Responsible Conduct of Research Program

Workshop Offerings, Calendar, and Registration

The RCR workshop series is offered during the academic year between September and April. Any upcoming training will be listed below. All students and faculty are welcome to sign up to attend the workshops, but priority is given to those who need to complete RCR training to fulfill a grant requirement. Northeastern also uses several online training modules offered through CITI to meet various federally mandated training requirements as outlined in the policy and agency information on this page. Please visit the NU-RES General CITI Program Training Site to view the matrix of modules for use by the NU Research Community, including who must take the training and when.

Below are the RCR workshops that may be offered during the academic year. 

Workshops on Scholarly Research Practices
Academic Publications

RCR Session Description:

Publication of a peer-reviewed study involves a great deal of work and often takes place over an extended period. This session targets new and future graduate student authors. Discussion includes the process involved in bringing a study to publication in a peer-reviewed journal as well as best practices at each step in the publication process along the path to authorship.

Session Runtime:

90 minutes

RCR Presenter Information:

Professor. Patricia Mabrouk
College of Science, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Target Audience:

  • Graduate Students and Research Assistants
  • Undergraduate Students

Nature Masterclass: Research Integrity – Publication Ethics

Northeastern has an institutional subscription to Nature Masterclasses – just use your Northeastern credentials to register and log on! This can be taken in place of the live Academic Publications RCR and can count as RCR course credit with the provision of a certificate of completion.

NEW on-demand training Research Integrity: Publication Ethics

This course will show researchers how to navigate the most pressing ethics-related considerations during the publication process and provide strategies for how to avoid the most common pitfalls. By following the advice in this course, researchers will be able to publish their findings with confidence and enhance their reputation for research integrity.

Expert academics and professionals

The course was developed in collaboration with a team of 7 experts in publication ethics and promoting integrity in research and publication.

8 hours learning

This online training course provides researchers with strategies for applying editorial policies to their manuscripts and helps them to master the steps needed to publish their work with integrity in 3 modules.

Designed for busy researchers

The modules contain bite-size lessons to provide an accessible, dip in and out format for busy researchers. The course is divided into three modules; researchers can track their progress through the course and fit the lessons around their work.

Learning outcomes for researchers

  • Select reputable journals and locate editorial policies and ethical guidance
  • Maintain data integrity and availability and ensure image integrity
  • Make relevant declarations about research and publication, including conflicts of interests
  • Navigate revisions and address post-publication issues appropriately
  • Avoid common disputes around authorship and permissions
Authorship

RCR Session Description:

As a graduate student, you will notice that much of the focus of your work will involve publishing your scholarship. Authorship comes with much credit and responsibility. Discussion in this session will include what authorship means, why it is so important, and the important responsibilities you assume when you take on the vital role of an author.

Session Runtime:

90 minutes

RCR Presenter Information:

Professor. Patricia Mabrouk
College of Science, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Target Audience:

  • Graduate Students and Research Assistants
Copyright for Academics

RCR Session Description:

This workshop focuses on copyright and fair use as these impact faculty and students both in the classroom and in their research activities. We will discuss the identification of copyrighted works and what you need to know as an author about journal copyright policies and copyright transfer forms. We will also examine the role of the Copyright Clearance Center and RightsLink and your responsibilities when reusing or adapting copyrighted research for use in presentations or publications.

Session Runtime:

90 minutes

RCR Presenter Information:

Professor. Patricia Mabrouk
College of Science, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Target Audience:

  • Junior or New Faculty and Principal Investigators
  • Postdocs and Research Fellows
  • Graduate Students and Research Assistants
  • Lab and Research Program Managers
Peer Review for Publications and Grants

RCR Session Description:

This workshop introduces the role and ethical responsibilities of peer reviewers in informing the decision-making associated with scholarly publications and grant proposals. We will consider the structure, content, and delivery of accurate, specific, and constructive feedback. We will examine and evaluate some examples of peer review feedback and discuss ways to make your feedback more impactful.

