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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?

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 Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee requires that animal users and handlers complete four training elements before the processing of a protocol will be initiated.

To learn more about the requirements and to take training, visit the IACUC website.

Research conflict of interest training is required every four years for the principal investigator, co-principal investigator, project director, and any other person deemed responsible for the design, conduct, or reporting of sponsored research. The applicable researcher will be notified if they are required to take this training. Virginia Tech utilizes the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative Program for research this training, which takes approximately one hour to complete. The refresher course takes approximately 45 minutes to complete.

Training for principal investigators, co-principal investigators, graduate assistants, 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.

Environmental Health and Safety  actively promotes a positive, responsible, integrated safety culture at all levels of the university community, advocates providing a safe and healthy living, learning, and working environment for all, and assists departments with complying with regulations and mandates. This university office is responsible for ensuring that all university employees receive the required training under federal and state regulations and other non-regulatory agency guidelines.

Virginia Tech’s Human Research Protection Program uses industry standard training required at peer universities and federal research institutions. The Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative training is transferrable and meets requirements for collaborative or multi-site studies. If a researcher has previously taken human protection training either at Virginia Tech or at another institution, they can affiliate with Virginia Tech through their account to transfer completed courses without retaking them.

Virginia Tech’s Institutional Biosafety Committee provides oversight of research that involves the use of biohazardous agents, including recombinant and/or synthetic nucleic acid molecules. The committee is charged with the planning and implementation of the campus Biosafety Program with a purpose to ensure the health and safety of all personnel working with biohazardous agents.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) requires that all undergraduate and graduate students, and post-doctoral research fellows, who are supported on NSF projects, receive Responsible Conduct of Research training. Online and in person training is provided through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative.

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 on the OVPRI RCR website.

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 on the OVPRI RCR website.

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 (PDF).  (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 (PDF)  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 see the RCR website.