Responsible Conduct of Research


  • RCR is the practice of scientific investigation with integrity
  • RCR involves the awareness and application of established professional norms and ethical principles in the performance of all activities related to scientific research


  • Updated NIH policy on instruction in the responsible conduct of research (RCR)
  • Specific instructions on
    • who should participate
    • how often instruction should occur and
    • the form that instruction should take
  • TThis notice is effective for all new or renewal applications submitted on or after January 25, 2010, and for all continuation (Type 5) applications with deadlines on or after 1/1/2011.

Basic Principles

RCR is an essential component of research training; RCR instruction should be an integral part of all research training programs AND its evaluation (peer review) will impact funding decisions.

Instruction of RCR should be appropriate to the career stage of the individual scientist

Research faculty of the institution should participate in RCR training

All trainees, fellows, participants and scholars receiving support through any NIH training, career development, research education, and dissertation research grant awards or other grant programs with a training component that requires instruction in RCR as noted in the FOA:

  • D43, D71
  • F05, F30, F31, F32, F33, F34, F37, F38
  • KO1, KO2, K05, K07, K08, K12, K18, K22, K23, K24, K25, K26, K30, K99/R00, KL2
  • R25, R36
  • T15, T32, T34, T35, T36, T37, T90/R90, TL1, TU2,
  • U2R

NSF Requirements:

  • NSF requires RCR training of all trainees funded by NSF
  • Effective for grants submitted January 2010 or thereafter
  • Not retroactive
  • NSF does not dictate content of RCR training
    • For example, human subjects might be inappropriate for some NSF-funded trainees

HSC has offered BIOM 555, “Problem Based Research Bioethics” since 2000 (Sample Syllabus)

  • Recent instructors include Drs. Elaine Bearer and Diane Lidke
  • BIOM 555 is a problem-based learning course with discussion of cases
  • Stimulates thinking and discussion among participants about RCR in a face to face format
  • One graduate credit; no auditors
  • Subject-matter experts can include:
    • Text: Macrina, Francis L . Scientific Integrity, Third edition. ASM Press, Washington DC (2005)
    • Conflict of Interest: Sitting Chair of a COI committee
    • Human subjects: Mark Burge, PhD
    • Animal subjects: Kevin C. O'Hair, DVM, DACLAM
    • Intellectual property, patents: Lisa Kuutila
    • Genetic technology: Valerie Rappaport, MD