Biology Safety and Ethics Training

All Amherst College regulatory safety training has been moved from Moodle to Traincaster. If you are new to safety training,  your name needs to be added into the system. Once you are in the system, you can link directly to Traincaster for all future trainings.

Please contact Maureen Manning, or Jason Williams, to be added to the system.

There is no change to the CITI ethics trainings.

Welcome to research in the Biology Department!
  1. All staff, students, faculty and laboratory TAs, and working with or around chemicals in a laboratory setting are required to take annual regulatory safety training. For your convenience, this training is now available online via Traincaster. Once added to the system, you will receive an email from Traincaster with instructions to access the training. Use this link to return to Traincaster.
  2. All Biology staff, students, post-baccalaureate fellows, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows conducting research must also complete ethics training before beginning their research. This training is good for three years.
  3. Anyone working with animals and Drosophila must complete an Occupational Health & Safety Medical Questionnaire.


Here are some other important webpages:

1. Basic Regulatory Safety Training (Required)

Please follow the instructions in the Traincaster email to access the safety training. You will be presented with a PowerPoint training and after reading the safety training, you will need to complete a short multiple-choice quiz. The safety training is the same general training everyone in the Science Center completes but the quiz is specific to the Biology Department. You will need to complete the safety training before key card access is issued.

                         Please speak to your Lab Supervisor regarding safety precautions specific to your lab. 

                                            *****Always ask when you are the least bit unsure!******

2. Ethics Training (required)

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) online Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) training Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) is an overarching philosophy for every aspect of the College's research and scholarly activity.  Its goal is to create and maintain a research environment that conforms to the highest ethical principles, fosters intellectual honesty and integrity, and encourages scientific advances of the highest quality.

Some important shared values for the responsible conduct of research that bind all researchers together include: honesty conveying information truthfully and honoring commitments; accuracy reporting findings precisely and taking care to avoid errors; efficiency— using resources wisely and avoiding waste; and objectivity— letting the facts speak for themselves and avoiding improper bias.

All Biology students, post-baccalaureate fellows, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows conducting research must complete the training before beginning their research.

Please go to to access the training. Create a new account, select Amherst College as the participating institution in the registration process. Complete the training specific to your research:

  • Life Sciences Responsible Conduct of Research (Biology, Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Environmental Studies research that does not involve vertebrate animals). The undergraduate course has four modules, the post-baccalaureate course has nine modules.


  •  Neuroscience and Biology, animal research, Responsible Conduct of Research (Neuroscience, Biology research with vertebrate animals). The undergraduate course has five modules, the post-baccalaureate course has ten modules.

Once you have completed the training, you will receive an email from CITI with a CITI Program Completion Record. Maureen Manning will be copied on this email for record keeping. Please retain a copy of your CITI Completion Record as your faculty mentor may request it.

For registration instructions.

For more information on Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) at Amherst College.

3. AMHERST COLLEGE Occupational Health and Safety Medical Questionnaire (possibly)
  • The Occupational Health & Safety Medical Questionnaire  must be completed by anyone working with animals (fish, birds, rodents) and DrosophilaPeople who work with animals have an occupational risk of developing allergies, which can lead to occupational asthma. The completed form is submitted directly to Rick Mears, the Director of Environmental Health & Safety. Any questions/concerns regarding the questionnaire should be sent to Rick.

Thank you and have a safe day!

Maureen Manning

Biology Safety & RCR/CITI Coordinator

April 30, 2024