Session Runtime:

90 minutes

RCR Presenter Information:

Professor. Patricia Mabrouk
College of Science, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Target Audience:

  • Junior or New Faculty and Principal Investigators
  • Postdocs and Research Fellows
  • Graduate Students and Research Assistants
  • Lab and Research Program Managers
Workshops on Research Compliance
Animal Care and the Division of Laboratory Animal Medicines (DLAM)

RCR Session Description:

This session will provide an overview of the Division of Laboratory Animal Medicine (DLAM) and the IACUC function. This will include training requirements and an overview of important forms. Further discussion will involve the requirements for submitting an animal protocol and for receiving an IACUC Protocol Approval Congruency Letter for submission to a funding agency.

Session Runtime:

30 minutes

RCR Presenter Information:

Sean Sullivan, Director – Division of Laboratory Animal Medicine (DLAM)

Target Audience:

  • Senior Faculty and Principal Investigators
  • Junior or New Faculty and Principal Investigators
  • Visiting Scientists or Researchers
  • Postdocs and Research Fellows
  • Graduate Students and Research Assistants
  • Lab and Research Program Managers
Export Control and Global Research

RCR Session Description:

This session will provide a high-level overview of important considerations around export controls and international collaborations.

Session Runtime:

45 minutes

RCR Presenter Information:

Lissette Gilster, Export Control Officer
Northeastern University Research Enterprise Services (NU-RES) – Compliance

Target Audience:

  • Senior Faculty and Principal Investigators
  • Junior or New Faculty and Principal Investigators
  • Graduate Students and Research Assistants
  • Lab and Research Program Managers
Human Subject Research Protections and IRB

RCR Session Description:

This session will be an interactive dialogue about conducting human subject research at Northeastern. The presenter will discuss how human subject research is defined, what is required, the types of IRB review, and the criteria the IRBs use when approving a protocol. The discussion will also review the roles and responsibilities of the major players in human research: the IRBs, HRPP, and members of the research team.

Session Runtime:

60 minutes

RCR Presenter Information:

Anita Balgopal, Executive Director – Human Research Protections Program (HRPP)
Northeastern University Research Enterprise Services (NU-RES) – HRPP

Target Audience:

  • Senior Faculty and Principal Investigators
  • Junior or New Faculty and Principal Investigators
  • Visiting Scientists or Researchers
  • Postdocs and Research Fellows
  • Graduate Students and Research Assistants
  • Lab and Research Program Managers
  • Undergraduate Students
Research Misconduct and Conflict of Interest

RCR Session Description:

This session will include information on reporting research misconduct; an overview of investigatory proceedings; a discussion on financial and other conflicts of interest and how to manage and disclose them in an academic research setting.

Session Runtime:

60 minutes

RCR Presenter Information:

Jeff Seo, Chief Research Compliance Officer
Northeastern University Research Enterprise Services (NU-RES) – Compliance

Target Audience:

  • Senior Faculty and Principal Investigators
  • Junior or New Faculty and Principal Investigators
  • Visiting Scientists or Researchers
  • Postdocs and Research Fellows
  • Graduate Students and Research Assistants
  • Undergraduate Students
  • Lab and Research Program Managers
Workshops on Grant and Research Management
Grant Stewardship

RCR Session Description:

Grant stewardship is a shared responsibility between faculty, grant administrators, and institutions. Often each of these stakeholders has a different focus and set of expectations. This session will describe some potential roles and responsibilities, mitigation strategies and work together as a group to talk through some case studies.

Session Runtime:

60 minutes

RCR Presenter Information:

Amanda Humphrey – Chief Research Operations Officer
Northeastern University Research Enterprise Services (NU-RES) – Compliance

Target Audience:

  • Senior Faculty and Principal Investigators
  • Junior or New Faculty and Principal Investigators
  • Visiting Scientists or Researchers
  • Postdocs and Research Fellows
  • Graduate Students and Research Assistants
  • Undergraduate Students
Research Grant Financial Management

RCR Session Description:

This session will focus on helping researchers understand how to manage their fiduciary responsibilities while minimizing administrative burden, learn key areas of risk, and get a sense of best practices for monitoring expenses and personnel effort.

