Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research Policy
Lewis & Clark College expects all faculty, staff, and students to engage in responsible and ethical conduct, which means maintaining the highest standards of ethical behavior and integrity in all research, scholarship, and creative endeavors. This involves the “practice of scientific investigation with integrity” (NIH, 2009) and the awareness and application of established professional norms and ethical principles in the performance of all related activities. This Policy complies with regulations of federal funding agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), which require that research is generated, conducted, and disseminated with rigor and integrity, and that individuals participating in projects funded by those agencies receive various types of training in support of the responsible and ethical conduct of research. This policy and related procedures supersede any prior policies or procedures that are inconsistent with those contained herein.
Lewis & Clark encourages all individuals participating in research, research training, or related activities to engage in responsible and ethical conduct of research (RECR) training and education. RECR training is required for faculty, postdoctoral researchers, students, and other key personnel involved in any research project that receives financial support from the National Science Foundation, some projects receiving support from the National Institutes of Health, and may be required by other sponsors. Regardless of the source of funding, any Principal Investigator or Project Director, academic department, compliance committee, sponsor, and/or research program may require participants to complete RECR training prior to engaging in research.
Lewis & Clark will comply with all applicable regulations and sponsor requirements with regard to RECR training, and provides a variety of opportunities for RECR training opportunities as follows:
Online training modules:
Lewis & Clark makes available a variety of research-related online training courses to all faculty, staff, and students, including but not limited to the Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research (RECR). RECR training courses include a variety of relevant introductory training modules, such as data management, mentoring, authorship, collaborative research, safe research environments, and research misconduct. Individuals required to complete RECR training must receive a passing grade in the designated online course(s) modules within the specified time in order to satisfy the training requirement.
Supplementary training opportunities:
In addition to online training, some in-person RECR training is expected and may be required. Relevant in-person training is accomplished in a variety of ways. This may include training within individual research groups or departments; the annual RECR and DEI sessions provided to all participants in the Rogers Summer Science Research Program; and/or professional development opportunities offered to faculty and staff, such as training in mentoring.
Relevant educational opportunities:
RECR discussions are regularly woven into class instruction, and first year seminars in the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) typically address plagiarism. Further, all incoming students are required to complete an online Academic Integrity Tutorial (AIT) to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of Lewis & Clark’s AIT policy. In addition, many academic departments at Lewis & Clark offer core and research courses that specifically and indirectly address the responsible and ethical conduct of research in a discipline-specific manner.
For the purposes of this Policy, basic RECR training is distinct from any other type of additional training that may be required for working with specific populations (e.g. human subjects or vertebrate animals). While the curriculum and requirements may vary, the following topics are generally considered part of RECR training: conflict of interest and/or commitment; research involving human subjects and live vertebrate animals; safe laboratory practices and research environments; mentor/mentee responsibilities and relationships; collaborative research, including collaborations with industry, investigators, and institutions in other countries; conducting peer review with the highest ethical standards, including the responsibility for maintaining confidentiality and security; data acquisition and analysis; laboratory tools, and recordkeeping practices; secure and ethical data use; data confidentiality, management, sharing, and ownership; protecting proprietary information and intellectual property from inappropriate disclosure; research misconduct and policies for handling research misconduct; responsible authorship and publication; the scientist as a responsible member of society; contemporary bioethical issues in biomedical research; the environmental and societal impacts of research; and treating students and colleagues fairly and with respect. Understanding these and related issues will better prepare investigators for conducting, generating, and disseminating research in a responsible and ethical manner.
Requirements specific to the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health are outlined below:
- National Science Foundation: Section 7009 of the America COMPETES Act states, “each institution that applies for financial assistance from the Foundation for science and engineering research or education describe in its grant proposal a plan to provide 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.” Lewis & Clark will comply with the NSF’s implementation of Section 7009, which requires providing training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research. To satisfy the NSF training requirements, in addition to online training, some in-person training is generally required; it is Lewis & Clark’s responsibility to determine the content, focus and the delivery method of RECR training, and to verify training is completed. As such, any faculty, staff, or student working on such a project must complete the designated online training modules and specified supplemental training opportunities.
- National Institutes of Health: The National Institutes of Health requires training in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RECR) for all trainees, fellows, participants, and scholars who receive grant support from any NIH training, career development, research education, dissertation research, or other grant programs with a training component that requires instruction in RECR as noted in the Funding Opportunity Announcement. To satisfy the NIH training requirements, in addition to online training, some in-person training is generally required. As such, any faculty, staff, or student working on such a project must complete the designated online training modules and specified supplemental training opportunities.
The Sponsored Projects and Research Compliance (SPARC) Office is responsible for the implementation of this policy and related procedures. The Principal Investigator or Project Director must ensure that every one working on their project complies with any applicable sponsor or institutional RECR training requirements. The Sponsored Projects and Research Compliance (SPARC) Office will work with PIs to track required training completions. Lewis & Clark will submit training plans to sponsors if required.
Related Lewis & Clark Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines
- Academic Integrity Policy
- Data Custodianship and Access Policy
- Financial Conflict of Interest
- Financial Reporting and Whistleblower Protection
- Guidelines for Safe and Inclusive Working Environments, NSF funded projects
- Information Security Policy
- Institutional Animal Care and Use Policy
- Institutional Biosafety Policy
- Intellectual Property Policy
- Required Notifications for NSF and NIH Grants: Sexual Harassment, Other Forms of Harassment, and Sexual Assault
- Research Involving Human Subjects
- Research Misconduct Policy
- Student Code of Conduct