Faculty, staff, and students who serve in various capacities on research and scholarship projects are required to complete training that is appropriate for the role they will serve on the project and meets sponsor regulations. Sponsor regulations, University policies, and the supervisors of staff and students will determine the appropriate level of training. The Office of Research and Innovation has the responsibility to ensure that principal investigators (PIs), investigators, co-investigators, and their staff and students have access to the necessary information and supporting resources to meet expectations about the responsible conduct of research (RCR).
All research personnel that want to serve as principal investigator of a research study, sponsored or unsponsored, are required to complete the RCR Core Education through Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Program (see Procedure for PI Eligibility Requirements for Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research Education). All researchers, regardless of their role in the research group, should complete the RCR Core Education through the CITI Program, regardless of funding status upon employment. It is also strongly encouraged for administrators involved in other research-related administrative roles to complete the RCR Core Education through the CITI Program. There are additional specific requirements for anyone on funded studies by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and/or the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) (see Appendices: NIH Requirement for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research, Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research Education Requirement for NSF and Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research Education Requirement for USDA-NIFA). It is the responsibility of the PI to ensure compliance as outlined in the terms and conditions of the sponsored project award. Research funding from internal and external sources will not be released for faculty and staff who fail to complete research education requirements. Other policies address requirements related to research and may impose additional consequences for non-compliance.
The current vendor of choice for RCR Core online training is the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI Program). CITI tools to make content accessible for a variety of learner groups. It is the responsibility of the researcher to meet the additional educational requirements for continuing education in RCR to maintain compliance with funding agency requirements.
The RCR Core Curriculum offered by the University of Minnesota through the CITI Program includes the following topics:
- Introduction to RCR: overview of responsible conduct of research
- Collaborative Research
- Conflicts of Interest and Commitment
- Data Management
- Financial Responsibility
- Peer Review
- Research Misconduct
- Export Controls and Economic Sanctions
- Financial Responsibility & Other Research Areas
- Technology and Commercialization at the University of Minnesota.
The Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI Program) is committed to making all of its content accessible to persons with disabilities. The CITI Program website and other communications aim to adhere to best practices for accessibility such as
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) of the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
- Web-based Intranet and Internet Information and Applications (1194.22) component of the U.S. federal Section 508 standards.
This accessibility is relevant to all training completed through CITI Program. This training requires access to a computer and the ability to log in using the Single Sign-On. If the researcher is unable to use Single Sign-On and the Duo Authentication System, they will be unable to access this training. Individual schools and colleges are responsible for providing their researchers with the time during the work shift and computer accessibility to complete the training. Because this is a required training for anyone serving as a PI and anyone being paid through a sponsored project that requires RCR Education, it should be completed during normal working hours.
Reason for Policy
This policy implements the principal investigator and researcher eligibility requirements contained in Board of Regents Policies: Submitting and Accepting Sponsored Projects (pdf) and Code of Conduct (pdf), and establishes the expectation for a training program to meet the shared responsibility for the responsible and ethical conduct of research.
This policy also articulates the shared commitment of the University and its faculty, staff, and students to ethical behavior and fulfillment of the fiduciary duties of public funding that are fundamental to the responsibility of serving as principal investigator (PI) or in another role on projects of research and scholarship.
In addition, various government and other agencies set standards and requirements for education and training in the responsible conduct of research. This policy ensures, where applicable, that the scope of the University's program for the responsible conduct of research includes such additional requirements.