RCR Training and Education at Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley State University is committed to supporting and nurturing a culture of scholarship and research that embraces research integrity and research ethics. GVSU has created on blended educational program to meet the RCR requirements as mandated by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 

Online Training

GVSU has selected the Epigeum Impact Series in the  Responsible Conduct of Research to provide a basic training in RCR.  Epigeum Impact Series provides a flexible online course that uses videos, polls and a blended learning environment to involve learners in the learning process. 

Two primary courses are available for GVSU researchers. 

The RCR course is available in 5 tracks (Biomedical, Natural Science, Social Science, Arts and Humanities, and Engineering).  This course is designed for new faculty researchers, graduate students, and undergraduate students. 

By the end of the course, researchers will be able to: 

  • Explain the key responsibilities of a researcher
  • Identify the challenges one could face in meeting those responsibilities
  • Apply a range of strategies to respond and adapt to the challenges one may face when conducting research. 


The RCR Concise Course is geared towards experienced researchers who have already completed RCR Certification in the past, but need to renew their certification. The Concise Course contains seven additional modules on topics core to the work of the researcher. 

Optional Modules

  • Human Subjects Protections
  • The Humane Use and Care of Animals in Research
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Safety and Health
  • Intellectual Property
  • Biosafety
  • Export Controls

Face-to-Face Education

Certain grants received through the National Institute of Health require RCR training for investigators. NIH provides the following guidance for this training (full details are available here): Substantial face-to-face discussions among the participating trainees/fellows/scholars/participants; a combination of didactic and small-group discussions (e.g. case studies); and participation of research training faculty members in instruction in responsible conduct of research are highly encouraged. While on-line courses can be a valuable supplement to instruction in responsible conduct of research, online instruction is not considered adequate as the sole means of instruction. A plan that employs only online coursework for instruction in responsible conduct of research will not be considered acceptable, except in special instances of short-term training programs or unusual and well-justified circumstances.   

GVSU hosts an in-person RCR Workshop every two years that can be used to meet the NIH requirements. The next workshop is planned for early February 2018.

Research Ethics Conversations

Research Ethics Conversations are offered regularly and are facilitated by the Center for Scholarly and Creative Excellence. Sessions consist of an hour long lecture and discussion. Individuals will attend at least 6 conversations offered in a year. Topics covered include:

  • Animals in Research
  • Authorship
  • Biosafety & Lab Safety
  • Collaboration in Research
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Export Controls
  • Human Subjects in Research
  • Intellectual Property
  • Peer Review
  • Research Misconduct


Page last modified June 27, 2017