Responsible conduct of research (RCR) training is mandated by the America Competes Act for researchers, postdoctoral fellows, and students involved in research. Faculty developing proposals that include postdocs may include the following paragraph in their proposals:
Postdoctoral fellows will be mentored at a variety of levels during their tenure at Michigan Tech. Each postdoc will have a faculty mentor who will provide discipline specific training related to technical aspects of career development as well as the soft skills necessary to succeed in a tenure track faculty position.
For advanced RCR training requirements, postdocs are required to participate in UN0500 (Effective Scholarship course) either as a speaker or as an attendee. This course is offered by Research Integrity as a service to the University, and introduces participants to more advanced areas of RCR, including conflict of interest, collaborative research, and publication practices. Hence, postdoctoral fellows are required to complete both basic and advanced RCR training in their first and second semester of employment, respectively, as part of their employee agreement.
The Graduate School offers several opportunities to be involved not only as a mentee, but also as a mentor/facilitator, which will fulfill the basic RCR requirement. Facilitators mediate discussion with new graduate students, and receive additional training in the responsible conduct of research. By participating as a facilitator, postdocs will serve as role models for our incoming students and become familiar with the questions and concerns of new graduate students. These skills will later help them to successfully mentor their own graduate students.
The Graduate School orientation program, in combination with UN0500, fulfills the requirement of basic and advanced RCR training as expected and mandated by the University.