctoral researchers in facilitated discussion of cases studies set in diverse fields across the sciences and engineering.

After starting RCR, one workshop per semester must be completed until all four workshops are completed.

Register

Note: Alternatively, if you are eligible, you may enroll in an approved Alternative RCR Program (CH 801 or CS 697) for your live instruction in RCR.

Location: BU Medical Campus: Hiebert Lounge (School of Medicine, 14th Floor) or BU Charles River Campus: Colloquium Room (Photonics Building, 9th Floor)

Audience: All doctoral degree candidates and postdoctoral researchers in the sciences and engineering

Duration: 8 hours

When Offered: See schedule

Teaching Medium: Small group, case-based learning

Prerequisite: Introductory Responsible Conduct of Research on Blackboard and BU RCR for Doctoral Candidates and Post-docs on CITI.

How Often: Workshops series are offered twice on the Medical Campus and twice on the Charles River Campus during the academic year.