Research Integrity & Compliance

Education Program

Mission Statement

The mission of the Research Integrity & Compliance Education Program is to provide educational and outreach opportunities to the USF Research community, including USF & USF Health researchers, our affiliates, and the Tampa Bay area public, in order to advance knowledge on the safe, ethical and responsible conduct of research, thereby supporting the university's commitment to innovation in the arts and sciences.

Responsible Conduct of Research

USF Research Integrity & Compliance offers a comprehensive RCR training program, including both online (via CITI) and instructor-led offerings. The typical content of the instructor-led sessions includes information and presentations by experts in the field on human and animal research, safe laboratory practices, conflicts of interest, research misconduct, mentor/mentee relationships and responsibilities, authorship and publications, collaborative research, and peer review of research.

USF offers a spring 2023 RCR training series. Four (4) instructor-led sessions were offered virtually throughout the fall, and four (4) instructor-led sessions are being offered virtually throughout the spring, resulting in eight (8) opportunities for RCR instruction during the USF 2022-2023 academic year. Each session covers a distinct RCR topic and lasts approximately one (1) hour. Any USF faculty member or student is welcome to attend these sessions. Attendance at each session will satisfy one (1) credit hour for RCR training. Individuals can attend as many or as few sessions as they like. Certificates of completion for each RCR session will be issued to attendees. A combination of these training sessions will fulfill both NIH and NSF RCR training requirements.

The USF RCR spring 2023 training schedule and registration links can be found in this flyer: USF Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) - Spring 2023 Schedule & Registration Links

Effective January 4, 2010 the National Science Foundation (NSF) requires that all undergraduate and graduate students, as well as post-doctoral research fellows, who are submitting new proposals for NSF funding receive training in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). This requirement was also adopted and expanded to include scholars by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), effective January 25, 2010. The Division of Research Integrity & Compliance has made available online and instructor-led courses in the Responsible Conduct of Research.

For any questions on RCR requirements and/or offerings, please contact

CITI Program

The Division of Research Integrity & Compliance, in conjunction with the CITI Program, has made available online courses in Human Subject Protections, Responsible Conduct of Research, Laboratory Animal Welfare and Good Clinical Practice.

For USF Training requirements a USF EmplID or UID must be provided on the registration page for certification of USF training requirements. Module completion results will NOT be recorded in GEMS if the Employee Number field is left blank.

Human Subject Protection Education

Education in human subject protections is required for all faculty, staff and students directly involved in the conduct of clinical or social and behavioral research. This includes individuals who collect or enter data, individuals who conduct study procedures (including informed consent) or interventions with human subjects, and individuals who use or have access to private information that can be linked to research subjects. This policy applies to all research involving the use of human participants, regardless of funding or scholarship. The policy also applies to both currently active and future research submitted to the USF IRB. All study team members must have current training in order to receive approval from the USF IRB.

Community Outreach

The USF IRB is committed to the continuing education of not only university researchers, but also to the Tampa Bay area community. As a part of this commitment, DRIC and/or IRB representatives are available to attend groups and events within the community to provide information regarding participation in research. Our goal is to inform the community about the protections afforded to research participants, and to explain the ways in which individuals can choose to become involved in research-related activities.

HIPAA Education

HIPAA education is mandatory for USF Health faculty, staff, students, residents and fellows who are in the USF Covered Health Care Component. For those individuals who are not a part of USF Health, the Division of Research Integrity & Compliance recommends completion of the DRIC Web-based course, or the optional module, "HIPAA and Human Subjects Research" provided via the CITI Program. This training does NOT meet the USF IRB requirements for continuing education on human subject protections.

Conflict of Interest (COI)

The COI Program ensures integrity of research during all phases (e.g. design, conduct and reporting) and preserves the public trust in the university while also promoting entrepreneurship among the research community. The COI Program receives disclosures from investigators who conduct research at USF (human subjects, animal and basic science) and develops management plans with safeguards to ensure that the financial or personal interests disclosed by those investigators will not bias the design, conduct or reporting of the research. The COI Committee reviews disclosures and management plans and makes determinations regarding research-related conflicts of interest. Individual conflicts of interest may arise from consulting income, speakers' bureau fees, intellectual property and equity interests, among others. In addition, institutional conflicts of interest may arise if rights of related intellectual property are assigned to USF, a USF senior official has related intellectual property or other related financial interest or USF owns equity in a related entity.

Additional information on thresholds for disclosure, requirements for federally funded researchers, the disclosure process and contact information is available on the COI Program website.

IACUC Education

The USF IACUC requires that all personnel must have adequate knowledge and experience to perform their duties of animal care, use, and treatment. Personnel must be sufficiently familiar with the AWA, PHS Policy, Guide, and the IACUC Principles and Procedures, so that their care, treatment and use of animals will be in accordance with the IACUC Principles and Procedures. Furthermore, personnel involved in live vertebrate animal use, treatment, or care must be certified by the IACUC as qualified to perform their duties, and may be required to demonstrate experience by submitting a copy of the curriculum vitae to Comparative Medicine. The IACUC collaborates with the Department of Comparative Medicine to provide personnel training resources to university personnel working with animals.

Biosafety Education

Training in proper microbiological techniques is required for anyone working with recombinant DNA, infectious agents, select agents, and biological toxins, or who works in a laboratory where these materials are used/stored. The assurance of proper training is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator (PI) or laboratory supervisor of the facility in which the hazard is used. We recommend that the PI/Lab Supervisor supplement the training courses provided by the Division of Research Integrity & Compliance by conducting practical demonstrations and assessments of competence in the laboratory. The DRIC currently offers three types of Biosafety training requirements, including a core course, annual continuing education, and courses on special topics.

Radiation & Laser Safety

The USF radioisotope safety training courses are conducted under the Radiation Safety Office and Sr. Health Physicist(s). Radioisotope safety training courses are required for all Principal Investigators, Research Associates and/or Radioisotope Workers who work with radioactive materials and who are new to USF. Depending upon personnel classification, periodic refresher training is also required.

Individuals who work with or in close proximity to Class 2 or 3 lasers should complete online laser safety training provided by the USF Laser Safety Office. Those individuals who work with or in close proximity to Class 3B or 4 lasers are required to complete the online laser safety training, and must receive additional training from the Principal Investigator. This additional training must be documented and must include operating and emergency procedures for laser(s) in use, relations of specular and diffuse reflections, maximum personal exposure levels for eye and skin, and laser hazard evaluations and range equations.

scientific Diving Program

The Diving Safety office oversees all scientific diving that occurs throughout any discipline at USF. In addition, the office is also responsible for the oversight of diving that occurs through the Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO) whether at the FIO lab or onboard any of the USF or FIO owned research vessels. Obtaining clearance for diving projects can be a timely process. Sufficient time for preparations should be considered.

E-System Documents

The Division of Research Integrity & Compliance now has an electronic system for submitting applications and related documents to the USF IRB and for submitting conflicts of interest in research. Training materials, including presentations and manuals, are available to assist researchers with using these electronic systems.