Responsible Conduct

The responsible and ethical conduct of research is critical for excellence, as well as public trust, in social science, science, and engineering, and is essential to the preparation of future scientists and engineers. The University of Notre Dame is committed to creating an environment that promotes responsible conduct in research and fosters integrity within the research community.

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training is required for undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows who receive National Science Foundation (NSF) or National Institutes of Health (NIH) funds.

Researchers at the University of Notre Dame meet the RCR training requirements of the NSF and the NIH for training in the following ways.

CITI Training

Researchers at the University of Notre Dame must complete online training via an institutional subscription to the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI), a consortium of universities that provides convenient and comprehensive online training modules, for all faculty, graduate students, and post-doctoral scholars, related to RCR.

The CITI RCR training modules will be tailored to specific areas of research, such as humanities, engineering, physical science, social and behavioral science. The following topics are examples of the substantive content of RCR:

  • Data Acquisition, Management, Sharing and Ownership
  • Publication Practices and Responsible Authorship
  • Peer Review
  • Mentor/Mentee Responsibilities and Relationships
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Collaborative Research
  • Research Misconduct and Policies for Handling Misconduct

The CITI modules provide a certification of completion when completes the course is completed and passed. Students who fail to comply with the training requirements within 60 days of award notification may be excluded from working on NSF and NIH sponsored projects.

For additional questions or more information on CITI, please visit https://www.citiprogram.org/. For support on the CITI training program, including how to register, please visit https://support.citiprogram.org/.

Graduate School Training

Notre Dame Research and the Graduate School offer a Responsible Conduct of Research workshop in January of each year to engage students with real-world ethical dilemmas and practical advice and offer them the opportunity to discuss the nature of ethical and socially conscious research. The workshop is comprised of wide-ranging panels covering mentor relationships, ethical research practices, research misconduct, and data falsification, as well as the larger social significance of research. This workshop fulfills the federally-mandated, eight-hour responsible conduct in research training required for all PhD. students supported by federal funds and is a requirement for graduation.

Additionaly, the Graduate School at the University of Notre Dame offers a three-hour ethics workshop requirement for graduation (Ph.D. only) in addition to the eight-hour RCR requirement. The sessions focus on different aspects of the responsibilities and ethics in the conduct of research, such as recognizing and approaching ethical problems, mentoring, conflicts of interest and commitment, avoiding plagiarism, intellectual property, research misconduct, human subject research, and animal research and lab safety.

Please see http://graduateschool.nd.edu/professional_development/ethics/responsibilities-and-ethics-in-the-conduct-of-research/ for details.

Need More Information?

For questions on responsible conduct please contact the Associate Vice President with responsibility for Research Compliance or email compliance@nd.edu.