Required Training

Memorial Sloan Kettering is dedicated to ensuring that all our postdoctoral researchers receive rigorous training in issues related to ethics, personal and professional responsibility, and safety. As part of MSK’s commitment to excellence, we require that all postdocs complete the following important training courses.

Responsible Conduct of Research

To help foster a culture of responsibility within our institution and to respond to the increasingly rigorous national regulatory environment, we have developed a Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) course that all first-year postdocs are required to complete. This course is closely aligned with National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation guidelines for education and training in this area.

The course is given twice a year and covers the following topics:

  • research misconduct (including whistle-blowing and dispute resolution)
  • data management
  • use of animal subjects
  • use of human subjects
  • conflicts of interest
  • authorship, publication, and peer review
  • collaboration
  • mentoring
  • rigor, reproducibility, and transparency

Biosafety and Fire Safety Training

Postdocs who handle hazardous materials or who work in an area where hazardous materials are used must complete annual training in biosafety and fire safety.

Radiation Safety Training

Postdocs who handle radioactive material are required to take a radiation safety-training course. The course is also a requirement for anyone who uses an irradiator.

The topics covered include:

  • radioactive material policies and procedures
  • fundamentals of radioactivity
  • sources of ionizing radiation
  • biologic effects and risks
  • radiation dose control
  • radiation and contamination monitoring
  • responsibilities for radiation protection
  • emergency response

In addition, anyone with unescorted access to radioactive materials in quantities of concern must be evaluated for trustworthiness and reliability as per the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the New York State Department of Health, and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. If your work at MSK involves the use of radioactive materials, you may be subject to the following:

  • fingerprinting and an FBI identification and criminal history records check
  • verification of employment history
  • verification of education
  • personal references/professional references check
  • criminal background check
  • exclusions report from the Office of the Inspector General

Separate training is required to use radioactive materials in animals.

Animal Use and Care Training

The Research Animal Resource Center (RARC) provides facilities, services, and information to assist in research using laboratory animals. RARC’s Education and Quality Assurance team provides twice-monthly orientation sessions for new researchers. Postdocs who work with animals are required to attend.

Postdoc Orientation

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs organizes a monthly orientation for incoming postdoctoral researchers. The session includes presentations from key administrators about the academic environment and resources at MSK. You will also learn about the services provided by the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, the Office of Scientific Training and Education, the Office of Career and Professional Development, the Research Computing Department, the Library, Core Facilities, and the Postdoctoral Association.

Orientation is mandatory for new postdocs. Registration required.

Register for orientation.