Responsible Conduct of Research Training

When Is RCR Required?

  • RCR instruction is available to all students and postdoctoral researchers in the sciences (broadly defined to include all fields of science, e.g., physical, mathematical & statistical, computer, biological, biomedical, social, economic, and behavioral sciences) and engineering, and may be required by your program director, mentor, or principal investigator.
  • 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 studiesParticipants can check their status on the status lists page.

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.

Log in to Blackboard

To self-enroll in the Blackboard Course:

1. Log in to your Blackboard Learn homepage
2. Click on the second tab: All Blackboard Learn Courses
3. On the left hand side of the All Blackboard Learn Courses page  search for “RCR”
4. Select Introductory Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) (Ongoing) from the list
5. Click the chevrons below the course name and select “Enroll”

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 Sarah Theurkauf.

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.

Log in to Blackboard

To self-enroll in the Blackboard Course:

1. Log in to your Blackboard Learn homepage
2. Click on the second tab: All Blackboard Learn Courses
3. On the left hand side of the All Blackboard Learn Courses page  search for “RCR”
4. Select Introductory Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) (Ongoing) from the list
5. Click the chevrons below the course name and select “Enroll”

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 Sarah Theurkauf.

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)

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

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.

Log in to Blackboard

To self-enroll in the Blackboard Course:

1. Log in to your Blackboard Learn homepage
2. Click on the second tab: All Blackboard Learn Courses
3. On the left hand side of the All Blackboard Learn Courses page  search for “RCR”
4. Select Introductory Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) (Ongoing) from the list
5. Click the chevrons below the course name and select “Enroll”

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 Sarah Theurkauf.

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 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


Step 2. Complete Advanced RCR (Live) discussion workshops, which examine case studies in research ethics and responsibility.

Advanced RCR (Live)


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.

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 Important! When you register in course manager, make sure that your email address does not contain gmail after the @ (i.e. @gmail.bu.edu) but only @bu.edu. This will ensure that you receive the participant packet for the workshop.

Note: Alternatively, if you are eligible, you may enroll in an approved Alternative RCR Program 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: Workshop series are offered on both the Medical and Charles River Campuses in the Spring and Fall semester with each workshop offered twice per semester. Additionally, one of each workshop is held over summer term.


 

Important note for New RCR participants: Doctoral candidates and postdoctoral researchers entering the RCR program after September 1, 2013 must complete Introductory and Intermediate RCR (Steps 1A and 1B) before completing the four Live RCR Workshops (Step 2).

Important note for Continuing RCR participants:  Those who commenced the RCR program prior to the announcement of these changes (9/1/2013), by attending at least one live workshop or by completing Advanced Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)-Online Preparation (Old version) on Blackboard 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.

Notes to all RCR Participants:

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).