Caltech researchers are expected to adhere to the highest professional standards in the conduct of research. Faculty members are charged by the Institute with the responsibility to safeguard the basic principles of research integrity, academic freedom, and public interest. Students are expected to also follow these same principles. When government funds are involved in the support of research, investigators are required to take specific steps to adhere to all rules and regulations of the government and sponsoring agencies. Students are required to have specific training in research ethics and integrity as well as conform to standards established by research supervisors or their laboratories. There are two situations in which this is mandated by federal law.
National Institutes of Health
Students that are funded through NIH grants, work with human or vertebrate animal subjects, or are required as part of their academic option’s curriculum, have to meet a NIH requirement for training in specified areas as described in the Caltech Guide to Sponsored Research. In order to meet the NIH requirement, Caltech requires that all trainees supported by NIH funds take Biology course 252 “Responsible Conduct of Research.”
National Science Foundation
Training in Responsible Conduct of Research is also required of students funded on NSF awards, including the GRFP program. In order to satisfy the NSF mandate, Caltech requires that students supported from NSF funds as described above shall take the online course on Research Ethics Education (CITI).
If a student can document having passed a similar, qualifying program at another institution, Caltech may accept that in lieu of completing Caltech’s program. You must submit documentation in the form of a transcript or certificate to the Graduate Office to receive credit for previous work. A passing grade in Bi 252 is an acceptable alternative to passing the CITI online Responsible Conduct of Research course.