Many federal grantmaking agencies – including the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health – require grantees to certify that they provide appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research (RECR, also referred to as RCR).
To meet these requirements, Carleton utilizes CITI – Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative modules. Everyone involved in a federal grant – including but not limited to research trainees such as undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers – must complete this training (with requirement to repeat training every 3 years).
The CITI online curriculum should be supplemented by in-person instruction on aspects of ethical research conduct appropriate to the specific project. In fact, the National Institutes of Health require such additional training of in-person instruction (see below).
All PIs on federal grants are responsible for ensuring that students working with them have completed the online curriculum and have received face-to-face instruction. Office personnel in the Grants Office that work with sponsored projects oversee compliance with the RCR training requirement.
Steps to access the CITI Responsible Conduct of Research training modules
If you are a NEW CITI user, go to CITI to register. Specific instructions for Carleton users are offered below.
For RETURNING CITI users, jump to instructions following the NEW CITI user text.
Start by clicking on the “Register” button located in the blue Log In box to the right of the main homepage content at CITI.
- In the “Select Your Organization Affiliation” section, type “Carleton” into the search box and select the “Carleton College” option; in that same section, click the “I AGREE” box; and next “Continue to Step 2.”
- Enter your first and last name along with your email address. Continue to Step 3.
- Choose a username and password for your account. Please follow the on-screen instructions for the expected parameters of each field. Passwords are case sensitive. You’ll also select and answer a security question. Continue to Step 4.
- Provide demographic information (if required; this step is sometimes voluntary). Continue to Step 5.
- Select “No” toward the bottom of this page that addresses Continuing Education credits; this is not applicable to Carleton learners. If there is a last question about participation in research surveys, answer as you desire. Continue to Step 6.
- Provide information requested by Carleton College. Note that a red * indicates a required field; the others you may leave blank. If you are a student, for “Department” input the department of your major. For “Role in Research” typically a student will choose “Student Researcher – Undergraduate”; usually a faculty or staff mentor will choose “Principal Investigator.” Continue to Step 7.
- On this “Select Curriculum” page, go to “Question 3” and select the appropriate RCR choice (for students: “RCR for Undergraduate Researchers.” Select “Complete Registration” and “Finalize Registration.”
You will now be able to access the Main Menu of your account. Student researchers will select the “RCR for Undergraduate Researchers” link.
The “RCR for Undergraduate Researchers – Basic Course” includes 6 required modules and 3 elective modules. If the research involves animals, the elective module “Using Animal Subjects in Research” is required; if the research involves human subjects, the elective module “Research Involving Human Subjects” is required.
You will be asked to Complete The Integrity Assurance Statement before beginning the course and then be able to click on the required and supplemental modules appropriate to this training. Once you have completed a module, a completion date and score will appear in the appropriate row.
If you are a RETURNING CITI user, at CITI enter your username and password and click Log In. Select the curriculum or module desired.
On the “Select Curriculum” page, go to “Question 3” and select the appropriate RCR choice. Select “Complete Registration” and “Finalize Registration.” You will now be able to access the Main Menu of your account.
Student researchers will take “RCR for Undergraduate Researchers – Basic Course,” which includes 6 required modules and 3 electives. If the research involves animals, the elective module “Using Animal Subjects in Research” is required; if the research involves human subjects, the elective module “Research Involving Human Subjects” is required.
You will be asked to Complete The Integrity Assurance Statement before beginning the course and able to click on the required and supplemental modules appropriate to this training. Once you have completed a module, a completion date and score will appear in the appropriate row.
Policies & Assistance
In addition, the Grants Office can assist in drafting statements regarding the College’s RECR policy and program for use in federal grant proposals. Contact Charlotte Whited (cwhited or x5833) for further information.
For more on the RECR requirements of the National Science Foundation, see the web page for Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research (RECR), this NSF RECR training Reminder Notice with review of institutions’ implementation, and the Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research (RECR) section of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), NSF 22-1. As of January 4, 2010, the NSF stipulates that institutions can “provide appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research to undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers who will be supported by NSF to conduct research.” Institutional certification is indicated by signing the cover page upon submission of proposal. Training plans are not required in proposals submitted to NSF.
For more on the RCR requirements of the National Institutes of Health, see the “Update on the Requirement for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research” (NOT-OD-10-019, November 24, 2009) on the NIH website. For all grants submitted after January 24, 2010, the NIH “requires that all trainees, fellows, participants, and scholars receiving support through any NIH training, career development award (individual or institutional), research education grant, and dissertation research grant must receive instruction in responsible conduct of research,” with specification of at least eight hours of face-to-face training. Additionally, the “grant application must include a plan for how you will carry out instruction in responsible conduct of research” and will not be reviewed until an acceptable plan of instruction is provided.
The Office of Research Integrity offers a number of RCR General Resources.