The Research Scholars Certification Program (RSCP) provides an introduction to key topics of Responsible Conduct of Research, which helps researchers understand their responsibilities related to proper research conduct and the regulations that ensure research is scientifically sound, ethical and safe. This understanding is critical for any career in scholarly research, whether in the academy, government or industry.

The following groups of individuals are required to complete the Research Scholars Certification program:

  • All doctoral students entering fall semester of 2013 or later.
  • Students (undergraduate and graduate) and postdoctoral fellows who are supported through National Science Foundation funding
  • Trainees supported by some categories of grants from NIH, including training grants, development grants and dissertation grants
  • Trainees supported through NIFA grants administered by the USDA beginning in August 2013

USU 6900:  Research Integrity

USU 6900 is used to record completion of the requirements for the RSCP. Students working toward completion of the certificate must register for USU 6900. The course provides an underpinning of ethical conduct for students entering the research enterprise at USU. The course is designed for graduate students, upper level undergraduates and postdoctoral fellows based on regulatory requirements from federal funding agencies. Subjects covered in the course are:

  • Ethical treatment of human participants in research
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Ethical care and use of animals in research
  • Collaborative science
  • Data ownership, management and sharing
  • Mentor/trainee relationships
  • Authorship and publication practices
  • Research misconduct
  • Peer reviews

USU 6900 includes 4 assignments in these 3 components

Students in the Research Scholars Certification Program must participate in one orientation session. The main orientation sessions are held on two consecutive days during the week before classes begin on campus, with one of the sessions being offered immediately following the School of Graduate Studies Orientation.

NOTE: The Orientation session and the forums explained below are held on USU’s main campus. At least one of the three sessions must be attended either at the venue or through a facilitated broadcast provided by RIC. As indicated above, the other two sessions, at the choice of the participant, may be completed by viewing a digital recording of the session and completing a competency quiz on the information presented. However, participants are strongly encouraged to attend live sessions to contribute to dialogue and provide broader perspectives in the discussions.

Students in the program must participate in the two Research Scholars Forums offered during the year (dates to be determined):

  • Fall Forum:Data Acquisition and Management
  • Spring Forum: Publication and Authorship

Students should RSVP online.

Participants must complete online training in several topics, provided by the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI). For information concerning registration for this free online training, click here.
Ideally, the following course plan should be followed:

Before the Research Scholars Orientation

  • The CITI course in Responsible Conduct of Research
  • Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research
  • Four additional topics as indicated in USU’s CITI Introductory module

Before the Fall Research Scholars Forum

  • Data Acquisition and Management module

Before the Spring Research Scholars Forum

  • Responsible Authorship and Publication
  • Responsible Peer Review module

Prior to the end of spring semester

  • Human research participants module
  • Animal care and use module

This course is offered every semester, and can be completed during any given semester by participating in the Research Scholars event offered during that semester on a face-to face basis and completing all other events by viewing previously recorded events and passing the comprehension quiz associated with those events  It is also possible, by registering for USU 6900 in the Spring Semester, to attend all events held during the year and completing the online training requirements throughout the academic year.

Attendance Requirements

1. The Research Scholars Orientation, typically held in August
2. The Fall Research Scholars Forum, held in November
3. The Spring Research Scholars Forum: April 14, 2016, 1:10 pm, LIB 154

Watch the event recordings and complete a comprehension quiz.

Sample schedules

1. Complete the Research Scholars Orientation, typically held in August, by attending the session in person
2. Complete the Fall Research Scholars Forum either by attending the live session (to be offered in November) or by viewing the 2013 Fall Forum (available below) and completing the quiz
3. Complete the Spring Research Scholars Forum by viewing the recorded Spring Forum (available below) and completing the quiz
4. Complete the online CITI training during the semester, as explained below
1. Attend the Research Scholars Orientation, typically held in August
2. Attend the Fall Research Scholars Forum, typically held in November, (or watch the recording and complete the quiz)
3. Attend the Spring Research Scholars Forum, typically held in April, (or watch the recording and complete the quiz)
4. Complete the online CITI training during the academic year

All doctoral students should include this course in their Program of Study; the course will appear on the transcript of any student who completes the training. We strongly encourage completion of the RSCP near the beginning of a student’s research activities. The certification is an indication to the institution and the scientific community that its recipient is dedicated to the responsible conduct of research. For information concerning this program, contact Russ Price, Federal Compliance Manager, at or (435)797-8305.

Online trainings (2014-2015 academic year)