New Policy: Graduate Training in the Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research (RCR)

March 18th, 2014 2:22 PM

Commencing with Summer 2014 admissions, the University of Maine Graduate School will require all graduate students enrolled in graduate research masters (thesis) or doctoral programs to receive one credit of RCR training prior to completing the degree, preferably prior to commencing the research.  At the advisory committee’s or Graduate Coordinator’s discretion, this credit may be substituted for one of the 6 required thesis/dissertation credits (XXX699) and is a co-requisite for XXX699; therefore, students must take the RCR training before or at the same time as the first registration for XXX699.

Currently enrolled students will not be required to take RCR training unless supported to conduct research on a National Institutes of Health, National Institutes of Food and Agriculture, or National Science Foundation award.

For further information regarding the policy, please contact the Graduate School.  For information regarding federal regulations related to RCR training, please visit the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs Responsible Conduct of Research Compliance website.

Pilot Program for Enhancement of Employee Whistleblower Protection (41 USC 4712)

February 6th, 2014 3:57 PM

Notice To Employees

Commencing July 1, 2013 and continuing through January 1, 2017, employees working on a Federal Government contract, subcontract or grant are provided enhanced whistleblower protections under The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). For more information please visit ORSP’s Enhanced Whistleblower Protection webpage.

Interim Responsible Conduct of Research Plan for subject USDA-NIFA awards

November 5th, 2013 5:08 PM

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) requires training in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) for all personnel supported on NIFA awards which are subject to NIFA Research Terms and Conditions dated February 2013 and after. Full text of the requirement can be found in NIFA’s April 2013 Agency-Specific Terms & Conditions (PDF).

While the University’s Responsible & Ethical Conduct of Research plan (PDF) is being revised to reflect the NIFA RCR training requirement, subject personnel are directed to take the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative’s ‘General RCR Course’ and to submit a copy of their certificate of completion to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) at: (Instructions for establishing a CITI user account and completing RCR training). No project funds will be released until ORSP has received this confirmation for all subject personnel!

If you have questions regarding this training requirement please contact Wendy Eckert. For questions related to CITI training instructions, please contact Amanda Ashe.

Important Information re: Financial Conflict of Interest Training and PARS Access

November 1st, 2013 4:35 PM

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service (PHS) regulations and University of Maine policy now require investigators wanting to submit proposals for extramural funding to first successfully complete conflict of interest training.  Information regarding the PHS mandate and University policy can be found at:

To ensure 100% compliance, effective November 1, 2013, Proposal Automated Routing System (PARS) privileges will be suspended or denied, respectively, to any current or new Investigator or Approver who has not submitted to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) a certificate showing satisfactory completion of the UMS Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI) training.

FCOI training is offered online through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Program. It typically takes 20-30 minutes to complete and certification is valid for four years. Instructions for accessing CITI and completing the training can be found at:  Certifications should be emailed to  Investigators who are unsure as to whether they have completed FCOI training can confirm their status by logging into their CITI accounts and in the Main Menu looking under ‘Completion Report’.  Reports are available for printing when a course has been completed successfully.

Please direct questions pertaining to accessing and using CITI to Amanda Ashe at: and questions relating to compliance to Wendy Eckert at:

Operations during Federal Government Shutdown

October 1st, 2013 4:18 PM

Due to the lapse in federal funding, Federal Agencies have implemented contingency plans which are available on the Office of Management & Budget website at:

In most circumstances, work funded under a grant or cooperative agreement may continue during the shutdown, to the extent that funding is available, the term has not expired, and access to federal staff and facilities are not required. Researchers should consult the appropriate sponsor’s contingency plan prior to incurring any expenses.