Policies, Guidelines, and Best Practices

Responsible Conduct of Research Plan and Instructions

The following plan has been prepared in response to Chapter IV.B. of the National Science Foundation Proposal and Award Guide, a new section of the guide published in October 2009 that provides NSF’s implementation of Section 7009 of the America COMPETES Act regarding responsible conduct of research (RCR). This new addition to the guide takes effect on January 4, 2010. Although NSF’s implementation of the plan is specific only to NSF grant submissions on or after January 4, 2010, the College has elected to implement the following policy beginning in January 2010, regardless of source of funding.

Beginning on January 4, 2010, Allegheny College undergraduate students participating in paid
research, supported either by the college with internal funding sources or by external sources such as
grants, must participate in training in the responsible conduct of research. At a minimum, students,
regardless of whether their research is in a humanities, social science, or natural science discipline,
must complete the “Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)” offered by the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI). The following modules are part of the Responsible Conduct of Research course and need to be completed:

  • Authorship (RCR-Basic) (ID 16597)
  • Collaborative Research (RCR-Basic) (ID 16598)
  • Conflicts of Interest (RCR-Basic) (ID 16599)
  • Data Management (RCR-Basic) (ID 16600)
  • Mentoring (RCR-Basic) (ID 16602)
  • Peer Review (RCR-Basic) (ID 16603)
  • Research Misconduct (RCR-Basic) (ID 16604)
  • Plagiarism (RCR-Basic) (ID 15156) 25-Jan-2019
  • Using Animal Subjects in Research (RCR-Basic) (ID 13301)
  • Research Involving Human Subjects (RCR-Basic) (ID 13566)
  • Research, Ethics, and Society (ID 15198)

Please follow this link to find instructions on how to log in (or create an account) with CITI so that you can complete your required training. Summer students conducting research that is part URSCA’s Student-Faculty Research program must complete the above RCR modules within 7 days of your summer start date.


Institutional Review Board (IRB) & Animal Research Committee (ARC)

There are two review boards that exist at Allegheny College that review research proposals, conduct facilities inspections, and ensure that student and faculty research techniques/approaches follow the required Federal guidelines.

The Institutional Review Board (IRB) ensures that research on human participants, by Allegheny College faculty, students, staff or administrators, or conducted at Allegheny College, complies with Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) requirements (specifically the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Title 45, Part 46).

The Animal Research Committee (ARC) is the committee that oversees Allegheny’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) and they are responsible for oversight of the animal care and use program of non-human vertebrates and its components as described in the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.

Students, and faculty, conducting research with human subjects and/or non-human vertebrates are required to obtain approval prior to starting any research. Each committee has a proposal that you need to complete that, upon completion, is reviewed by the respective committee. Please note that depending on the type of research you are conducting, you may be required to complete additional CITI courses prior to getting IRB or ARC approval. Student researchers should first discuss this with their faculty mentors or email the chair of either committee with any questions.


Incentives for Participation

Faculty and student researchers occasionally offer incentives, such as gift cards or gift certificates, to increase participation in their research. If your research project involves this, please read this document and discuss this topic with the Finance Office at Allegheny College before you start your research.