The Advisory Committee to the DDIR noted that requirements for Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training in the intramural program differ from the NIH requirements for extramural trainees, which stipulate eight hours of RCR training over a period of up to four years. Further, we have been informed that since 2010, 65% of research misconduct cases for the intramural program have involved trainees.
The Scientific Directors have approved an expansion of RCR training for intramural fellows, recommending the trainings below. For NICHD, the Office of Education has the responsibility of tracking and enforcing the RCR mandate. For all new fellows, the mandatory research ethics training plan consists of the following:
Each component will be either completed by the fellow♦, facilitated by the NIH Office of Intramural Training and Education (OITE)§, or facilitated by the investigator♣.
“Introduction to RCR” Course ♦
Due within 3 weeks of arrival ♦
- Online training module that focuses on the topics of scientific integrity, publication and authorship, peer review, mentor-trainee relationship, and data acquisition and management
Ethics in Research Training for Postdocs: "Becoming a Responsible Scientist" (One-Day Workshop) §
For upcoming dates and registration, check the RCR for Postdocs OITE webpage. Participation is tracked by the NICHD Office of Education. §
This course is offered as a full-day workshop (10:00 am–4:30 pm), using a combination of lecture, video, writing exercises, small group discussions, and full class discussions. Certificates will be issued to those who successfully complete the entire course.
Topics covered include but are not restricted to:
- The impact of research misconduct on individuals, institutions, the scientific enterprise, and society.
- The history and modern oversight of Animal and Human Subjects regulations.
- Formal definitions of "Research Misconduct" and discussion about Questionable Research Practices.
- An explanation of resources provided by NIH and how to find and use them.
- How an investigation into research misconduct unfolds.
- Data management; collection, protection, and sharing.
- Mentor-mentee relationships.
- Conflict of Interest.
- Peer Review.
- Expectations of trainees as scientists at NIH.
This course includes material on being an ethics mentor and discussions about best practices for setting up one's own lab.
**Please note postbacs and graduate students will be required to attend a separate centralized training session organized by OITE: Ethics for Postbacs & Graduate Students
Annual Discussion of Ethics Cases ♣
Due December each year, participation tracked by Dr. Erin Walsh ♣
- At the affinity group level, a designated investigator will annually facilitate small group discussions of case studies to address rotating topics of responsible conduct in research.
- Ethics case studies can be found at: https://oir.nih.gov/sourcebook/ethical-conduct/responsible-conduct-research-training/annual-review-ethics-case-studies.