2021-2022 Responsible Conduct of Research Training Series

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The 2021-2022 educational outreach on the Responsible Conduct of Research training is provided below.

Why is RCR Important?

Education in the responsible conduct of research provides a shared understanding of the rules and ethical norms to perform research.   Researchers have both professional and regulatory-related responsibilities to conducting research responsibly, such as practicing scholarly activities and research with integrity.  RCR training aims to develop commonality in building shared values in order to promote a culture of compliance, and empowerment to continue conversations within the work environment. 


Effective beginning the 2021-2022 RCR training series, faculty engaged in research and other sponsored and unsponsored projects are required to attend, at minimum, two hours of instruction/sessions each fiscal year (October-May).

The training topics will vary from year to year.  Faculty must complete the following core sessions within a five (5) year period.  The required core sessions must be repeated every five years and are denoted below with an *:  1) Overview of Data-Driven Research -or- Overview Scholarly-Driven Research  2) Research Misconduct  3) Foreign Influence and Security  4) Conflict of Interest  5) Rigor and Reproducibility (not required for faculty only involved in unsponsored research).

All research staff and administration are highly encouraged to participate.


Registration is required for each session within 24 hours prior of session.

Click on specified date(s) below to register.


Four training sessions for 2021-2022 will be in-person at the USA Faculty Club (located at 6350 Fincher Road) and three training sessions will be conducted via the Canvas platform.

2021-2022 Responsible Conduct of Research Training Series Agenda

▼   Thursday, November 4, 2021 (3:00pm-4:00pm) - Research Misconduct*

Julio Turrens, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Biomedical Sciences

This session is intended to provide an opportunity to openly and critically reflect with your peers and others about what responsibility and integrity should mean to the professional scientific community. This will be achieved by use of case studies to explore questionable research practices and research misconduct. Also discussed will be avenues and mechanisms for asking questions and raising concerns.  It is purposefully not a list of "dos and don'ts".

Furthermore, graduate students learn about research norms and acceptable practices in their field by working closely with established researchers who provide training and mentoring. That is the theory.  In practice, however, the level of training and mentoring that is provided varies from lab to lab; and it is not clear that the responsible conduct of research is taught with the same emphasis and rigor across disciplines.  Most often real life cases of unethical conduct of research expose shortcomings: from insufficient mentoring, oversight, and sloppy training. 

Classroom Instruction
USA Faculty Club: 6350 Fincher Road

Click here to register - Research Misconduct

▼   Thursday, January 6, 2022 (3:00pm-4:00pm) - Grants Management and Fiscal Responsibility

Lindsey (Bubba) Sheffield., Manager, Grants and Contracts Accounting

This session will explore the various sponsored research mechanisms and discuss sponsor's expectations and PI responsibilities.  Although most researchers receive sponsored research support in the course of their career, many do not receive training on how to manage a grant responsibly. We will explore the general rules of fiscal compliance and the roles and responsibilities of the PI and various units within research administration that help ensure we maintain adequate internal control and provide stewardship of extramural funds.

Classroom Instruction
USA Faculty Club: 6350 Fincher Road

Click here to register - Grants and Contract Accounting

▼   Thursday,  March 10, 2022 (3:00pm-4:00pm) - Overview of Data-Driven Research*

W.. Matthew Reichert, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, Assistant Vice President, Office of Research Communications, Development and Learning

As researchers, we all strive to collect, analyze, and store our research data in the best ways possible. This workshop offers an overview of research and research data as well as some straightforward advice on how to organize our research data. This will be an open forum where researchers in attendance will be encouraged to share their best practices and experience so that we may learn from one another. Federal minimum standards will be reviewed for multiple research disciplines.

Classroom Instruction
USA Faculty Club: 6350 Fincher Road

Click here to register - Development and Learning

▼   Zoom - Thursday,  March 31, 2022 (3:00pm-4:00pm) - Overview of Scholarly-Driven Research*

Brian Whitener, Ph. D.,  Assistant Professor, Modern & Classical Languages & Literature

This session will explore scholarly methodologies in the arts and humanities. Emphasis will be placed on the range of different approaches and the possibilities for cross-disciplinary collaboration.

via Zoom

Topic: 2021-2022 RCR Training Series: Overview of Scholarly Driven Research*

Time: Mar 31, 2022 03:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://southalabama.zoom.us/j/91006900477  <==

Meeting ID: 910 0690 0477

Click here to register - Overview of Scholarly Driven Research

▼   USA Canvas Online - offered Oct 1, 2021-May 31, 2022 - Conflict of Interest* 

Dusty Layton and Angela S. Williams, Executive Director and Assistant Director, Research Compliance and Assurance

This session will explore the concepts of conflict of interest and how conflicts can affect research.  From this session, students will learn the USA framework, policies and regulations. In addition, the session will provide information on the USA infrastructure for managing conflict of interests and recognize when a potential conflict might occur. A variety of factors can produce bias and influence our judgment and behavior.  Problems with reproducibility has been linked, in part, to cognitive behaviors that have led to mistakes in scientific research. Developing an understanding of these factors is a critical step in helping to safeguard against such bias and potential mistakes. 

Please allow 24-48 hours after registering before you can access this Canvas course.

USA Canvas Online

Click here to register - Conflict of Interest

▼   USA Canvas Online - offered Oct 1, 2021-May 31, 2022 - Foreign Influence and Security* 

David Furman, Director, Information Security Risk and Compliance

Universities focus most of their efforts on performing basic research which is to be shared and published openly in the scientific literature. However, there are instances when information and technology generated in universities cannot be shared openly for a variety of reasons, including national and economic security.  As a result, this research is often targeted for theft or inappropriate acquisition by other countries looking to save on time consuming and expensive research and development.  

Additionally, federal sponsors require disclosure of potential international conflicts of time or financial commitment as a precondition for funding research.  This session will provide an overview of the types of research sought by foreign countries, the methodologies used to illicitly acquire research, and techniques that researchers can use to better protect their work.  The session will also focus on the types of information that must be disclosed to federal sponsors.  There will be a 10 question quiz at the conclusion of the session.   

Please allow 24-48 hours after registering before you can access this Canvas course.

USA Canvas Online

Click here to register - Foreign Influence and Security

▼   USA Canvas Online - offered Oct 1, 2021-May 31, 2022 - Rigor and Reproducibility* 

Christopher Davies, Ph. D., Associate Dean, College of Medicine, Research

There is increasing awareness that a significant percentage of published scientific research cannot be replicated. This is not only costly but can also have a negative impact on clinical studies. In response, many federal sponsors are now requiring that researchers explicitly address scientific rigor in grant applications.  This session examines the scale of the irreproducibility problem, considers some of the underlying causes, and then outlines what steps we should take to ensure our own studies are conducted with maximum rigor.  

Please allow 24-48 hours after registering before you can access this Canvas course.

USA Canvas Online

Click here to register - Rigor and Reproducibility

* - The required core sessions must be repeated every five years.

2021-2022 RCR Training Series Agenda (PDF)

Angela S. Williams
(251) 460-6509