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Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR): Training Resources

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RCR Training Resources:

National Science Foundation (NSF) RCR Requirements

The America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education and Science (COMPETES) Act [PDF] was signed into law in August 2007. Section 7009 requires that "each institution that applies for financial assistance from the National Science Foundation for science and engineering research or education describe in its grant proposal a plan to provide appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research to undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers participating in the proposed research project."  The requirement is applicable to proposals submitted to NSF after January 4, 2010

For additional information on the institutional RCR training program to meet requirements for National Science foundation supported research, download the Office of Sponsored Projects Adminstration (OSPA) guidance document: [PDF]. The University of Kentucky meets the NSF requirement by using the RCR web-based course provided by the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI). For instructions on accessing the course, download the Office of Sponsored Projects Administration instructions document: [PDF].

For questions regarding the NSF RCR requirements, contact OSPA: Katie Riley,, 859-257-9420.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) RCR Requirements

In November 2009, NIH updated the requirement for instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) [HTML] which applies to select training grants (e.g., K, F, T, select R, D, U submissions and awards).

NIH defines RCR as 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.

Contact Kathy Grzech in the UK Proposal Development Office for assistance in drafting your narrative on training in the responsible conduct of research [ or].

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National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) RCR Requirements

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture has revised its Research Terms and Conditions to include a Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research (RCR) training requirement.  NIFA awards which incorporate the February 2013, April 2013, and November 2013 Agency specific terms and conditions, are subject to the RCR training requirement.  The Office of Sponsored Projects Administration (OSPA) provides details and training information. For questions regarding the NIFA requirements for RCR Training, contact OSPA: Katie Riley,, 859-257-9420.

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The following is a dynamic listing of RCR training resources that may be of use in developing your own RCR training program.

Institution Wide RCR Assessment

Survey of Organizational Research Climate (© 2011, Thrush, Martinson, Crain, Wells) [HTML] – this is the first full-scale survey designed to assess research personnel's perceptions of the organizational environment for responsible research practices.

The survey provides results which would allow the institution to judge the impact of initiatives to sustain or improve the organizational environment for research integrity, and monitor the organizational climate for research integrity over time.


Web Based Training Resources

DHHS NIH Office of Extramural Research [HTML] – multiple links to FAQ's, updates, and ethics information.

NIH Research Training and Career Development [HTML]

NIH RCR Training [HTML]

Collaborative IRB Training Imitative (CITI) RCR Curriculum - Includes foundation material and case studies for topics including research misconduct, data management, authorship, mentoring, human subjects, conflict of interest, collaboration and others.
Courses available for the following disciplines:

Social and Behavioral
Physical Science

You must affiliate and enroll in the University of Kentucky CITI RCR course in order to for UK to receive notification of your completing the course. Download the following document for instructions for enrolling in University of Kentucky CITI RCR Courses [PDF]

DHHS Office of Research Integrity RCR Resources [HTML] – contains multiple RCR resources including general, animals, collaboration, conflicts, data, humans, mentorship, misconduct, peer review, and authorship

Association for Practical and Professional Ethics, RCR Education Committee [HTML] – lists research ethics workshops and seminars.

Resources for Research Ethics Education [HTML] – provides evidence-based research ethics education resources and tools.

DHHS Office of Research Integrity RCR Human Subject Resources [HTML] – contains multiple links for human ethics training resources

National Academy of Engineering [HTML] - online Ethics Center for Engineering and Research.

Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research (PRIM&R) [HTML] – ethical resources for biomedical, social science, behavioral and education research.

Global Ethics Education Initiative (GEEI) [HTML] - online courses in research ethics and Good Clinical Practice

Center on Materials and Devices for Information Technology Research [HTML] – series of interactive tutorials on RCR

Ethics Core Digital Library - National Center for Professional & Research Ethics [HTML] – provides tools, multimedia educational materials, access to research literature, mentoring materials and more.

Ethics Education Library - Ethics Education Resources in Engineering & the Sciences [HTML] – includes case studies, best practice examples, ethics course syllabi, pedagogical materials and course assessment methods.

Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (Bioethics Commission) [HTML] - Education Materials, Study Guides, Videos, Modules by Topic.

National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) Training Modules to Enhance Data Reproducibility [HTML] – Four modules covering Lack of Transparency; Blinding and Randomization, Biological and Technical Replicates; and Sample Size, Outliers, and Exclusion Criteria.

