Responsible conduct of research
is the practice of scientific investigation with integrity. It involves the awareness and application of established professional norms and ethical principles in the performance of all activities related to scientific research.
~ NIH, NOT-OD-10-019
Following ethical principles when conducting research is vital to ensuring excellence and instilling public trust in research. ISU has established policies impacting the conduct of research that apply to all administrators, faculty, staff, graduate or undergraduate students, and agents or collaborators who are engaged in research or other scholarly activities. These policies include human subjects research, vertebrate animal research, conflicts of interest, biosafety, use of student records, export controls and a number of other areas.
The University policy 1.8 "Integrity in Research and Scholarly Activities" articulates ISU's adherence to ethical conduct and provides formal procedural information for impartial fact-finding and fair adjudication of allegations of academic misconduct that cannot be handled satisfactorily by informal mediation or other procedures.
This policy includes, but is not limited to, all members of the ISU community: administrators, faculty, university staff, graduate or undergraduate students, and agents or collaborators who are engaged in research or other scholarly activity.
Misconduct or fraud in research and scholarly endeavors may be grounds for disciplinary action or even for termination of employment under appropriate University procedures. Such serious offenses include the following:
For more information on the policy or to discuss potential misconduct allegations, contact the Director of Research Ethics and Compliance, who serves as the Academic Integrity Officer under this policy.
In addition to the research policies described above, certain projects receiving funding through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) have specific requirements to promote ethical behavior at the earliest stages of research participation. NIH and NSF recommend face-to-face discussion (e.g., small group, case studies) with faculty participation in the training with limited online instruction.
NIH requires RCR training for all trainees, fellows, participants and scholars receiving support through:
PIs directing these awards are responsible for encouraging the promotion of and adherence to ethical research practices through weekly face-to-face discussions covering topics required by NIH.
NSF requires that undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchersreceive RCR training and oversight if they will be supported by the NSF to conduct research. Section 7009 of the America COMPETES Act. NSF's RCR policy is available in Chapter IX.B. NSF grants requiring training must include a 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. While training plans are not required to be included in proposals submitted to NSF, they are subject to review upon request.
PIs are responsible for informing each participant of training requirements and documenting training. PIs At ISU, the RCR training program includes:
Online training through CITI should be completed within the first year of the individual’s participation on the grant. For persons participating for a period of less than one year, the CITI training must be completed prior to the end of their participation.
NIH requires at least 8 hours of face-to-face RCR training. Training should be completed at least once during each career stage: undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, predoctoral, postdoctoral, and faculty levels. Senior fellows and career award recipients (including F33, K02, K05, and K24 awardees) may fulfill the requirement for instruction in responsible conduct of research by participating as lecturers and discussion leaders.