Research Ethics and Safety

All research has ethical components from data collection and reporting to respect for participants and other researchers. Depending on your project you may need to get an approval or certification to perform specific aspects of the research.

Institutional Review Board (IRB)

Projects involving living human subjects need to be run by the IRB committee by emailing them a brief project description. Not all projects will need to apply and have a full review but when applying for funding you should have already confirmed if no review is necessary or if you will need to submit.

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)

Middlebury has an institutional subscription for CITI Program's online training modules related to various aspects of research. The Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) module is the most general one and is required for all students working on an National Science Foundation (NSF) funded project. All students are welcome to complete any of the trainings to receive a certificate of completion. It is highly recommended any student working on a grant funded project complete at least the RCR training.

To access the training, you will need to register and create a username and password. The training consists of ten modules which take about 20 minutes each. There are several multiple choice questions at the end of each module which you need to answer 80% correctly to pass. You can complete the training at your own pace and CITI will save your progress if you are timed out or log out. Try not to complete the training in one sitting. You will get more out of it if you do just a couple modules at once. Take the time to watch the (somewhat cheesy) videos and thoroughly read the text, keeping in mind your source materials as well as your own research.

Students working, volunteering, or receiving credit on a project supported by an NSF grant also need to submit the online RCR training grant documentation form

Lab Training and Safety

All students conducting research in a lab environment (laboratories at Middlebury include scientific labs, field research locations, and fine art studios, as well as areas that support labs such as prep rooms and chemical storage areas) may need lab safety training. All students in McCardell Bicentennial Hall, the science building, with access outside of regular business hours must complete a brief online training. See Safety in Laboratories for more specific information and resources.