In order to participate in research, all students are required to receive appropriate training in health and safety, responsible conduct of research, and conflict of interest. Some training is mandatory, based on the nature of the project or the research project’s funding source. Students should consult their faculty mentor before beginning to work on any research project, to ensure that they have received the necessary training to ensure safety and compliance.  Common types of training required at Virginia Tech:  

  •                     Health and Safety Training
  •                     Conflict of Interest Training
  •                     Responsible Conduct of Research Training
  •                     Institutional Review Board for Research Involving Human Subjects Training
  •                     Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee Related Training

This is not an exhaustive list; there may be other required training sessions based on the nature of a student’s research project.

 

Health and Safety Training

Research mentors are responsible for assuring that students obtain required safety training before entering any research lab. Virginia Tech’s Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) helps mentors to meet this responsibility by providing training sessions on a variety of hazards and situations. Students conducting research in the summer may participate in a general health and safety (H&S) training session offered during orientation activities on VT’s campus.

Students conducting research at other times in the year should speak to their research mentor about such training or can contact EHS directly: http://www.ehss.vt.edu/  

 

Conflict of Interest Training

All undergraduates participating in research at Virginia Tech are required to complete Conflict of Interest (COI) training. This can be done online: 

Students must complete thistraining before engaging in any research activities. Upon completion of COI training, students are requested to print a copy of their completion certificate and give it to their program coordinator/manager.  

Please contact Linda Bucy (ph: 540‐231‐9477; email: lbucy@vt.edu), the VT‐designated COI Officer, with any questions about the COI program or requirements.

 

Responsible Conduct of Research Training

All participants in NSF, NIH, and USDA (NIFA)‐funded research programs are required to complete Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training. Students must complete this training before engaging in any research activities. The Office of Research will flag your faculty mentor’s grant if it is funded by any of these agencies. Failure of all program participants to complete RCR training may result in a freezing of program funds (for the entire program) by the Research Integrity Office. For questions or more information on this program please contact Tom Inzana, Research Integrity Officer (ph: 540‐231‐5188; email: tinzana@vt.edu). If you have questions about tracking participants or the online training, please contact Vicky Ratcliff, Manager of Research Education and Development (ph: 540‐231‐ 7964; email: vratcliffe@vt.edu).  

 

NIH

Participants who will be paid from an NIH‐funded grant for more than 6 months are required to complete at least 8 hours of face‐to‐face training. At VT, there are currently two options for this. Every spring, face‐ to‐face instruction is offered through a course entitled “Scientific Integrity BMVS”. In addition, a workshop held for three or four half‐days is offered at the end of each May. Further information is available from the Research Integrity website: http://www.research.vt.edu/research‐integrity‐office/. For more information, please contact: Jessica Atkins, Vet Med (ph: 540‐231‐1814; email: jeadkins@vt.edu)

All other NIH‐funded student researchers may take the online training, which can be accessed at the following link: http://www.research.vt.edu/research‐integrity‐office/files/vt‐instructions‐citi.pdf . This training will take between 3 and 4 hours in total, but it may be paused and completed in several sessions. After completing training, students are requested to print a certificate of completion and give a copy to their program coordinator/manager. 

 

NSF

For NSF participants, face‐to‐face instruction is not required. Online training is available at the following link: http://www.research.vt.edu/research‐integrity‐office/files/vt‐instructions‐citi.pdf . This training will take between 3 and 4 hours in total, but it may be paused and completed in several sessions. After completing training, students are asked to print a certificate of completion and give a copy to their program coordinator/manager. It is highly recommended that student complete this training before arrival on campus and starting their research program.

 

Institutional Review Board for Research Involving Human Subjects (IRB)

Virginia Tech is committed to protecting the rights of and ensuring the safety of human subjects participating in research conducted by faculty, staff and students of the University and for research in which Virginia Tech is engaged. This commitment is vested in the Institutional Review Board for Research Involving Human Subjects (the IRB), and is guided by the ethical principles described in the “Belmont Report” and in applicable federal regulations. The VT IRB requires completion of human subjects protection training for all investigators (internal or external) of a project, including student researchers. The VT IRB offers an online tutorial on Human Subjects Protection: http://www.irb.vt.edu/pages/tutorial_intro.htm. This tutorial is only one of several options available that are accepted by the VT IRB. Additional training options may be found at the IRB website: http://www.irb.vt.edu/pages/training.htm.  

 

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

Related Training Virginia Tech is committed to a high standard of animal care and use, as well as a high standard of occupational health and safety for itsfaculty,staff and students. Quality training and educational activities are essential to help us to meet and exceed these standards. VT requires that animal users and handlers complete four training elements:

  •                     Core and Refresher IACUC Training
  •                     Virginia Tech‐Specific IACUC Training
  •                     Virginia Tech Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Education Training
  •                     EHSS Health Survey

Details of each requirement can be found on the IACUC webpage: http://www.researchcompliance.vt.edu/iacuc/  

Course Work Requirements

Faculty are encouraged by the University to ensure that a course marked for research follows certain definitions, which are stated below. These are also available through VT Registrar.