Brown University is committed to fostering an environment of responsible conduct of research. The University also has an obligation to train and prepare the next generation of researchers to conduct their research objectively and with honesty, accuracy, and efficiency.  “[R]esponsible conduct of research is defined 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.” (National Institutes of Health, NOT-OD-10-019)

While norms for responsible conduct of research can vary from field to field, there are many commonalities and shared best practices. The Brown Ethics And Responsible Conduct Of Research (BEARCORE) program is designed to educate young researchers and trainees from a variety of academic fields on how to conduct their scientific investigations responsibly and with integrity.  BEARCORE is an eight hour, in-person training that is supplemented by on-line instruction through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI).  It is held each spring and fulfills NIH and NSF requirements.

Classes are taught by faculty members and OVPR subject matter experts. Topics include

  • conflicts of interest

  • human subjects and animal research

  • safe laboratory practices

  • mentor/mentee responsibilities and relationships

  • collaborative research & export controls

  • peer review

  • data acquisition and laboratory tools

  • research misconduct

  • responsible authorship and publication

  • the scientist as a responsible member of society

  • fiscal responsibility in sponsored research

While BEARCORE is used primarily by trainees and new researchers to fulfill NIH and NSF RCR requirements, it is open to anyone in the Brown community.  In sessions where spaces are limited, enrollment preference will be given to NIH/NSF trainees. Course requirements for researchers and trainees with NIH and NSF grants include attendance of all in-person sessions/lectures, participation in class discussions, and completion of pre-work and homework assignments.  If you have questions about BEARCORE, please email Juliane Blyth.

BEARCORE Refresher Course

The NIH requires that RCR training be completed at least once during each career stage (i.e., undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral, and faculty levels), and at a frequency of no less than once every four years. NSF defers to each institution to determine the frequency of RCR training for its NSF-supported trainees, and Brown encourages NSF trainees to follow the same training frequency requirements as those enforced by NIH.  Once you complete the face-to-face course of instruction with a minimum of 8 contact hours to satisfy the initial RCR training requirement, you may then complete refresher courses to comply with the career stage requirement and/or the requirement to complete re-training no less than once every four years.  To complete the BEARCORE Refresher Course, you may attend three in-person BEARCORE sessions of your choosing during the spring course offering OR participate in two BEARCORE sessions and complete online Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) training.


The Spring 2017 BEARCORE course will be conducted via six two-hour weekly sessions. Sessions are co-taught by Brown faculty members and subject matter experts with in-depth topic area knowledge. The sessions are predominantly case-based, and include mixed-media presentations, panel discussions, and in-class discussions of hypothetical and real scenarios drawn from current literature and news media.  

Course Requirements: Participants must attend all sessions, participate in class discussions, complete pre-work, and homework assignments, and earn a passing grade on the final exam in order to earn a Certificate of Completion.

Course Dates:                      
The BEARCORE 2017 course will be held weekly on Mondays, starting March 20, 2017 through April 24, 2017 (11 am - 1 pm).

Course Location:                

March 20, 2017 - Petteruti Lounge (Room 201), Stephen Robert Campus Center
March 27, 2017 through April 24, 2017 - Sharp Refectory, Chancellor’s Dining Room

Course Syllabus:                 
The 2017 BEARCORE syllabus is available here.

To register for the BEARCORE 2017 course (full course or refresher course), please fill out the registration form and email it to Juliane Blyth .

Contact Jules Blyth (401-863-3295 of with any questions regarding BEARCORE and RCR training in general. 

Other RCR Training Opportunities  

Training that fulfills the NIH requirements is also offered in the Fall semester through: