School of Social Work Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Plan for Doctoral Students

Anne Hughes, PhD Program Director

Before they engage in any research projects, doctoral students must obtain training related to the ethical conduct of research via the CITI modules available through the Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA). These CITI modules offer foundational information on such topics as the informed consent process, working with vulnerable populations, and the history of the protection of human subjects. Per The Graduate School at MSU, doctoral students’ education and training should seek to go beyond foundational information related to the responsible conduct of research: The goal is that faculty and students should be having ongoing dialogue about these issues, rather than students completing the CITI modules independently with no opportunity to discuss the issues raised by the modules, nor other issues that might arise as the students engage in research at MSU.

The SSW follows the training plan outlined by The Graduate School. Students are expected to complete four required CITI modules their first year, and three additional CITI modules their second year. During their third and subsequent years, students are expected to obtain at least three hours of RCR refresher training. Finally, upon graduation, students are expected to have at least six hours of discussion-based RCR training (e.g., RCR dialogue in courses, with your chair, at SSW Lunch and Learns). See the table, below, for further information about the requirements. Students will submit copies of the RCR completion each year with their annual review.

Note: Beyond these formalized opportunities for engaging in dialogue about the responsible conduct of research, students are encouraged to participate in the RCR workshops and trainings sponsored by The Graduate School and available throughout the year, https://grad.msu.edu/RCR. Additionally, students are likewise encouraged to engage in ongoing discussion of these issues, as they meet and work with their advisor, guidance committee chair and members, and graduate assistantship supervisor.

RCR Requirements

Year 1Year 2Year 3 Forward
4 CITI Modules(https://ora.msu.edu/train/programs/citi.html):
  • Introduction to the RCR
  • Authorship
  • Plagiarism
  • Research Misconduct
3 Additional CITI Modules from this list
  • Collaborative Research
  • Conflicts of Interest
  • Data Management
  • Financial Responsibility
  • Mentoring
  • Peer Review
  • Human Protection/IRB Certification
  • Rigor and Reproducibility course
3 hours of Refresher Training, each year:
Tracked How?
  • CITI modules tracked automatically via RCR CITI-Track
  • Turn in RCR documentation with annual review
Tracked How?
  • CITI modules tracked automatically via RCR CITI-Track
  • Turn in RCR documentation with annual review
Tracked How?
  • CITI modules tracked automatically via RCR CITI-Track
  • Turn in RCR documentation with annual review
Entered into GradPlan/GradInfo?
  • Yes, entered by grad secretary as initial training
Entered into GradPlan/GradInfo?
  • Yes, entered by grad secretary
Entered into GradPlan/GradInfo?
  • Yes, entered by grad secretary

Note: You must have completed at least 6 hours of discussion-based RCR training by the time you graduate, which will be tracked by the grad secretary.

Note: You should adopt these new RCR requirements based on what year you are in now (e.g., first-year students should start with Year 1 reqs, fourth-year students should start with Year 3 Forward reqs)

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