Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)

NIH requirements / NSF requirements / RCR Programs at BrownResearch Ethics Resources / RCR Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) / Rigor and Reproducibility Resources and Training

Responsible and ethical research behavior of researchers and research institutions has historically relied on a system of self-regulation based on shared ethical principles and commonly accepted practices. In response to a rising number of cases of questionable research practices at major research institutions in the 1980s, the Institute of Medicine noted in a report in 1989 that “instruction in the standards and ethics of research is essential to the proper education of scientists.” In subsequent years, both NIH and NSF implemented requirements for certain grant programs to provide training in the responsible conduct of research (RCR).

NIH RCR Requirements

All trainees, fellows, participants, and scholars receiving support through any National Institutes of Health (NIH) training grant, career development award (individual or institutional), research education grant, or dissertation research grant must receive instruction in Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR).  More information regarding this NIH requirement can be found here.  

  • Responsibilities for PIs on NIH Awards with RCR Requirements
    PIs on NIH awards with RCR requirements have a number of responsibilities, including developing an RCR instructional plan and maintaining RCR records. Click here for further information, guidance, and instructional plan templates.
  • NIH’s Policy on Rigor and Reproducibility
    More information on NIH’s new Rigor and Reproducibility requirements can be found here
  • Brown University RCR Programs that fulfill NIH RCR Requirements
    Click here for a list of RCR programs at Brown that fulfill NIH RCR requirements.

NSF RCR Requirements

NSF requires certification that Brown has a plan to provide appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research to undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers who receive NSF support to conduct research. Certification of University compliance is done by an authorized Brown University representative as part of the institutional proposal approval process. More information about NSF requirements can be found here.  

  • RCR Responsibilities for PIs on NSF Awards
    PIs on NSF awards are responsible for ensuring that all students and trainees on their award complete RCR training. For more information and guidance on PI responsibilities, click here.
  • Brown University RCR Programs that fulfill NSF RCR Requirements
    Click here for a list of RCR programs at Brown that fulfill NSF RCR requirements.

Questions or Assistance

Please contact us if you…

  • Have any questions about RCR requirements;
  • Would like assistance developing a course that meets NIH RCR requirements or would like ORI to spread the word about your RCR course; or
  • Need a subject matter expert from the Office of Research Integrity to talk about conflict of interest, human or animal subject research, or research misconduct as part of a class or as part of an RCR course.