National Institutes of Health (NIH) RCR Requirements

COVID-19 Flexibilities. 

Q:  How will NIH support a recipient’s need to limit in-person meetings for the sole purpose of instruction/training due to COVID-19?

A:  NIH will allow for special circumstances for trainings and instruction that typically require in-person attendance, such as training in the responsible conduct of research (NIH GPS Training can be completed online during this declared public health emergency. Prior approval is not required in these specific cases.

The National Institutes of Health updated its policy for instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research on November 24, 2009.  The updated 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 will take 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.
Substantial face-to-face discussions (see COVID-19 Flexibilities above) among the participating trainees; 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.
Training faculty and sponsors/mentors are highly encouraged to contribute both to formal and informal instruction in responsible conduct of research. Informal instruction occurs in the course of laboratory interactions and in other informal situations throughout the year. Training faculty may contribute to formal instruction in responsible conduct of research as discussion leaders, speakers, lecturers, and/or course directors. Rotation of training faculty as course directors, instructors, and/or discussion leaders may be a useful way to achieve the ideal of full faculty participation in formal responsible conduct of research courses over a period of time.
Reflection on responsible conduct of research should recur throughout a scientist's career: at the undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, predoctoral, postdoctoral, and faculty levels. Institutional training programs are strongly encouraged to consider how to optimize instruction in responsible conduct of research for the particular career stage(s) of the individual(s) involved. Instruction must be undertaken at least once during each career stage, and at a frequency of no less than once every four years. It is highly encouraged that initial instruction during predoctoral training occurs as early as possible in graduate school. Individuals at the early career investigator level must receive instruction in responsible conduct of research at least once during this career stage. To meet the above requirements, instruction in responsible conduct of research may take place, in appropriate circumstances, in a year when the trainee is not actually supported by an NIH grant. This instruction must be documented in the submitted plan. Information on the nature of the instruction in the responsible conduct of research and the extent of trainee and faculty participation also must be provided in the annual progress report submitted as a prerequisite to receiving non-competing continuation support.

ORCID iDs are unique, persistent digital identifiers that distinguish individual investigators and can be used to connect researchers with their contributions to science over time and across changes of name, location, and institutional affiliation.  These free identifiers are assigned and maintained by the non-profit organization ORCID.

The NIH now requires ORCID iDs for individuals supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) research training, fellowship, research education, and career development awards (NOT-OD-19-109).

Federal grant applicants can simplify the creation and maintenance of biosketches by linking their ORCID accounts with SciENcv (Science Expert Network Curriculum Vitae), an electronic system that helps researchers assemble the professional information needed for participation in federally funded research. In addition to the NIH, information stored in SciENcv can be used for National Science Foundation, US Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Transportation, and Smithsonian grant applications.

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