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Policies and Resources

Policies and Resources


    Preliminary exam policy

    Passing the oral preliminary exam is the final step to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree. Students are expected to demonstrate readiness for research by presenting a thesis proposal as well as a self-taught topic assigned four weeks prior to the scheduled exam date.

    Research ethics

    Responsible conduct of research training is required for graduate students at OSU. This is a priority for our department and we work to ensure that the following measures are taken to guarantee proper research conduct at every level:

    • Online CITI training
    • Individual PI training - Principal Investigators will integrate Research Responsibility into their group activities.
    • Modules in the Research Seminar: Module 1, Module 2

    Graduate students need to complete the CITI training and the Research Seminar modules during their first year. Completion is documented by printing out the final results page from the CITI training and by attendance at the Research Seminar. Students who missed the Research Seminar should review the two modules and note that on the CITI printout. The printouts go to Kelly Carter in the department office.

    CITI training in responsible conduct of research

    Adapted from Engineering instructions

    1. Go to
    2. Register as a new user by clicking on the white “Register” box near the upper right-hand corner of CITI’s homepage.
    3. Complete the seven-step, online CITI-Learner Registration process
      • Step 1: Enter “Oregon State University” in the box where you are asked to “Select Your Organization Affiliation”
      • Step 2: Enter your personal information being sure to use your e-mail address. This way OSU will pay all of your course fees for any training you take on the CITI website. Do not use a personal e-mail or you will be charged for the courses you complete.
      • Steps 3-7 are self-explanatory.
    4. Log into your CITI account.
    5. Upon login, choose the dropdown menu item listed as “Oregon State University Course.”
    6. Under the heading, “My Learner Tools for Oregon State University” choose “Add a Course.”
    7. Answer Questions 1-3 and Question 6 as “Not at this time,” leave Question 4 unanswered, and choose the physical science option “Physical Science” for your answer to Question 5, Responsible Conduct of Research, and hit the Submit button at the bottom of the curriculum selection form.
    8. Now a course entitled “Physical Science Responsible Conduct of Research Course” should be listed in your Oregon State University Courses dropdown, click on the title of the course.
    9. Click on the “Complete the Integrity Assurance Statement before beginning this course” box.
    10. Read and agree to the assurance statement and other for accessing CITI Program materials and submit the form.
    11. Complete the seven modules within the RCR for Engineers course.
      • Each module will take 5-30 minutes to complete
      • You need not complete all modules in one sitting
    12. Upon completion of the entire course you will see a message that tells you that a completion report has been sent to Oregon State University. That report goes to OSU’s Office Research Integrity. Physics does not receive a copy of the report. Therefore, please print a copy of your completion report (that shows your scores) to Kelly Carter in 301 Weniger and post a scan/photo to the Physics 607 Canvas site.

    Sick leave for graduate students

    Graduate students on GTA or GRAs are eligible for sick leave. Every term, students accrue a certain amount of leave based on their FTE. If you are ill, a substitute can be paid to replace you at the standard university rate. Should you need to take time off, we appreciate assistance in finding a substitute for your course and informing your lead instructor of any changes. Please be aware of how much sick leave you have accumulated and report any time off on your timesheet.

    Learn more about graduate employment
    Information on recording sick leave in timesheet

    Resources for teaching assistants

    General resources

    Resources for planning classroom activities