Background

As a result of the systemwide audit on foreign influence, the UC Office of the President (UCOP) recently released a new version of the Ethics and Compliance Briefing for Researchers. This training replaces the previous version called “Compliance & Conflict of Interest for Researchers Briefing (COIR)” and satisfies two mandatory training requirements:

  • Ethics and Compliance Briefing, required for all UC employees including faculty and staff.
  • Public Health Service (PHS) Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI) training, required of all PHS-funded research including the National Institutes of Health and research funded by any sponsor that has adopted the PHS FCOI requirements.

UC now requires that all researchers complete the ECBR training every two years due to the federal government’s heightened focus on research security issues covered by the training, especially as they relate to undue foreign influence. All required participants will receive an email notification from UC Berkeley’s Learning Management System.

Training Requirements

  • The ECBR training must be completed every two years.
  • Principal investigators with at least $1 of extramural funding and any other personnel and students paid from extramural funding are required to complete the UC Ethics and Compliance Briefing for Researchers, or ECBR.
  • Researchers should review the content areas relevant to their research, and note that the briefing requires an attestation at the end of the course to affirm participation.

Note: The required audience list is being managed by UCOP and People & Culture. If you feel you’ve been assigned this training in error, please email research_ethics@berkeley.edu, and we’ll assess your specific situation and work with People & Culture to make any necessary updates in the Learning Management System (LMS).

Content

The required ECBR training promotes awareness of the UC Statement of Ethical Values and Standards of Ethical Conduct and conveys important information about the UC disclosure requirements that apply to all employees and the specific disclosure requirements for researchers who accept extramural research funds.

The briefing also covers the following research security topics: Export Control, the National Science Foundation (NSF) Current and Pending Support, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Other Support and Foreign Component disclosures, UC Conflict of Commitment, and the Whistleblower and Whistleblower Protection Policies.

Sponsor Requirements

The ECBR module satisfies the COI training requirement for investigators imposed by PHS agencies including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other entities that adopt PHS requirements.

Completion Time

The course contains 30 slides and should take 30 to 60 minutes to complete. Ethics, Compliance and Audit Services (ECAS) has incorporated extensive feedback received from faculty across the system regarding the older course (COIR). As a result, quizzes, complex scenarios, and timed slides were eliminated. Additionally, an attestation was added to reflect completion of the briefing in place of quizzes which reflects a shift to a trusting relationship with the faculty researchers completing the course.

How to Complete ECBR Training

You can access the course via the UC Learning Center:

  • Login to the UC Learning Center with your CalNet credentials.
  • Click the “Required” Training button.
  • Click “Start” to launch the training.
    • If the module does not appear in your Required Training area, you can search for it by name under “Find a Course.”
    • We recommended that you complete the ECBR training in one sitting. If you need to exit and return to the ECBR module, the program will remember where you left off.
    • To verify your training completion date, click UC Learning Center: Transcript & Certificates or login to the UC Learning Center as instructed above, and click “Transcript & Certificates.”
  • Supported internet browsers include Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Safari.
  • Please contact research_ethics@berkeley.edu with questions.

Non-Compliance

The University of California Office of the president (UCOP) is monitoring compliance across the system with quarterly reports to the regents on mandatory training compliance. The Office of Research Administration and Compliance (RAC) has been charged with monitoring and managing campus compliance with this required training.

Due to the importance of research ethics at UC Berkeley, we have developed a monitoring and escalation process to ensure campus compliance.

  1. Anyone who does not complete this briefing by the assigned due date and after a number of system generated email reminders, individuals out of compliance will be elevated to the Assistant Vice Chancellor—Research Administration and Compliance (RAC AVC) for additional communication urging completion.
  2.  If your training requirement remains outstanding for 30 days after a reminder email from the RAC AVC, communications may be elevated to the Director, Chair, Dean or Vice Chancellor for Research.
  3. If necessary, and after extenuating the above steps, other actions may be imposed such as not allowing subsequent proposals for extramural funding to be submitted until training is completed.

We strongly encourage the entire research community to complete this training and be aware of the risks that come with international research and collaboration including making proper disclosures and export controls. Additionally, you’ll be made aware of the related UCOP, UC Berkeley and federal sponsor policies and procedures and UC Berkeley administrative offices to help you mitigate those risks.

 

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