Responsible Conduct of Research at DSU

OFFICE OF RECORD: Vice President for Academic Affairs
ISSUED BY: Vice President for Academic Affairs
EFFECTIVE DATE: 9/7/10                                                            03-80-00
APPROVED BY: Doug Knowlton, President



Effective January 4, 2010, the National Science Foundation (NSF) requires that, at the time of proposal submission to NSF, a proposing institution's Authorized Organizational Representative certify 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. (Applicable federal regulation: Section 7009 America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education and Science--America COMPETES--Act.)

Dakota State University (DSU) is committed to the ethical conduct of research, and therefore will require training in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) for all students and post doctoral associates participating in any funded research activities, regardless of funding source. This includes, but is not limited to, these types of funding sources: external as well as internal awards, federal agency projects, local and regional foundations, and other related research ventures. The RCR requirement flows down to all subawardees, including international organizations. If there are undergraduates, graduates, and postdoctoral researchers supported on the award to conduct research, they must be trained in the responsible conduct of research.

DSU will use the following institutional responses to meet the RCR requirement:

  • Provide RCR training through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI)
  • Schedule an annual RCR seminar to be in the fall semester of each academic year. In addition, the seminar will be recorded as a webinar.
  • Deliver RCR webinar offline for students starting their research engagement in the spring semester and, therefore, unable to attend the fall seminar.

Faculty named as principal investigators or faculty supervising undergraduate or graduate students participating in sponsored research, with funding or as a volunteer, will annually certify that all students have received RCR training. The certification will list all the names of students, the date training was received and the type of training used (CITI training, seminar or webinar attendance).

A copy of this policy will be provided to every faculty member supervising undergraduate and graduate research projects. Projects may be randomly selected for audit to ensure that the requirement is met.

Roles and Responsibilities

Principal Investigator/Supervising Faculty

Any faculty member supervising student research (paid or unpaid) will ensure their students complete the CITI training module, attend the RCR Annual Seminar, and provide students with mentoring in the responsible conduct of research as appropriate to the scope and content of the research project.

Director of Sponsored Programs

The director of the Office of Sponsored Programs (SPO) will notify all faculty conducting research of the RCR training requirements, will work with the University Research Committee to plan and conduct the RCR Annual Seminar, and ensure RCR compliance with NSF, NIH, and other federal agencies as required. In addition, the SPO director will ensure that the RCR Annual Seminar is recorded and uploaded to the SPO website and can be viewed as a webinar.

Director of Budget and Grants Administration

Records of RCR training and related documentation will be forwarded to and subsequently maintained by the Grants Administration Office.


  1. Each student (undergraduate and graduate) and post-doctoral researcher who conducts research (paid or unpaid) is required to have a foundation of documented training in RCR. This requirement can be met by having the student take and pass (minimum 85% passing score) the RCR module provided in the Collaborative Institutional Training Institute (CITI):
  2. Each student (undergraduate and graduate) and post-doctoral researcher who conducts research (paid or unpaid) will be required to attend an annual RCR Annual Seminar. The director of the Office of Sponsored Programs will work with the University Research Committee to outline the content of the RCR Annual Seminar. The Seminar will be scheduled annually for mid-October.
  3. The Office of Sponsored Programs will announce the Annual Seminar to the campus community in September of each year. In addition the Office of Budgets and Grants Administration will send every faculty who receives an NSF grant award a copy of the RCR policy and a reminder to tell their students to complete CITI training or attend the Webinar in the spring semester.
  4. The Office of Sponsored Programs will provide information on the RCR policy and procedures to new faculty at New Faculty Orientation.
  5. A record of the CITI Responsible Research module progress and completion is provided electronically by CITI to the director of the Office of Sponsored Programs (the designated campus administrator for CITI) who will forward a copy to the Grants Administration Office. Attendance at the Annual Seminar and spring webinar will be taken and a copy forwarded to the Grants Administration Office.


When a funded project is found to be in noncompliance with the RCR policy, the Grants Administration Office will provide the PI of the project with the names of researchers requiring RCR training. Failure to meet RCR requirements within 60 days from the date of the notification will result in suspending financial support for the funded project until RCR requirements are met for the researchers in question.

Last Updated: 1/24/12