NSF Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)
The responsible and ethical conduct of research (RCR) is critical for excellence, as well as public trust, in science and engineering. Consequently, education in RCR is considered essential in the preparation of future scientists and engineers. Section 7009 of the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science (COMPETES) Act (42 U.S.C. 1862o–1 requires that "each institution that applies for financial assistance from the Foundation for science and engineering research or education describe in its grant proposal a plan to provide appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research to undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers participating in the proposed research project."
The language specified below provides NSF’s implementation of Section 7009.
As of January 4, 2010, the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay must certify that a plan is in place for providing the appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research (RCR) to all technicians, undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers who participate in federally funded research (renewals or new applications). Please note that this is a federal requirement.
By submitting an NSF application, the Institution and PI are certifying that all undergraduate students, graduate students and staff supported by that grant will successfully complete an institutional program of education in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). Additional information on NSF’s RCR policy is available in the AAG, Chapter IV.B. While training plans are not required to be included in proposals submitted to NSF, institutions are advised that they are subject to review upon request. At the time of proposal submission to NSF via the FastLane electronic submission portal, the AOR (Authorized Organizational Representative) is required to complete a certification that the institution has a plan to 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. The Certification Regarding Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) is the responsibility of the Office of Grants and Research staff.
The University recommends in-person training for fulfilling the RCR requirement. Options for satisfying the training requirement, which must be completed during the course of the individual's involvement in the federally funded projected, include:
- Successful completion of training modules of the on-line RCR program hosted by the Responsible Conduct of Research (CMDITR ) online ethics tutorials. UWGB has completed the process of subscribing to the on-line RCR training program offered by CMDITR (with the support of the National Science Foundation DMR #0120967) with access by visiting http://www.responsibleresearch.org/ for the online ethics tutorials and tracking of certifications. Certifications will be tracked by the registered ‘Group Leader’, currently the UWGB Office of Grants and Research; and
- Discipline specific mentoring by the PI and lead investigators during the course of the grant.
The above options are designed to provide maximum flexibility for University members to satisfy the new requirement.
Guidelines are enumerated in detail in the January 2010 NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide, specifically in Part I - Grant Proposal Guide, Chapter II. C.1e and in Part II - Award and Administration Guide, Chapter IV.B.