RCR Training FAQs

Why am I being asked to do this?

As a national flagship public research university, The Ohio State University is privileged and compelled to model the highest standards of research integrity. To affirm our commitment, Ohio State is now requiring everyone who is eligible to conduct research to be trained in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). As a first step, all research active individuals must take the CITI RCR course. This requirement is in addition to any other RCR training that you may have taken to date.

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I’m not currently involved in any research activities. Do I need to take the CITI RCR course?

Yes, all faculty, staff, and students eligible to conduct research at OSU are required to take the CITI RCR course. If you received an mail from the Office of Research advising you to take the course, you will need to take the CITI RCR course unless you’ve taken it in the past while at OSU, or taken it within the last five years at a previous institution (see FAQ on transferring CITI course credits below).

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There are several different discipline-specific RCR courses listed. How do I know which one to take?

The CITI RCR program offers six different discipline-specific courses in the following areas: Biomedical Research, Social and Behavioral Research, Physical Sciences and Engineering, Humanities, Engineering and Research Administrators. If there is nothing offered that appears to be appropriate to your discipline, you should pick the discipline-specific course most closely aligned to your research area.

Note: CITI allows you to select more than one discipline-specific course when you first log in and register to take the RCR course. CITI will automatically combine the unique modules for the disciplines you have selected when generating the modules for your training. Once you have completed the CITI RCR training you selected, the system does not allow you to select and take another discipline-specific RCR course.

Generally speaking, the courses offered cover the following research areas:

  • Biomedical Research – research in areas like life sciences, biomedical, health sciences, basic biological research, etc.
  • Social and Behavioral Research – research in areas like anthropology, communication, economics, geography, communication, criminology, international studies, journalism, political science, psychology, sociology, speech and hearing, education, etc.
  • Physical Science and Engineering – research in areas like physics, earth sciences, chemistry, microbiology, evolution and ecology, astronomy, mathematics, energy, aerospace, lasers, etc.
  • Humanities – research in areas like visual or performing arts, arts education, English or other languages, religious studies, gender studies, literature, history, etc.
  • Engineering – research in general engineering fields. This course is very similar to the Physical Science and Engineering course.
  • Research Administrators – If you assist in the administration of research rather than the direct conduct of the research, you should select the Research Administrators course.

There is significant overlap in the basic RCR information regarding authorship, collaborative research, data management, peer review, research misconduct, use of human and animal subjects in research and plagiarism that is provided regardless of the discipline selected.

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Each discipline-specific RCR course has different ‘Elective’ and ‘Supplemental’ modules associated with it. How do I know which modules I need to take?

You must complete all “Elective Modules” listed for your discipline-specific course and the “Supplemental Module” on “Plagiarism”. Any other “Supplemental Modules” offered are recommended, but not required. If you select more than one discipline, CITI will combine all of the unique modules for each of the disciplines into a specific course for you.

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I’m having difficulties accessing or taking the CITI RCR course. What should I do?

  • If you are having technical issues accessing the CITI application or logging in, technical assistance is available at ORIS Help Desk.
  • If you are having issues taking the CITI RCR course, help is available by e-mail: RCRInfo@osu.edu.
  • If you have questions about accessibility or wish to request an accommodation, please contact RCRInfo@osu.edu. Accessibility issues can usually be resolved within one week.
  • Click here for RCR CITI Access Instructions for accessing CITI RCR

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How long does it take to do the training?

Depending on the discipline-specific course you select, there are between 9 – 11 modules required. Review of the required materials and completion of quizzes for each module will take approximately 30-35 minutes. You do not have to complete all modules in one session. A minimum score of 80% is required to pass the RCR course. CITI allows you to retake the quizzes if you do not get the minimum score required to pass the course.

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Is there a deadline for completing the CITI RCR course?

Yes, we are requesting that everyone who is eligible to conduct research at OSU complete the CITI RCR training by June 30, 2018. If you have been notified by the Office of Sponsored Programs that you need to complete the CITI RCR course because you are on an NIH/NSF award that requires that you take the CITI RCR course, you need to meet any deadline provided by the Office of Sponsored Programs.

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Do I need to submit proof that I’ve completed the CITI RCR course?

No, you do not have to provide a completion certificate unless required by your college, professor, or department/unit. The CITI system keeps track of all completion data, and OSU accesses completion data directly from CITI.

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I am currently funded on an NIH training grant or NSF grant and have already taken the CITI RCR training. Do I need to do it again?

No, if you have completed the CITI RCR training already you do not need to take it again.

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I completed the CITI RCR training at my former institution. Do I need to do it again?

No, if you have completed the CITI RCR course within the last five years at a previous institution you can transfer your completed modules from another institution to OSU. To do this, you will need to log on to your previous CITI account and click on the “Affiliate with another institution” link. Choose “Ohio State University” from the drop-down menu. When prompted, choose the RCR course that you have already taken at your previous institution. Review the OSU module and complete any modules that OSU requires that your former institution did not require. Course completion will automatically be registered with OSU. To view your course completion history, click on “Modules Completed”. Once transferred you should see the RCR module in your OSU course history.

