The Office of Research Integrity is committed to providing the highest level of education for the research community we support. To this end, we have organized and sponsored a number of educational initiatives in matters relating to Research Integrity in the conduct of human, animal, and basic scientific research, collaborating with the academic and biomedical research community at Weill Cornell Medical College, Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences, and its associated institutions and organizations.
Research Compliance Training
More than 3,500 faculty, key personnel and administrators involved in research have registered for the Research Compliance Training. This program addresses institutional and regulatory requirements during the grant application process.
Responsible Conduct of Research Course
Requirements for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)
As illustrated in the NOT-OD-10-019 accessible within the NIH Requirements for Instruction in Responsible Conduct of Research, the policy and requirements apply to all NIH Institutional Research Training Grants, Individual Fellowship Awards, Career Development Awards (Institutional and Individual), Research Education Grants, Dissertation Research Grants, or other grant programs with a training component that requires instruction in responsible conduct of research as noted in the Funding Opportunity Announcement. More information on NSF requirements on RCR instruction can be found in the NSF's Grantee Standards Guide.
Per Weill Cornell Medicine policy, the RCR course is mandatory for all graduate students of Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences and for all post-doctoral scholars at Weill Cornell Medicine, independent of their funding source. This is a strong commitment of Weill Cornell Medicine as a research institution dedicated to promoting the value of the responsible conduct of research within its community of graduate students, post-docs, and faculty. As a result, WCM requires a formal RCR course that is designed to meet all NIH and NSF requirements.
Goals of the RCR Course
- Heighten the awareness of trainees to ethical considerations relevant to the conduct of research;
- Inform trainees of federal, state, and institutional policies, regulations and procedures applicable to the ethical conduct of research; and
- Provide trainees with the opportunity to discuss, in a relatively informal setting, with senior faculty and among their peers, the implications of these policies and procedures for their own behavior in a research environment.
The RCR course is a tri-institutional program between Weill Cornell Medicine, Sloan Kettering Institute, and The Rockefeller University. The course is organized and run by Sloan Kettering Institute. The course website is:
In order to provide formal training in research integrity and to satisfy the RCR course requirements, participants must complete 8 hours of in-person sessions (1 large-group orientation session of 2 hours, and 3 small-group live sessions – each of 2 hours in length) and complete 9 online modules with exams. The online RCR course consists of 3 modules of 3 topics each. “Rigor and Transparency” will be addressed in a mandatory additional 3-hour module, thereby extending the RCR course to 11 hours of in-person time. Signed rosters are maintained by RCR course directors to document attendance. Attendees are provided a certificate of attendance upon completion of the course.
RCR Subject Matter
The RCR instruction covers all of the following topics as defined by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Research Integrity.
- Research Misconduct (with Whistleblowing and Dispute Resolution)
- Data Acquisition, Management, Sharing, and Ownership (including Enhancing Reproducibility) and Safe Laboratory Practices
- Animal Welfare
- Use of Human Subjects
- Conflicts of Interest and Commitment
- Authorship and Responsible Publication Practices
- Peer Review
- Collaboration and Mentoring
- The Scientist and Social Responsibility and Export Control
- Rigor and Transparency
RCR Faculty Participation
The small-group session facilitators include junior and senior faculty members from the three sponsoring institutions (Weill Cornell Medicine, Sloan Kettering Institute, and The Rockefeller University), as well as senior administrators whose responsibilities include research compliance or integrity, all of whom serve as role models in this training.
RCR Frequency of Instruction
RCR training is mandated for 1st and 5th year graduate students, post-doctoral scholars, and all other trainees who are federally funded from NIH Training Grants (T32, T34, R25) or Career Awards (F, K series), among others. Fifth-year graduate students and trainees have the option to either take the RCR course again or act as a facilitator for the course.
Important Notes Regarding Course Completion
- The course must be completed within one semester. (For instance, an individual may not start the course in the fall and finish it in the spring.)
- Failure to complete the RCR course within a single semester will require taking the course again in its entirety.
For a letter of support for grant application, please contact Dr. Randi B. Silver.
Ethical, Social, and Legal Issues of Responsible Clinical Research course from the CTSC
The Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC) continues to offer the Ethical, Social and Legal Issues in the Responsible Conduct of Clinical Research course, now in its ninth year. In spring 2016, it is anticipated that 15 students will be enrolled in this course. It represents the second component of a two-part series designed by the CTSC Education Program to provide a comprehensive and in-depth curriculum to heighten awareness to ethical, social, and legal issues relevant to the conduct of clinical research. This curriculum, a requirement for an Advanced Certificate and Master’s Degree in C/T Investigation, encompasses participation in the Responsible Conduct of Research Course at Weill Cornell Medicine, attendance at an IRB meeting, and a four-part seminar series (1.5 hours each) on Ethics directed by Inmaculada de Melo-Martin, PhD, MS, Professor of Medical Ethics, Weill Cornell Medicine, and CTSC Director of Regulatory Knowledge and Ethics Core. The weekly seminars will offer space for discussions and will be particularly relevant to clinical trainees by the choice of the topics selected.
Quality Assurance Unit Informed Consent Process Seminar from JCTO
The Joint Clinical Trials Office (JCTO) organized a well-attended educational seminar in June 2015, in which the Director of the Division of Education and Development (DED) at the HHS Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) delivered an examination of the complexity inherent to the Informed Consent Process. This presentation confirmed widespread interest among our research staff to facilitate the understanding of trial conduct.
TWIST – Training Workshops for Investigators and Study Teams from the JCTO
Following the success of the program in June, the Quality Assurance Unit (QAU) developed TWIST - Training Workshops for Investigators and Study Teams, an educational agenda for monthly in-depth programs tailored to the current needs of the WCM/NYP research community. Staff engagement and community-directed topic planning are the focus of TWIST sessions. The presentations delivered at TWIST seminars are recorded and uploaded to our new Research Training and Education section of the JCTO website.
Research Training and Education Online Library from the JCTO
This online resource library is being established to serve as a basis of knowledge for incoming research staff and as a reliable, targeted reference for current staff. In addition, the website hosts select webinars related to clinical research produced by organizations such as OHRP and Forte Research Systems. For more information visit the JCTO Website.
Targeted Re-Education from the JCTO
The JCTO continues the longstanding practice of targeted re-education. Following audits, the QAU works to ensure that any issues cited during trial review are addressed and corrected in a timely fashion. In addition, JCTO managers and directors periodically provide training refreshers to reinforce GCP and effective study coordination practices.
Research Coordinators' Network
The Research Coordinators' Network (RCN) is an educational and networking opportunity for the Weill Cornell Medicine research community. The RCN provides the WCM research coordinator community with timely updates on a variety of Research Integrity and compliance related issues. To join the RCN listserv and receive notification about RCN events and training opportunities, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your request.