Session Runtime:

45 minutes

RCR Presenter Information:

Alex Hui, Executive Director – Research Finance
Northeastern University Research Enterprise Services (NU-RES) – Finance

Target Audience:

  • Junior or New Faculty and Principal Investigators
  • Postdocs and Research Fellows
  • Lab and Research Program Managers
Research Data Management & Stewardship

RCR Session Description:

This workshop approaches data acquisition, storage & management through three main topics: research data management and its relationship to reproducibility and stewardship; data ethics; data storage and archiving options; and other resources available to Northeastern researchers. The session may include interactive activities and small group discussions of case studies.

Session Runtime:

60 minutes

RCR Presenter Information:

Jen Ferguson, Head – Library Research Data Services
Northeastern Library

Serena Caplins, Associate Bioinformatician
Research Computing

Target Audience:

  • Junior or New Faculty and Principal Investigators
  • Visiting Scientists or Researchers
  • Postdocs and Research Fellows
  • Graduate Students and Research Assistants
  • Lab and Research Program Managers
Intellectual Property, Technology, and Commercialization

RCR Session Description:

This session will focus on the key aspects of advancing research from lab to market. It will address topics including how to protect your valuable innovations; the different pathways to commercialization; available resources to aid in commercialization efforts; commercialization through spinouts; and ensuring compliance with University policy and funding agencies.

Session Runtime:

60 Minutes

RCR Presenter Information:

Mark Saulich, Associate Director – Commercialization
Center for Research Innovation (CRI)

Myron Kassaraba, Director of Commercialization
Center for Research Innovation (CRI)

Katie Hemphill, Director – Technology Venture and Talent Network
Center for Research Innovation (CRI)

Lin Qin, Senior Director – Compliance
University Compliance

Target Audience:

  • Senior Faculty and Principal Investigators
  • Junior or New Faculty and Principal Investigators
  • Visiting Scientists or Researchers
  • Postdocs and Research Fellows
  • Graduate Students and Research Assistants
  • Lab and Research Program Managers
Workshops on Interpersonal Skills and Professional Ethics
Managing Conflict and Strengthening Professional Relationships in Research

RCR Session Description:

Learning objectives contained in this session include self-awareness of emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in conflict; building safety and trust in professional relationships; strategies for productive conversations; and troubleshooting barriers.

Session Runtime:

60 minutes

RCR Presenter Information:

Kimberly Wong, Ombuds for Graduate Students
Graduate Affairs

Diane Levin, University Ombuds Person for Faculty and Staff
Office of the Provost

Target Audience:

  • Junior or New Faculty and Principal Investigators
  • Visiting Scientists or Researchers
  • Postdocs and Research Fellows
  • Graduate Students and Research Assistants
  • Lab and Research Program Managers
Research Mentorship: A Shared Community Dialogue

New NSF RCR Training Requirement Workshop on Mentorship

In accordance with the CHIPS and Science Act, NSF is requiring grantees to provide mandatory training to all NSF researchers covering a number of topics and issues. One such required training is Mentorship, and the event described below is intended to satisfy this requirement. We sincerely hope you take advantage of this opportunity to attend in person or virtually to listen to some of our notable faculty on the lessons learned from their respective careers.

Audience:

Research faculty, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows

Description:

This session will fulfill the new NSF training requirements for faculty and students by providing an open panel discussion about promising practices related to mentorship and a community-wide opportunity to share learnings and experiences that will enable us all to reflect on the importance of strong, ethical mentorship in stewarding the research community throughout the Northeastern global campus network.

Outcomes:

Attendees will gain valuable perspective on the importance of mentorship for both mentors and mentees, as well as gain a greater understanding of the critical role of mentorship in facilitating safe and inclusive work environments and fostering research integrity.

Panelists:

Diedra Wrighting, PhD, ADVANCE Network (Moderator)
Özlem Ergun, Distinguished Professor of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering
Amy Farrell, Professor of Criminology & Criminal Justice
Guevara Noubir, Professor & Executive Director of Cybersecurity Programs
Hanumant Singh, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

This workshop was held on Wednesday, September 13, 2023. A recording of the workshop has been made available NSF Mentorship Panel Recording.mp4.

Wellness and Self-Care for the Researcher

RCR Session Description:

The session examines the emotional work of being a researcher and presents strategies to prevent and mitigate its impacts. Emotion work is done in quantitative and qualitative interviewing. It is important for all researchers to understand the emotional work and toll of sensitive/traumatic research. The skills and tools addressed in this session can be utilized by all researchers.

