Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)

Responsible conduct of research is the practice of scientific investigation with integrity.  It involves the awareness and application of established professional norms and ethical principles in the performance of all activities related to scientific research.  In general terms, responsible conduct in research is simply good citizenship applied to professional life.

RCR encompasses nine areas:  research misconduct, human participants, research involving animals, data acquisition, management, sharing, and ownership, mentor/trainee responsibilities, publication practices and responsible authorship, peer review, collaborative science, and conflicts of interest. 

Agency RCR Requirements

Training Requirements

Training is required for the following:

  • NSF Funding - Undergraduate students, graduate student and postdoctoral researchers.
  • USDA-NIFA Funding - Researchers and staff members who conduct USDA-funded research.
  • NIH Funding - NIH Institutional Research Training Grants, Individual Fellowship Awards, Career Development Award (Institutional and Individual), Research Education Grants, Dissertation Grants, or other grant programs with a training component that requires instruction in responsible conduct of research.

Training Options

Training is available through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) website at  www.citiprogram.org. Complete the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) course most applicable to your area of research.

If your department uses alternative training, send a certificate to Research Integrity via email to document the training.

Resources

Case study videos are available through the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Research Integrity describing potential research integrity concerns/issues and how to address.  These short videos are great learning tools, and can be used to supplement online training.

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