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Select External University Programs

Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Embedding Ethics in a Training Program in Clinical Research Methods

Columbia University
Responsible Conduct of Research Web Course
[HTML] including case studies, videos, Q& A and additional resources

Fordham University New York
Center for Ethics Education [HTML] – ethics case studies, special topics and populations resources.

Georgia Tech
Center for Ethics and Technology [HTML]

Indiana University Poynter Center
Resources for Teaching Research Ethics Workshop [HTML]

Medical University of South Carolina
Responsible Conduct of Research [HTML]

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
RCR Course [HTML]

Northwest University
Guide for Undergraduate Research [HTML]

Pennsylvania State University
Scholarship and Research Integrity (SARI) Program [HTML] PowerPoint presentations, case studies, training tools and articles.

Saint Louis University
P.I. Program: Professionalism & Integrity in Research

Santa Clara University
Center for Applied Ethics [HTML] – resources including articles, cases, podcasts, and other materials for bioethics, business ethics and more.

Texas Tech University Applied Engineering
Ethics Cases [HTML]

University of California at San Diego [HTML] – resources for teaching and learning about research ethics including workshops, faculty, FAQs, and additional tools.

University of Massachusetts Amherst
Ethics in Science and Engineering National Clearinghouse [HTML] - repository of materials on ethics and the responsible and ethical conduct of research in science and engineering, including the social sciences

University of Miami Ethics Programs [HTML] – links to ethics resources including legal, bioethics, engineering, and updates.

University of Michigan
Program for Education and Evaluation in Responsible Research and Scholarship [HTML]

University of Michigan College of Engineering
Responsible Conduct of Research and Scholarship (RCRS) [HTML]

University of Minnesota
Teaching Ethics for Research, Scholarship & Practice [HTML] – database to instructional materials designed for use in classroom categorized by ethical issue, discipline, and format.

University of Montana
Online Research Ethics Course [HTML]

University of Oklahoma
Professional Ethics Training – Responsible Conduct of Research (PET-RCR) Workshop [HTML]-two day discipline specific workshop mandated for students and post-doctoral researchers funded by NSF.

University of Virginia
Center for Biomedical Ethics and Humanities
[HTML] - inter-professional, multi-disciplinary ethics

Virginia Commonwealth University
Responsible Conduct in Research [HTML] - online textbook

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Ethics in Science [HTML] – recent misconduct cases, science ethics resources, and select essays.

Washington University in St. Louis
Program for Ethical and Responsible Conduct of Science and Scholarship [HTML] - eight web-based learning modules in areas related to ethical and responsible conduct of research.

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Video, DVD

American Association for the Advancement of Science
Integrity in Scientific Research Video Series, 2000. [HTML]

Syracuse University
Video Vignettes on Research Ethics and Academic Integrity [HTML]

University of Alabama Birmingham/Office of Research Integrity
“In the Lab” video
Video [HTML]
Guide and Case Studies [HTML]

American Psychological Association
Care on Animal Research and Ethics (CARE) Video Series [HTML]

Bioethics Commission YouTube Channel [HTML]

Office of Research Integrity (ORI and the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP)
The Research Clinic [HTML] training video educates clinical and social researchers through interactive role play.

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Publications and Texts

DHHS Office of Research Integrity, Steneck, Nicholas, Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research, [PDF] 2007.

The National Academies, On Being a Scientist: Responsible Conduct of Research, [HTML] Third Edition, National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2009.

Institute of Medicine and National Research Council, Integrity in Scientific Research: Creating an Environment that Promotes Responsible Conduct, [HTML] National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2002.

The National Academy of Sciences, Insuring the Integrity, Accessibility, and Stewardship of Research Data in the Digital Age, [HTML] National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2009.

Northwest Association of Biomedical Research, An Ethics Primer: Lesson ideas and ethics background, [PDF] Seattle, Washington, 2008.

Northwest Association of Biomedical Research, Bioethics 101 Curriculum, [HTML] Seattle, Washington, 2008.

Mike W Martin and Roland Schinzinger, Ethics in Engineering, McGraw-Hill, 4th edition, 2005.

Joan E Seiber, Planning Ethically Responsible Research: A Guide for Students and Internal Review Boards, Sage Publications, 1992.

