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Responsible Conduct of Research at WUSTL 
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NIH Update Overview

Last Update 12.09.2009

The NIH recently issued an Update to its Policy on Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). This document provides more specific requirements for RCR education plans, including ongoing monitoring and reporting on the fulfillment of the plans. These updates will take effect for all new and renewal applications submitted on or after January 25, 2010. All continuation applications with deadlines on or after January 1, 2011 are also required to comply. 

WUSTL is in the process of developing resources (such as RCR Education Plan checklists) to help researchers comply with these new requirements. More information will be disseminated via Research News as it becomes available.

For access to existing resources, please visit RCR Education at WUSTL and RCR Regulations and Grant Requirements.

Below is an overview of the most substantial changes included in the update. The information below DOES NOT cover all changes in the NIH Update. Complete text for the update is available here: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-10-019.html.

General Requirements

NIH requires that all trainees, fellows, participants, and scholars receiving support through any NIH training, career development award (individual or institutional), research education grant, and dissertation research grant receive instruction in responsible conduct of research. 

New applications must include a plan for instruction in responsible conduct of research and must describe how participation will be monitored (requirements for individual applications vary).

Renewal applications, in addition to the criteria for new applications, the renewal application must describe past and future changes that address any weaknesses in the current instruction. All training faculty who have served as course directors, speakers, lecturers, and/or discussion leaders must be named in the application (requirements for individual applications vary.)

Applications lacking a plan for instruction in responsible conduct of research will be considered incomplete and may be delayed in the review process or not reviewed.

Plan Components

Plans must address five specific instructional components:

1.  Format
Plans must include substantial face-to-face instruction. Online instruction is not considered adequate as the sole means of instruction.

2.  Subject Matter
NIH provides recommended subjects, which may include conflict of interest, laboratory practices, mentor/mentee relationships, collaborative research, peer review, data acquisition, research misconduct, among others. For more information, visit here​

3.  Faculty Participation
Training faculty and mentors are highly encouraged to contribute.

4.  Duration of Instruction
Acceptable programs generally involve at least eight contact hours.

5.  Frequency of Instruction
Instruction must be undertaken at least once during each career stage.   

Updated Reporting Requirements

The update provides specific requirements for each type of award.


NIH policy requires participation in and successful completion of instruction. It is expected that course attendance is monitored and that a certificate or documentation of participation is available upon course completion.