Required Research Trainings

Throughout your time at Virginia Tech, there may be a number of training requirements that must be completed in order to remain compliant with federal and state laws and regulations.  Below is a list of the training requirements related to research.   

What training is required?

Animal Research

Virginia Tech is committed to a high standard of animal care and use, as well as a high standard of occupational health and safety for its faculty, staff and students. Quality training and educational activities are essential to help us meet and exceed these standards.

The Virginia Tech IACUC requires that animal users and handlers complete 4 training elements before the processing of an IACUC protocol will be initiated (see Policy for Principal Investigator, Research and Animal Care Staff Training).   To learn more about the requirements and to take the IACUC training please visit: http://www.researchcompliance.vt.edu/iacuc/iacuc-related-training-virginia-tech-researchers-students-employees-and-visiting-researchers.    

Conflict of Interest

Effective August 10, 2012, the University’s conflict of interest policy 13010 will change to reflect recent requirements by federal sponsors.   An important element of the policy revision is the  requirement that all investigators  complete training on Conflict of Interest policies and procedures.

The mandatory training requirement applies to any; principal investigators, co-investigators, project directors, postdoctoral associates, graduate students and any other person deemed responsible for the design, conduct, or reporting of research.  Federal regulations require all Public Health Service investigators to complete training prior to the award of a grant or contract; therefore, all PHS awards will be held until all individuals named in the proposal have completed training.  In addition, all investigators receiving non-PHS awards on or after August 10, 2012 will need to be trained within 30 days of project start-up.

If you have questions regarding the Conflict of Interest training requirement, please contact the Office of Research Education and Administrative Compliance at 540-231-2336 or by email at coi@vt.edu or visit our website at http://www.research.vt.edu/conflict-of-interest/.

Export Controls and Sanctions

Training for PIs, Co-PIs, GRAs, and other project personnel is required when the research project becomes restricted due to acceptance of publication, access and dissemination controls, or if a defense article is involved in the research. The research project may become subject to U.S. export regulations or trade sanctions depending on the contractual terms of the award or funding contract. Training is required for any participant who will have access to controlled source code, technology, or defense articles in the research. 

More information about export controls and sanctions training can be found at http://www.oesrc.researchcompliance.vt.edu/training.

Environmental Health and Safety

EHS is responsible for ensuring that all university employees receive the required training under Federal and State regulations and other non-regulatory agency guidelines.  Listed below are the recommended training courses for researchers also available online.  For more information, please see our website:  http://www.ehss.vt.edu/training/.. 

  • Radioactive Materials/Xray producing systems
  • Bloodborn Pathogens
  • Lasers
  • Hazardous Chemicals
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Environmental Compliance

Human Subjects Research

Although the human subjects protections training mandate from the HHS applies only to NIH grants and contracts, the VT policy extends this mandate to include all human subjects research under the VT IRB's purview (see Policy No. 2.03: Purview of the VT IRB).

All investigators (including researchers from other institutions and independent researchers), originally listed on an approved IRB application or later added to the project through an amendment, must provide the IRB with documentation of the completion of human subject protections training, unless the IRB has verification of prior training within its records.  

For more information about Human Subjects Research training can be found at http://www.irb.vt.edu/pages/training.htm.  

Recombinant DNA and/or Biohazardous Research

Virginia Tech IBC policy requires that all personnel engaged in research and teaching activities involving the use of recombinant DNA and/or  biohazardous materials, agents and toxins, must complete all required training modules before a protocol can be approved by the IBC.  Information regarding the training required for IBC protocol review can be found at http://ibc.researchcompliance.vt.edu/training.

The IBC training requirements include both "Biomedical Responsible Conduct of Research" modules and "Biosafety & Biosecurity" modules.  "Biomedical Responsible Conduct of Research" modules fulfill the training requirements for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and The National Science Foundation (NSF).

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)

The National Science Foundation (NSF) requires that all undergraduate and graduate students, as well as post-doctoral research fellows, who are supported on NSF projects, receive training in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR).  The RCR training requirement was also adopted and expanded to include scholars by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) effective for awards subject to the February 2013 Research Terms and Conditions.

Virginia Tech has adopted a plan to fulfill the applicable training requirements.  Virginia Tech will use online training through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) to meet these requirements.  A face-to-face course was developed to meet the NIH RCR training requirement. Instructions on how to access this course can be found on the website below.  If you have questions regarding the applicability of the following training requirements to your specific project, please contact the Office of Research Education and Administrative Compliance at 540-231-2336 or visit our RCR website at http://www.research.vt.edu/research-integrity-office/.  

National Institutes of Health (NIH):

The National Institutes of Health (NIH)has established a new training requirement in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) for individuals receiving support through NIH Institutional Research Training Grants, Individual Fellowship Awards, Career Development Awards (Institutional and Individual), Research Education Grants, Dissertation Research Grants, and any other program that requires such training as identified in the NIH Funding Opportunity Announcement. 

The new requirement applies to all trainees, fellows, participants, and scholars who are supported by the above identified NIH projects submitted (and subsequently awarded) after January 25, 2010, including competitive renewals.  This requirement will be expanded to all continuation (Type 5) applications with deadlines on or after January 1, 2011. 

For more information on the programs that are subject to this requirement can be found at http://www.research.vt.edu/research-integrity-office/training-requirements/nih/index.php.

National Science Foundation(NSF):

The National Science Foundation (NSF)has established a new training requirement in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) for students and postdoctoral fellows (postdocs) supported by NSF projects. The new requirement applies to all undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoc researchers who are supported by NSF projects submitted (and subsequently awarded) after January 4, 2010, including competitive renewals. However, it is strongly recommended that faculty, including principal investigators, supported by NSF projects or directing students or postdocs supported on NSF projects, also review and are familiar with the content of these modules.

This requirement does not apply retroactively to students and postdocs supported on projects submitted before January 4, 2010. The new regulations implement provisions of the America COMPETES Act.  

For more information on the NSF RCR training requirement can be found at http://www.research.vt.edu/research-integrity-office/training-requirements/nsf/index.php

National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA(NIFA): 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has instituted a new Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training requirement effective for awards subject to the February 2013 Research Terms and Conditions.  (See page 5 of the PDF).  

The training requirement mandates that all participants including all; program directors, faculty, undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and any staff participating in the research project receive appropriate training in the responsible and ethical conduct of research (RCR). The new RCR training requirement is applicable to all awards subject to the USDA NIFA February 2013 Terms and Conditions or subsequent Terms and Conditions that contain the RCR training requirement

Virginia Tech has adopted a plan to fulfill the NIFA training requirement.  Virginia Tech will use online training through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) to meet this requirement.  Instructions on how to access this course can be found on the website below.

If you have questions regarding the NIFA training requirement, please contact Vicky Ratcliffe at 540-231-7964 or vratcliffe@vt.edu or visit our RCR website at http://www.research.vt.edu/research-integrity-office/