Responsible Conduct in Research

Responsible conduct in research (RCR) online training: 

Roanoke College RCR Training Plan:

Faculty Principal Investigators (PIs) have the primary responsibility for training the students involved in their research.

RCR training is required for all undergraduates receiving wages (or working as volunteers) or receiving academic credit for participating in federally funded research. Training must be completed within the semester or summer that the undergraduate begins work on the funded research project. RCR training will be documented on a form developed for that purpose, signed by both the PI and the undergraduate. This RCR form will be maintained by the Office of Academic Grants and Foundation Relations.  At a minimum, RCR training will include the following components:

  • Conflict of interest:  personal, professional, and financial
  • Policies regarding human subjects, live vertebrate animal subjects in research and safe laboratory practices
  • Mentor/mentee responsibilities and relationships
  • Collaborative research including collaborations with industry
  • Peer review
  • Data acquisition and laboratory tools; management, sharing and ownership
  • Research misconduct and policies for handling misconduct (please see Roanoke College's policy)
  • Responsible authorship and publication
  • The scientist as a responsible member of society, contemporary ethical issues in biomedical research, and the environmental and societal impacts of scientific research.

Roanoke College provides resources to assist in this effort.  The on-line training certificate program CITI (Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative) is available to faculty to assist in the development of a training program.  The modules included in CITI can be used to guide and augment responsible conduct in research training in addition to face-to-face didactic interactions with students.  

Each student must successfully complete the appropriate CITI (Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative) module of RCR training. This requirement can be waived for students who have successfully completed an RCR workshop at another institution designed to satisfy NSF's training requirement or other comparable training; the Dean of the College will specify what constitutes appropriate documentation in these cases. Successful completion will be documented by attaching to the RCR form a certificate generated by the online training program or by other documentation acceptable to the Dean.

Faculty will certify on the RCR form that the student has received RCR training appropriate to the research and discipline.

Faculty will give the Director of Academic Grant and Foundation Relations (AGFR) periodic updates listing the students participating in the research. The AGFR Director will facilitate this process by sending reminder emails to all faculty who are PIs on funded grants at the beginning of each semester and before summer research begins.

Faculty working on NIH funded grants must also provide a minimum of eight contact hours of face-to-face training between faculty and students.

The Dean of the College may amend this plan at any time after consultation with AGFR and the Director of Student/Faculty Research.  Details of any amended plan will be sent to all faculty with federally funded grants and will be posted on the AGFR website.  At a minimum, the plan will be reviewed and updated annually, no later than July 1 of each year.

To access the training module, please go to to complete the registration and follow the instructions for your RCR training. Please contact the Office of Academic Grants and Foundation Relations if you encounter any problems.