Responsible Conduct of Research

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) signifies social and ethical responsibility in all aspects of research.  It involves honest work, accuracy and protection of research subjects, both for the good of society and to promote public trust. The RCR training program is designed to provide a basic understanding of responsible conduct of research that will fulfill ethics training requirements of the NSF. This procedure outlines the training plan for employee or student researchers at El Camino College.

Who is required to complete the training?

All El Camino College students and employees who receive a salary or stipend to conduct research on grants supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) are required to complete a no-cost training course in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR).  This training must be completed before the start of any research conducted as part of an NSF grant awarded to El Camino College.  Training is optional for faculty conducting research or coordinating El Camino student researchers, and for students conducting research that is not related to an NSF grant.

What is involved in the training?

Training module content will be dependent on the type and scope of research for a particular grant.  The training may include one or more of the following topics:

  • Collaborative Research - Ethical issues related to collaborative research partnerships
  • Conflicts of Interest
  • Data Management - Ethical issues associated with data, including data collection, management, sharing, ownership, and protection (including FERPA)
  • Mentoring - Ethical responsibilities of mentors and trainees
  • Peer Review - Manuscript and grant proposal reviewer
  • Research Involving Human Subjects - Informed consent and the Common Rule
  • Research Misconduct - Fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism
  • Responsible Publication and Authorship - Ethical responsibilities of authors
  • Use of Animal Subjects in Research

Training modules include an assessment component, with a notice of certification provided upon the successful completion of the assigned modules.  Researchers must recertify every five years.

El Camino has signed on with the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Program to provide these training modules. New Learners click here for instructions. For further assistance with accessing the CITI training, please email Liliana Islas