Responsible Conduct of Research Education

Responsible Conduct of Research Education at NMSU

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A strong commitment to research integrity is at the very core of New Mexico State University’s highly-regarded research program.  The term research integrity includes not only the ideals of honesty, fairness, but also compliance with research guidelines and policies.

This site is intended to provide a starting point for locating NMSU resources related to Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) education.  It is expected that the guidance here will be used by all NMSU researchers, whether faculty, staff, graduate students or undergraduate students, whether their research is or is not funded by an outside agency, or whether it is or is not intended for publication.  Researchers at all experience levels will find information about NMSU policies and procedures concerning research integrity, including specialized areas of concern for particular disciplines and for research involving work with human subjects or vertebrate animal subjects.  The site also contains information about university courses including material on ethics, seminars conducted on campus, online training courses, and other sources of authoritative guidance concerning the responsible conduct of research.

Principal investigators should find applicable requirements from funding agencies regarding RCR education and tools to facilitate both meeting those requirements and documenting their completion.  Several Federal agencies have issued regulations (listed under “Agency Requirements” below) regarding the training of students involved in projects they have sponsored. The “NMSU Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Training Plan/Procedures” are intended to assist faculty principal investigators in meeting those requirements.  National Science Foundation (NSF) guidelines are applicable to all new proposals submitted or due beginning January 4, 2010.  National Institutes of Health (NIH) guidelines are applicable to certain new proposals and renewals submitted or due beginning January 25, 1010.

Although a codified national standard for the requirements for instruction in responsible conduct of research has not been established by any governing agency, the following topics are covered in most plans for RCR education:

  • conflict of interest – personal, professional, and financial;
  • policies regarding human subjects, live vertebrate animal subjects in research, and safe laboratory practices;
  • mentor/mentee responsibilities and relationships;
  • collaborative research including collaborations with industry;
  • peer review;
  • data acquisition and laboratory tools; management, sharing and ownership;
  • research misconduct and policies for handling misconduct;
  • responsible authorship and publication; and
  • the scientist as a responsible member of society, contemporary ethical issues in biomedical research, and the environmental and societal impacts of scientific research.

This site is a collaborative effort among faculty researchers interested in facilitating excellence in responsible conduct of research education at NMSU and the office of the Vice President for Research.  Please contribute additional resources, comments or ideas for the site by email to rcr@research.nmsu.edu.