Required Ethics Training

National Institutes of Health

The NIH requires training on the responsible conduct of research for specific projects, rather than all projects funded by the agency. The NIH policy 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 must receive instruction in responsible conduct of research.  This policy took effect with all new and renewal applications submitted on or after January 25, 2010, and for all continuation (Type 5) applications with deadlines on or after January 1, 2011.  This Notice applies to the following programs:  D43, D71, F05, F30, F31, F32, F33, F34, F37, F38, K01, K02, K05, K07, K08, K12, K18, K22, K23, K24, K25, K26, K30, K99/R00, KL1, KL2, R25, R36, T15, T32, T34, T35, T36, T37, T90/R90, TL1, TU2, and U2R. This policy also applies to any other NIH-funded programs supporting research training, career development, or research education that require instruction in responsible conduct of research as stated in the relevant funding opportunity announcements.

NIH recognizes that instruction in responsible conduct of research occurs formally and informally in educational settings and that informal instruction occurs throughout the research training experience. Substantial face-to-face discussions among the participating trainees/fellows/scholars/participants; a combination of didactic and small-group discussions (e.g. case studies); and participation of research training faculty members in instruction in responsible conduct of research are highly encouraged. While on-line courses can be a valuable supplement to instruction in responsible conduct of research, online instruction is not considered adequate as the sole means of instruction. A plan that employs only online coursework for instruction in responsible conduct of research will not be considered acceptable, except in special instances of short-term training programs, or unusual and well-justified circumstances.

Contact the research compliance coordinator to identify WMU resources available to help meet the NIH requirements.

National Science Foundation 

In response to §7009 of the America COMPETES Act, the NSF requires training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research. Specifically, for proposals submitted on or after February 4, 2010, the NSF requires the following:

  • An institution must have a plan in place to provide appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research to undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers who will be supported by NSF to conduct research.
  • Institutional certification to this effect is required for each proposal.
  • Training plans are not required to be included in proposals submitted to NSF, but institutions are subject to review, upon request.
  • An institution must designate one or more persons to oversee compliance with the RCR training requirement.
  • Institutions are responsible for verifying that undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers supported by NSF to conduct research have received training in the responsible and ethical conduct of research.

WMU policies and procedures to meet the NSF requirements:

For more information, email the research compliance officer at research-compliance@wmich.edu or by phone at (269) 387-8293.