All individuals who have received applicable grants from either NIH or NSF are required to complete training in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). RCR is defined by the NIH as 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. Training in RCR must occur at least once during each career stage, and at a frequency of no less than every four years. It is recommended that all trainees, funded or unfunded, at UNLV participate in the RCR training program.
The principal investigator (PI) on applicable grants must agree to participate in the university's efforts to comply with federal requirements; they are responsible for ensuring that all of the required individuals on their grants complete the UNLV RCR training. It is highly recommended that the PI also take the UNLV RCR training so that s/he can discuss it with researchers working on the grant project.
At UNLV, the basic required training in RCR includes an eight-hour, in-person seminar series and the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) RCR course. The CITI course covers the topics of Ethical Issues in Research; Data Acquisition and Management; Conflict of Interest and Commitment; Research Misconduct; Mentor/Trainee Responsibilities; Responsible Authorship; Responsible Peer Review; and Collaborative Research. The CITI RCR course should be completed prior to beginning research on an NSF or NIH award.
In addition to the CITI course, a series of seminars are offered each semester on the RCR topics listed above with the addition of information about ethical research with humans and animals. This RCR seminar series is also required of trainees on applicable NIH and NSF grants. The seminars are taught by seasoned PIs who share both instructional materials and case studies. All instructional materials are also posted online. Upon completion of all eight modules (four two-hour courses with two modules per course), individuals receive a completion certificate. In total, the required training will account for at least eight hours of face-to-face instruction with supplemental on-line training.
Trainees may select to take the longer semester-length RCR training, also taught by seasoned PIs. There are three options for the semester-long course: EAB 704, PSY 756 and BIO 701. These cover all of the same topics but delve deeper into case studies and discussion. Each semester-long course has a minimum of 14-hours of face-to-face instruction (one hour per week for 14 weeks).
Each principal investigator will provide additional face-to-face training in research ethics with his or her team members. Staff from the Office of Research Integrity are available to moderate discussions and provide training materials as needed. This training should be documented.
In addition, individuals conducting research with humans must complete the CITI online course on human subjects research. Individuals working with animals must complete on-line training offered through LATA and in-person training by the manager of biological research compliance.