Muriel Bebeau, Kenneth Pimple, Karen Muskavitch, Sandra Borden, David Smith,
Moral Reasoning in Scientific Research: Cases for Teaching and Assessment, [HTML] Poynter Center, Indiana University,1995.

Content Validation of the Organizational Climate for Research Integrity (OCRI), [HTML] Carol R. Thrush, Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, pp. 35-52, 2007.

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Listserve or Forum

NIH Responsible Conduct of Research Instruction Listserv [HTML]

Ethic Share, Research Ethics Group [HTML]

Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues Blog [HTML]

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Select University of Kentucky Courses

Ethical Issues in Clinical Research (3 credit hours) PHR665/CPH 665, Spring semester.
Content description: 1) focuses on the practical application of ethical principles in the conduct of research through case study and current literature, and 2) ethical and regulatory considerations in the design, conduct, and publication of animal and human research. Topics include ethically sound study design; responsible conduct of research; regulatory and fiscal compliance; scientific misconduct; and ethical and regulatory implications of study designs involving vulnerable populations, tissue banking, and genetics/genomics.

Ethics and Responsibility in Clinical Research – (3 credit hours) BSC 772, Fall semester
Content description: Clinical scientists need a sound understanding of the ethical principles guiding the conduct of research projects. This course will address issues relevant to ethically sound study design, responsible conduct of research and scientific misconduct. Students will also complete human subjects protection training and learn to conduct research in an ethical manner. During this course, students will engage in both in-class lecture and discussion sessions as well as out of class learning activities (outlined below). The final project for this course will serve as a practical application of what is learned during the course to students' stated research interest. The goal of this course is to provide an overview of ethical considerations when conducting and reporting clinical research, as well as to provide experience in the practice and application of ethics to clinical science.

It is assumed by the course directors that students in this course are either actively engaged in research or intend to be involved in research in the near future. This course has been designed around the principle that practical knowledge about how to conduct ethical research should be the focus. A second key principle of this course is that it is student-centered , meaning that it emphasizes the involvement of students in applying the concepts of ethics to their own research interests. The course activities are intended to promote the ethical application of research concepts to students' areas of interest and to foster practical knowledge that supports students' own research agendas. The diverse interests and experiences of students and faculty offer opportunities to learn from each other.

Ethics in Scientific Research (1 credit hour) – TOX 600, Spring semester.
Content description: Course covers such topics as good laboratory practice as the basis of good scientific research including mentoring and laboratory supervision; bias in research; quality assurance and appropriate practices in data selection, analysis, interpretation, and retention; the ethics of human and animal experimentation including human bioethics and stem cells; and concepts of data and intellectual property (research notebooks, authorship and publication, plagiarism, and data management and ownership); the ethics of peer review of grant applications and manuscripts. The course consists of both lecture and small group discussions and group presentations, which are evaluated by fellow trainees.

Ethics in Clinical Sciences Research (1 credit hour ) – CNU/NS 609, Fall semester.
Content description: Representative issues addressed may include data selection and retention, plagiarism, scientific review of grants and manuscripts, scientific misconduct, and informed consent. 

Ethical Issues in Clinical Psychology (3 credit hours) – PSY 710
Course description: A selected topics course designed to cover content areas which are not being met by the current faculty; may be taught by persons with special qualifications from the community or by existing faculty exploring new areas. The topics, which may be offered as the need arises, may include on a semester basis mental retardation, intensive psychoanalytic theory, psychopharmacology, etc. May be repeated to a maximum of six credits. Prereq: As specified by instructor.

Research Ethics and Dilemmas (3 credit hours) – BSC 776, Intermittent offering.

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Other University of Kentucky Research Education Resources

UK Mandatory Education for Human Research Protections [HTML] Includes human subject protection and FDA sponsor-investigator training.

UK Program for Bioethics [HTML] - Provides education programs including Bioethics Grand Rounds, Bioethics Film Series, and other presentation and seminars available upon request.

UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science [HTML] Lists conferences, seminars, and workshops designed to shape the culture of clinical and translational research. Opportunities open to scholars and community partners.

Pharmaceutical Sciences Bioethics Seminar Series - Contact Linda P. Dwoskin, Ph.D., Ph.D 257-4743,, [HTML] or Charlotte Garland 257-5265

Data Management at the University of Kentucky [HTML] – provides resources including an online course on digital data management and access to a Data Management Planning Tool (DMPtool), a free service which will guide users through including the required elements in a data management plan providing detail for different granting agencies.

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