SMU Research

Responsible Conduct of

Research (RCR) Program

Introduction and Justification

The Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Program ensures that Research at SMU is conducted in an ethical manner and in compliance with applicable rules and regulations. The program is supported by SMU Policy 10.1, Sponsored Research and Activities, and comprises required training and Plagiarism analysis. The training addresses topics including Plagiarism, ethics, conflicts of interest, authorship, collaboration, peer review, and more.

Applicability

The RCR Program applies to all Personnel and students involved with externally sponsored Research at SMU. This includes Principal Investigators (PIs) / Project Directors (PDs), faculty, staff, post-doctoral fellows, graduate students, and undergraduate students.

Online Training

All PIs / PDs involved with externally sponsored Research at SMU must complete RCR Training every 3 years.  Other faculty, Staff, Undergraduate Students, Master's Students, and Non-Federally Funded PhD Students who are involved with research are strongly encouraged to complete the training as well.  The online training, which is available through CITI, consists of 11 required modules, and should take about 1 - 2 hours to complete. Once the course is assigned to your account, you will find it under one of these three titles, depending on your role: Research Faculty & Staff, Graduate Research Assistants, or Graduate Teaching Assistants. You can find assistance with the CITI program in the documents below.

Assistance with logging in to an existing account and adding the appropriate course(s)

Assistance with creating a new account and registering for the appropriate course(s)

Assistance with associating your existing account with your SMU credentials

Training notifications and reminders will occur in several ways:

  • Principal Investigators (PIs) / Project Directors (PDs) will certify that they have completed the training when they sign a Proposal Initiation and Approval Form (PIAF)
  • Research Compliance will send a reminder email if the training is not complete upon proposal of externally funded Research
  • PIs / PDs will certify that they have completed the training when they sign an Award Authorization and Approval Form (AAAF)
  • Research Compliance will send a reminder email if the training is not complete upon awarding of Funding

Please note that awarded Funding, including new and incremental Funding, will NOT be set up until the RCR training has been completed by the PI / PD and all Co-PIs.

Seminar

Federally-Funded PhD Students are required to attend an in-person certificate-granting Responsible Conduct of Research seminar during their first semester at SMU. Federally-funded PhD students must successfully complete the seminar in order to receive federal funds. Successful completion of the RCR seminar is only required once while at SMU.

Plagiarism Analysis

All Proposals for external Funding must undergo Plagiarism analysis via Turnitin. You may wish to perform the Plagiarism analysis before submission and email the resulting report to your GMS; this allows time for any necessary revisions. If the Plagiarism analysis report is not submitted by the PI / PD, the analysis will be performed by Research Compliance. Excessive similarity to existing materials may lead to further review and retraction of the Proposal.

If you don't have access to Turnitin via Canvas, Research Compliance can provide access to a Canvas course dedicated to Turnitin submission. Contact Heather McClary to request access.