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Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)

The NIH issued an update to the RCR directive, NOT-0D-10-019, for graduate students and postdocs to ensure that trainees are exposed to RCR training through personal mentoring with faculty on an extended basis.

The 9 areas of focus for RCR defined by the NIH are the following:

  1. Conflict of interest – personal, professional, and financial
  2. Policies regarding human subjects, live vertebrate animal subjects in research, and safe laboratory practices
  3. Mentor/mentee responsibilities and relationships
  4. Collaborative research including collaborations with industry
  5. Peer review
  6. Data acquisition and laboratory tools; management, sharing and ownership
  7. Research misconduct and policies for handling misconduct
  8. Responsible authorship and publication
  9. The scientist as a responsible member of society, contemporary ethical issues in biomedical research, and the environmental and societal impacts of scientific research

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Who must receive the RCR training?
All trainees involved in research which includes undergraduates, graduate students and postdocs. It also includes holders of National Research Service Award (NRSA) fellowships (F31, F32, and T32) and holders of K awards.

What does RCR training involve?
Exposure to specific issues, followed by small group discussions of case studies which are chosen to illustrate particular points while exposing ambiguities that are frequently encountered in dealing with these issues. The issues focus on the nine areas of RCR emphasized by Office of Research Integrity (ORI).

Does UM provide RCR Training?
Yes. If you are working at SCCC and/or Miller School of Medicine and are funded by the NIH, then the RCR opportunities and requirements detailed on this site apply to you. UM offers RCR training online through CITI as well as live sessions.

Does online CITI RCR training satisfy the RCR requirement?
CITI Program online training does NOT meet the RCR training requirement by the NIH.

When is training required?
Under federal regulations, training is generally required at each “career stage” or (by NIH requirements) every four years, whichever comes first. An example of a career stage transition would be from undergraduate student to graduate student or graduate student to postdoc.

Responsible Conduct of Research Links

UM Resources - A page with links to UM and government resources

On Being a Scientist - A Guide to Responsible Conduct in Research

Office of Research Integrity (ORI) - Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research

Online Ethics Center - Ethics resources for scientists, scholars, educators, students and engineers