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I have done another RCR training but not the CITI RCR course (e.g., a course offered by my program). Do I still have to complete the CITI RCR course?

Yes, we are asking that everyone who is eligible to conduct research at OSU complete the CITI RCR course in addition to any other RCR training you may have had.

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I was recently notified that I need to complete the CITI Good Clinical Practices (GCP) course. Is this the same thing as the RCR course? Do I have to do both?

The CITI GCP course (FDA focus or Social and Behavioral focus) is a distinct course and may be required by sponsors or funding agencies. While some of the material is similar to the CITI RCR course, it does not replace the requirement to take the CITI RCR course. If you have received notice from a sponsor or funding agency that you need to complete the CITI GCP course, you will need to complete both courses. Formal GCP training for clinical investigators is not currently required by the university.

For more information, please go to the Office of Responsible Research Practices training page at http://orrp.osu.edu/irb/training-requirements/

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I was recently notified that I need to complete the CITI Human Subjects Research course. Is this the same thing as the RCR course? Do I have to do both?

The CITI Human Subjects Research course is a distinct course and is required of all investigators and key personnel who participate in the design, conduct, and/or reporting of human subjects research. While some of the material is similar to the CITI RCR course, it does not replace the requirement to take the CITI RCR course. If you have received notice from the Office of Responsible Research Practices that you need to complete the CITI Human Subjects Research course, you will need to complete both courses.

For more information please go to the Office of Responsible Research Practices training page at http://orrp.osu.edu/irb/training-requirements/.

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What are the NIH requirements regarding instruction in Responsible Conduct of Research?

All trainees, fellows, participants, and scholars receiving support through any National Institutes of Health (NIH) training grant, career development award (individual or institutional), research education grant, or dissertation research grant must receive instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). See NIH RCR Update and the specific program announcement for additional information.

For the specified award categories, the Principal Investigator (PI) must develop a discipline-specific, tailored plan for RCR training that meets the NIH requirements. The instructional plan is evaluated as a component of the NIH funding proposal and applications lacking an RCR instructional plan may be delayed in the review process or not reviewed. The PI is also responsible for ensuring that course attendance is monitored and that a certificate or documentation of participation is available upon course completion. Although the NIH does not require Ohio State or the PI to submit training documentation to the NIH, training records are subject to audit. The PI is responsible for maintaining RCR training records to document that all NIH supported trainees, fellows, and scholars received the required instruction. The PI must also comply with the specific reporting requirements in continuation applications.

Instructional Plan

The RCR instructional plan must meet NIH requirements for educational content, training format, and frequency. The following topics must be addressed in the training plan:

  • Collaborative research
  • Conflict of interest (personal, professional, financial)
  • Data acquisition and laboratory tools: data management, sharing and ownership
  • Human subjects, live vertebrate animals in research, and safe laboratory practices
  • Mentor/mentee responsibilities and relationships
  • Peer review
  • Research misconduct and policies for handling misconduct
  • Responsible authorship and publication
  • Scientist as a responsible member of society

The instructional plan should include coursework with significant face-to-face interaction and participation by research faculty members. Analysis of relevant case studies is recommended. While on-line instruction may be used as a component of the training program, it is not sufficient to meet the NIH requirement for RCR instruction, except in special or unusual circumstances.

Training plans must address all program participants and should be appropriate to the career stage of the individuals receiving training. Research faculty should participate in instruction in ways that allow them to serve as effective role models for their trainees, fellows, and scholars. Individual fellowship and career development award applicants/recipients are encouraged to assume individual and personal responsibility for their instruction in responsible conduct of research.

PIs may want to use the online CITI RCR training course as part of their instructional plan. All the NIH required topics are addressed in the CITI RCR coursework. If used, the most relevant, discipline-specific CITI RCR course (Biomedical Research, Social and Behavioral Research, Physical Science, Humanities, or Engineering) should be specified. The CITI RCR course also offers online case studies that can be used for face-to-face discussions.

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What are the NSF requirements regarding instruction in Responsible Conduct of Research?

The NSF requires the University to certify that it 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 receive NSF support to conduct research. Certification of University compliance is done by an authorized Ohio State representative as part of the institutional proposal approval process (e.g., when a sponsored program officer submits the proposal in FastLane). Specific instructions are found in Chapter IV.B Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) of the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide.

Required Instruction

All students and postdoctoral researchers supported by NSF sponsored projects must complete the CITI online course in the Responsible Conduct of Research. Within 60 days of appointment, students and postdocs must complete the most relevant discipline-specific CITI RCR course (Biomedical Research, Social and Behavioral Research, Physical Science, Humanities, or Engineering).

Principal Investigators (PIs) should not include any specific information on RCR training within their proposals. NSF does not want program details – only the institution’s certification that there is a program in place.

The PI is responsible for ensuring that all students and postdocs complete the CITI RCR course. The PI should direct the trainees to the most appropriate discipline-specific RCR course within the CITI program. The PI is also encouraged to complete the CITI RCR training and begin a dialogue with students and postdocs on the responsible conduct of research.

The PI must maintain records to document that each trainee has completed the CITI RCR course. Training records are subject to monitoring by the Office of Research Compliance and by NSF auditors.

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