The Office of Research and Graduate Studies

Required Training for Graduate Students

Responsible Conduct of Research at SMU

All faculty who submit proposals through the Office of Research Administration and all graduate students who receive financial support as research assistants must complete an on-line course in the Responsible Conduct of Research (see Instructions and Course Registration below.) This requirement must be completed by faculty before their proposals will be processed by the Office of Research Administration. Graduate students must complete this requirement within the first semester that they receive financial support as a research assistantship.

Making the case for training

The importance of this topic cannot be overstated. The NIH and NSF Offices of the Inspector General clearly assign primary responsibility to universities for detecting and preventing research misconduct, and for establishing a culture that emphasizes responsible conduct of research. Federal concern and oversight has increased dramatically in recent years, and the Federal Government reserves the right to conduct investigations and take actions as deemed necessary. A determination of research misconduct can result in severe penalties to researchers and can negatively impact their institution. Clearly, increasing research activity at SMU depends on the University maintaining the highest ethical standards in the conduct of research.

What is research misconduct?

Federal policy defines research misconduct as “Fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research or in reporting research results.

Source: Office of Science & Tetchnology Policy website: www.ostp.gov/cs/federal_policy_on_research_misconduct

Click here for SMU's Policy and Procedural Standards for Addressing Research Misconduct. Policy Number: 7.6.

Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI)

The CITI course in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) is a comprehensive online training tool including seven RCR modules: research misconduct, responsible data acquisition & management, responsible authorship, responsible peer review, mentoring, conflicts of interests, and collaborative research. (Human subjects protection and laboratory animal welfare are addressed in separate training units.)

Instructions and registration

The required training is available through SMU's CITI membership. Access training by reviewing the one-page instruction sheet, then click on the following link to enter the CITI site: https://www.citiprogram.org/default.asp.

Verification of training must be submitted to the Office of Research Administration to satisfy this requirement.