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Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)

Impacts ISU Researchers

Research Outreach & Compliance (ROC) provides guidance, answers questions and determines solutions to issues arising in these areas.

Why RCR?

  • The majority of funders/sponsors of grants and private partners require us to inform researchers and staff about working within these areas.  
  • Ensuring anyone involved in research has an understanding of the areas of RCR is part of how ISU demonstrates that its faculty, staff and students are qualified to receive funding.  
  • Contact Deb Easterly at or by phone at (208) 282-2618 for more information on RCR requirements and information at ISU. Please use "RCR" in your subject line.

RCR Areas

Animal Subjects – understanding the responsible use and care of lab animals and related facilities covers two aspects:  

1. The humane care and treatment of animals being used in research and during transportation is regulated.

Project protocols document plans for care/use of animals and must be kept current.  [add link to protocols forms page]

The Institutional Animal Care and IACUC has oversight of the protocols proposing projects. 

2. Properly accredited and cleaned facilities are the other side of using animals in research.  

ISU’s Animal Facility Manager and veterinarian on call ensure this. 

An oversight organization, AAALAC, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, both audit the Animal Facility and recordkeeping for animal subjects.

Which Policy applies?

General Policy for Animal Use ISUPP 7030

Collaboration – what are the best practices for collaborating with internal and external partners on research projects (do’s and don’ts).

Any project where two or more researchers collaborate requires mutual understanding of the roles and responsibilities of each researcher.

Questions? ROC staff will answer questions about these roles, also those related to investigator rights to findings.

Conflict of Interest– these occur when there are competing research responsibilities for investigators. These cannot be avoided, but there are times when steps must be taken to insure good practice.

This may require a “management plan”, a documented process for addressing financial, training, and compliance issues that may arise.  These are not often required and are straightforward.

The following areas require full disclosure and monitoring to be managed properly during the course of research:

  • Financial Gain
  • Work Commitments
  • Intellectual and Personal Matters

Which Policy applies? 

Conflict of Interest in Sponsored Projects ISUPP 7070 lists specific requirements.

Data Management – involves appropriate handling of data in accordance with related funding agency requirements.  Also relates to HIPAA and Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) rules.  

Before you collect data, it is important to

  • to understand who owns the rights to that data, how the data will be collected, also how the data will be protected and shared.  
  • use appropriate methods, pay attention to detail, make sure the data collection is authorized (ex: human subject protocol approved), and to record results.
Human Subjects – protection of human subjects includes, but is not limited to:
  • Voluntary consent, design of experiment, proper degree of risk, preparation, and adequate facilities.
  • The subject should feel free to end the experiment at any time.
  • All research using human subjects at ISU will be properly governed by the procedures mandated by the DHHS, National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the FDA.  

Which policy applies?

General Policy for Use of Human Research Subjects ISUPP 7050.

Mentorship – involves the constructive relationships between PIs, faculty, staff and graduate students and/or post-doctoral fellows (“trainees”). The relationship between a mentor and trainee must include a clear understanding of mutual responsibilities, a commitment to a productive research environment, proper supervision, and preparation of trainees to become independent researchers.  

Considerations and elements of these relationships include:

  • How much time will be committed by both parties?
  • Who owns the rights?
  • Who gets credit?
Peer Review – this recognized process helps ensure that research proposals and manuscripts meet established standards of excellence.

Peer review is evaluation by colleagues with similar knowledge and experience. To be useful, reviews must be timely, thorough, constructive, free from bias, and respectful for any need for confidentiality.

Publication/Authorship – sharing work requires responsible publication including accurate data, full explanation of methods and results, and citation. Authorship credit should be based on substantial contribution, drafting, or approval.
Research Misconduct – the “fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research”.  It also includes knowingly failing to report any instances of these actions during research.  See the Research Misconduct tab for more detail.

Which policy applies?

Misconduct in Research and Scholarship ISUPP 7060.


Taking CITI RCR Training?

Pick the correct section for your major.

Download the CITI Tip Sheet for RCR Training.

  • step by step instructions for first time CITI use
  • list of sections with academic majors provided