Session Runtime:

60 minutes

RCR Presenter Information:

Amy Farrell, Professor and Director – Criminology and Criminal Justice; Co-Director of the Violence and Justice Research Lab
College of Social Sciences and Humanities

Suzanne Garverich, Program Assistant Director – Institute of Health Equity and Social Justice Research
College of Social Sciences and Humanities

Alisa Lincoln, Professor and Associate Dean – Sociology & Anthropology
College of Social Sciences and Humanities

Target Audience:

  • Senior Faculty and Principal Investigators
  • Junior or New Faculty and Principal Investigators
  • Postdocs and Research Fellows
  • Graduate Students and Research Assistants

Anyone who may not be required to take RCR can elect to attend one, a few, or all of the RCR workshops being offered, space permitting.

The following is the list of Spring 2024 RCR Workshops you may register for:

  • February 12, 2024: Copyright for Academics (Virtual from 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM EST)
  • March 13, 2024: Intellectual Property, Technology, and Commercialization (Virtual from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EST)
  • April 3, 2024: IRB and Human Subject Research Protections (Virtual from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EST)
  • April 10, 2024: Managing Conflict and Strengthening Professional Relationships in Research (Virtual from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EST)

Below, select one or multiple workshops that you would like to attend. Your selections will act as your registration and a calendar invite with any applicable links will be sent to your email.

If you need to cancel your registration, please email the Associate Director of Training and Learning, Morgan Fielding, m.fielding@northeastern.edu and cc rcr@northeastern.edu.

RCR Session Registration
Select One or Multiple Workshops for Attendance

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Northeastern’s Policy

Policy Statement

All Northeastern University undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers, including short-term visitors, paid by NSF research awards subject to the America COMPETES Act, and individuals receiving support through applicable NIH training, career development award (individual or institutional), research education grant, or dissertation research grant, must participate in instructional programs in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR), which are consistent with the legal, regulatory, and ethical requirements established by regulatory agencies, funding sources, professional organizations, and the University’s Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research.

The CHIPS & Science Act enacted in 2022 expanded RCR requirements for NSF research awards. Consistent with the act, beginning in 2023, Northeastern’s RCR requirements will expand to include all senior personnel (whether paid or unpaid) and specify the RCR curriculum to include mentorship (2023), research security, and export controls (both to become mandatory in 2024). Faculty paid from or identified as senior personnel on NSF grants must complete NSF’s mandate curriculum. The university’s RCR policy will be updated to align with the new requirements.

Policy on Responsible Conduct of Research

Background

The responsible conduct of research (RCR) is essential to good science. RCR promotes the aims of scientific inquiry, fosters a research environment that enables scientists to work together toward common goals and promotes public confidence in scientific knowledge and progress for the public good. However, there are several serious detrimental effects of research not being conducted ethically and responsibly. These include, for example, data fabrication and falsification of results which undermine the pursuit of valid knowledge by misleading scientists to accept and further study false hypotheses or unreliable data. Likewise, plagiarism and harassment negatively impact the research environment by harming respect and trust among scientists. Fraudulent or socially irresponsible research undercuts the public’s trust in and support for science.

For more than a decade, the National Institutes of Health made training in RCR for students supported by training grants and individual fellowships a requirement. The National Science Foundation implemented a similar requirement, effective January 4, 2010, following Section 7009 of the “America Competes” Act. The USDA/NIFA was initially effective on their Research Terms and Conditions issued in February 2013.

Sample Language for grant proposal narratives related to RCR

Sample Language

The in-person Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) course is open to all Northeastern faculty and students. The RCR course is offered in Boston twice a year, beginning in January and August. The course is approximately eight hours long, with significant researcher facilitation and administrative support, and uses discussions and case studies to examine basic ethical and regulatory requirements for conducting research. RCR is a highly recommended “best practices” course for those desiring to deepen their knowledge of ethical research and responsible conduct. It is also an excellent professional opportunity for anyone interested in furthering a career in research. This course fulfills the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) requirements for formal RCR instruction. Topics covered include research misconduct; responsible authorship and publication; mentor-mentee relationships; lab safety; conflicts of interest; peer review; data acquisition and management; stewardship; sexual harassment, diversity, and inclusion; and working with institutional regulatory bodies (i.e., IRB, IACUC, and IBC).

