The mission of the Mass General Brigham Research Compliance Office is to ensure policies and procedures are developed in accordance with local, state, and federal policies; educate the research community on regulatory requirements; and provide oversight and monitoring of high-risk research activities. The office responds to incidents of non-compliance and coordinates efforts across a multitude of departments and institutions to develop corrective action plans and report to the appropriate regulatory agency. We also provide a means for staff to report non-compliance without fear of retaliation.
Although rare, instances of scientific research misconduct may arise. When they do, it is the responsibility of the research community to see they are addressed appropriately.
All allegations must be reported to the hospital Research Integrity Officer (RIO) unless they are unvalidated. Unfounded or bad faith allegations have a profound impact on the individual(s) accused of wrongdoing even when proven false.
The RIOs listed below are available to discuss any circumstances that may raise issues regarding the scientific integrity of research at their hospital.
Principal Investigators, as leaders of scientific projects, are responsible for the scientific integrity of work undertaken in their laboratories and for mentoring staff who work on these projects. Educating staff, fellows, and students in research best practices is the foundation for discouraging scientific misconduct and promoting research integrity.
Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training is required of students and trainees supported by National Institutes of Health (NIH) institutional training grants, individual fellowships, and career development awards.
RCR training is required of undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows with any National Science Foundation (NSF) support.
To allow students and trainees to meet the RCR compliance requirement, Mass General Brigham Research Compliance offers an RCR program that is a combination of live and/or online instruction. Within their first year of NIH or NSF support, students and trainees must attend a four-hour Mass General Brigham RCR seminar (offered three times a year) and four hospital-based RCR courses, in addition to completing the basic CITI online RCR course.
Students, fellows, and career awardees supported by NIH or NSF awards administered by a Mass General Brigham hospital completing their work at a non-Mass General Brigham institution should email the Mass General Brigham Research Compliance Office at email@example.com to register for RCR training.
Upon completion of the RCR Program, trainees and fellows are required to submit an Attestation Form to the Mass General Brigham Research Compliance office, confirming they have fulfilled the NIH or NSF requirement via the Research Navigator. Students, fellows, and career awardees from non-Mass General Brigham institutions supported by Mass General Brigham awards who do not have access to the Research Navigator should email the Mass General Brigham Research Compliance Office at firstname.lastname@example.org by submitting an attestation form.
The NIH also requires individuals with three or more years of NIH training or career award support to complete additional RCR training. This requirement can be fulfilled online by completing three modules (Collaborative Research, Peer Review, and Research Misconduct) of the CITI Program RCR refresher course and submitting an attestation form.