Responsible Conduct of Research

Best practices for research integrity

What does RCR mean?

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) means having high standards of ethics and accountability in planning, conducting and reporting research. Responsible Conduct of Research is demonstrated through behavior that meets generally accepted standards. These standards are set forth by state and federal regulations, institutional policies, professional codes of conduct and personal convictions.

The building blocks of Responsible Conduct of Research 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

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Research Integrity(ORI) supports several programs designed to promote education and training in the Responsible Conduct of Research that covers the following nine instructional areas:

  • Data Acquisition, Management, Sharing and Ownership
  • Conflict of Interest and Commitment
  • Human Subjects
  • Animal Welfare
  • Research Misconduct
  • Publication Practices and Responsible Authorship
  • Mentor / Trainee Responsibilities
  • Peer Review
  • Collaborative Science

Read the definition of the Nine Core instructional areas as defined by the Office of Research Integrity.

Why it is necessary that an academic community be engaged in discussions and training?

New guidelines set forth by national funding agencies, and federal guidelines require that all undergraduate students, graduate students and postdoctoral researchers receive RCR training. Faculty, research staff, graduate students, post-doctoral scholars and fellows, as well as undergraduate students, engaged in direct research should receive Responsible Conduct of Research training.

Research Seminar Series

The Office of Research Administration offers programs that have been developed to address a wide variety of research issues from social science to biomedical research. The research seminar series is intended to aid researchers in understanding the grants and contracts process, as well as the regulatory requirements.

View the current Research Seminar Series online calendar.

Module Training

An online tutorial "Responsible Conduct of Research from The Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) is available.

Annual Workshop Series

A series of workshops, repeated annually, will afford a student a certificate posting on their transcript following the completion of six sessions. These sessions can be taken during any academic year, and do not have to be completed in a single calendar year.