Federal Agency Requirements

NIH Individual and Institutional Awardees

All trainees, fellows, participants, and scholars receiving support through any NIH training, career development award (individual or institutional), research education grant, and/or dissertation research grant must receive instruction in the responsible conduct of research. This NIH policy took effect with all new and renewal applications submitted on or after January 25, 2010, and for all continuation applications with deadlines on or after January 1, 2011.

Applicable trainees, fellows, participants, and scholars who are supported longer than six months by their NIH projects, including sub-awards, must complete 8 hours of in-person RCR training within 12 months of receiving NIH support. Training must be performed every 4 years and at each new career stage

The requirement applies to the following programs: D43, D71, F05, F30, F31, F32, F33, F34, F37, F38, K01, K02, K05, K07, K08, K12, K18, K22, K23, K24, K25, K26, K30, K99/R00, KL1, KL2, R25, R36, T15, T32, T34, T35, T36, T37, T90/R90, TL1, TU2, and U2R. This policy also applies to any other NIH-funded programs supporting research training, career development, or research education that require instruction in responsible conduct of research as stated in the relevant funding opportunity announcements.

Additional information and guidance can be found at NIH OER Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research

Discussion-based instruction in the responsible conduct of research is expected to remain a key feature of RCR training and to include substantive face-to-face interaction among participants and faculty. However, recognizing that advances in video conferencing now allow for effective “face-to-face” discussions to occur electronically, video conferencing options are incorporated into Northeastern’s RCR instruction. At the same time, video conferencing should not be the sole means for meeting the requirement for RCR instruction, and course design that employs only video conferencing is not considered acceptable, except in the circumstances described in NOT-OD-10-019, such as short-term research training and research education programs.

NU-RES will work with the colleges to confirm those NIH Trainees and Fellows who must complete Certification to satisfy applicable grant conditions. NU-RES will notify any such Trainees and Fellows of the next available RCR instruction courses and priority seats will be given to such Trainees and Fellows.

NSF Awardees

All undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers who are supported by NSF financial assistance awards to conduct research on research grants submitted after January 4, 2010, are required to comply with the NSF training policy. Conference, symposium, workshop, and travel awards are exempt from this requirement.

Additional information and guidance can be found at NSF – Responsible Conduct of Research

Training should be completed within 60 days of the start of the award.

The NSF allows for in-person training or CITI training to complete the RCR requirement. Students paid by NSF awards can elect to attend one or more in-person workshops or take the CITI online training to satisfy the requirement.

USDA-NIFA Awardees

All undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers receiving support through any USDA-NIFA award must receive instruction in the responsible conduct of research.

Additional information and guidance can be found at USDA-NIFA – Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research

Training should be completed within 60 days of the start of the award.

The USDA/NIFA allows for in-person training or CITI training to complete the RCR requirement. Students paid by USDA/NIFA awards can elect to attend one or more in-person workshops or take the CITI online training to satisfy the requirement.

RCR Decision Tree

Tracking your RCR Training

Tracking General Online RCR Training

Once you have completed your online training within CITI, your training records will be automatically downloaded so that Northeastern will know that you’ve completed this component of the requirement.

Tracking Research Field-Specific Face-to-Face RCR Training and Instruction

Individual researchers are in the best position to provide updates regarding their own field-specific training. Researchers should provide updates towards the completion of 7 RCR workshop hours to the Associate Director for Training and Learning to qualify for the Capstone workshop and receive a certificate of completion.

Record & Retention

All students, faculty, and staff who complete any format of RCR training should keep a copy of their Certificate of Completion for their records. When RCR training is required by the grant, it is a best practice for the PI/college to maintain copies of the certificates for any students paid from applicable NIH, NSF, and USDA-NIFA grants.

Who do I contact for help?

For questions, email Morgan Fielding, Associate Director for Training and Learning at
m.fielding@northeastern.edu and cc: rcr@northeastern.edu