Office of
Sponsored Programs

Responsible Conduct of Research

GENERAL

Purpose

The following Process is established to ensure compliance with the National Science Foundation's (NSF) requirements relevant to the "Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)."  

The requirement applies to all proposals submitted to conduct research.  This excludes proposals submitted exclusively for support of conference, symposium, workshop, or travel.  Additionally, programs supporting students who receive only scholarship or stipend support (S-STEM or Noyce) are excluded from the requirement.   

BACKGROUND AND INFORMATION

By means of Section 7009 in the “America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science (COMPETES), the federal government initiated action that led to modification of 42 U.S.C. 1862o-1.   This modification of the United States Code required that:

 

“…each institution that applies for financial assistance from the Foundation for science and engineering research or education…provide[s] appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research to undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers participating in the proposed research project.”

 

This SHARP describes the shared process to be followed by OSP and a PI in the matter of development, implementing and monitoring a mentoring plan for any undergraduate or graduate student(s) or postdoctoral fellows supported on a NSF award.

PROCESS

  • INSTITUTION 
    • Stevens is responsible for certification that the RCR training plan is in place and for verification that the students and/or postdocs have completed the RCR training
  • OSP
    • PREAWARD - If SIT is the prime, OSP Faculty Support must confirm with any potential subawardees (including international organizations) ...at the time of proposal submission ...that [they have] a plan to provide appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research..."   The subawardees' RCR training plan must be in place at the time of proposal submission.   This means that OSP Faculty Support must have adequate lead-time to engage in a dialogue with the potential subawardee administrative office to determine they have the required training program in place
    • POSTAWARD 
      • OSP Specialist will include a certification in any subaward agreement issued, confirming the recipient institution has an RCR Plan in place and that they are able to provide documentation of all monitoring, if required
      • OSP Specialist will notify the OSP Executive Director whenever an NSF award is received that requires activation of the SIT RCR Monitoring Plan - THE PLAN  
      • OSP Specialist will advise PI by means of the SRA that an approved PLAN must be in place before any awards funds can be approved for expenditure
  • PI
    • PI must notify and/or submit any proposal that will support undergraduate/graduate students/or postdoc fellows with adequate lead-time for OSP Faculty Support to obtain any required confirmations for subawardees
    • At the time of award and upon notification by OSP Specialist, PI should download a copy of the forms entitled "SIT Institutional Example of 'Undergraduate/Graduate/Postdoctoral Research Fellow Mentoring Plan'" and "Checklist of Activities for 'Inpidual Undergraduate/Graduate/Postdoctoral Research Fellow Mentoring Plan -THE PLAN'"
    • Form entitled "Checklist of Activities for 'Inpidual Undergraduate/Graduate/Postdoctoral Research Fellow Mentoring Plan - THE PLAN'" must be reviewed and approved by the institutional official, Executive Director of OSP, prior to approval of any expenses for project
    • Provide a copy of the approved "Checklist of Activities for 'Inpidual Undergraduate/Graduate/Postdoctoral Research Fellow Mentoring Plan - THE PLAN'" to the participating student(s) and/or postdoc(s)
    • Engage in all activities indicated on "Checklist of Activities for 'Inpidual Undergraduate/Graduate/Postdoctoral Research Fellow Mentoring Plan - THE PLAN'"
    • Review "Checklist of Activities for 'Inpidual Undergraduate/Graduate/Postdoctoral Research Fellow Mentoring Plan - THE PLAN'" with the institutional official each year
  • OSP Executive Director
    • Executive Director must review and approve the mentoring plan in concert with the PI
    • Executive Director must review the Plan each year for progress and compliance
    • Executive Director must engage in interview with RCR recipient and document results
    • Executive Director will engage the PI to discuss results of interview