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Responsible Conduct of Research

The Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) is the direct result of the U.S. Government’s three decade effort to ensure the integrity of federally funded research results.  Since much of our collective scientific knowledge is built on the foundation of previous research, it is imperative that this formative research is the result of a pure process of scientific discovery.  RCR covers a number of topics surrounding the ethical development, execution, and dissemination of research results.  RCR training focuses on educating the next generation of researchers.


National Science Foundation

Section 7009 of the America COMPETES Act directed the National Science Foundation (NSF) to implement a program requiring its funding recipients to train all undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers in the importance of the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR).  The intent of the legislation is to develop researchers that are more ethical in the conduct of their research. Please note that this requirement does not apply to faculty.  HPU uses the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) to meet its RCR obligations under NSF projects.  Students shall take the training on-line and obtain the resulting certificate before working on a NSF funded project.  All certificates should be emailed to rasp@highpoint.edu.

High Point University meets its NSF RCR requirement through Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI).  To get started please visit the CITI Website, click on “New User“, create an account (check the Responsible Conduct of Research box), and complete the training.  After you complete the training, please send the completion certificate to rasp@highpoint.edu.

CITI Website

NSF RCR Policy


National Institutes of Health

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) require that all trainees, fellows, participants, and scholars receiving support through any of its training, career development award (individual or institutional), research education grant, and dissertation research grant must receive instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research.  This training differs from NSF due to its requirement for no less than eight hours of substantial face-to-face RCR training, including faculty participation.

The Office of Research Administration and Sponsored Programs (RASP) suggests that any NIH-related RCR program include the CITI RCR program as a primer for the face-to-face contact.  RASP is happy to assist in preparing a NIH-compliant RCR program.  NIH prefers a semester long approach to RCR training. Topic areas to address in preparing any NIH training plan should include:

  • conflict of interest – personal, professional, and financial
  • policies regarding human subjects, live vertebrate animal subjects in research, and safe laboratory practices
  • mentor/mentee responsibilities and relationships
  • collaborative research including collaborations with industry
  • peer review
  • data acquisition and laboratory tools; management, sharing and ownership
  • research misconduct and policies for handling misconduct
  • responsible authorship and publication
  • the scientist as a responsible member of society, contemporary ethical issues in biomedical research, and the environmental and societal impacts of scientific research

The National Postdoctoral Association offers a well-informed toolkit for developing a NIH- compliant RCR plan at.

NIH RCR Policy

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