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Carnegie Mellon Department of Chemistry

Guide to Graduate Studies

Academic and Research Policies

Responsible Conduct of Research

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training is mandated by both NSF and NIH for research scientists, postdocs, research staff, graduate students and undergraduates funded on their grants. Per NIH’s definition, “responsible conduct of research is defined 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.” Carnegie Mellon has in place plans to meet these requirements described here.

The department has determined that both to give valuable preparation for a research career and to simplify administration of this mandate, all graduate students are required to participate in the RCR training according to the deadlines below. You are responsible for providing a copy of the certificate of completion to Sara Wainer who will maintain departmental records of this requirement and of our compliance with NSF and NIH mandates.

This training is important for maintaining eligibility for grant support, including in the first summer in residence and beyond, and as part of developing your broad research skills. You are responsible for fitting this into your schedule without reminders from the department.

All new Chemistry graduate students, regardless of the type of financial support that they currently receive (including TAs) are required to complete the online training for physical science from CITI by mid-semester of the first semester in residence. The course will take a few hours to complete (it may be done over multiple sessions) and the instructions for registering are under “CITI On-line RCR Education” on the Responsible Conduct of Research Training page.

In some cases, an advisor may require a combination of online training and in-person training. Students with current or anticipated NIH support should contact their advisor about whether they need to attend the RCR Seminars or can just complete the online training to meet the departmental requirement. CMU offers an RCR Seminar Series to satisfy the NIH requirement of 8 in-person contact hours to be completed as soon as possible. Registration is required for the RCR Seminars that will involve both lecture and discussion.