Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)

The goals of RCR education and training are to:

  • Develop, foster, and maintain a culture of integrity in science;
  • discourage and prevent unethical conduct;
  • empower researchers to hold themselves and others accountable to high ethical standards;
  • increase knowledge of, and sensitivity to, ethical issues surrounding the conduct of research by researchers with diverse backgrounds;
  • improve the ability to make responsible choices when faced with ethical dilemmas involving research;
  • provide an appreciation for the range of accepted scientific practices for conducting research;
  • inform scientists and research trainees about the regulations, policies, statutes, and guidelines that govern the conduct of U.S. Public Health Service-funded research and promote compliance with the same; and,
  • promote a career-long positive attitude toward research ethics and the responsible conduct of research.

The subject matter of RCR training and education includes:

  • research misconduct and questionable research practices;
  • data management – i.e., data acquisition, record-keeping, retention, ownership, analysis, interpretation, and sharing;
  • scientific rigor and reproducibility;
  • responsible authorship and publication;
  • peer review;
  • conflicts of interest in research;
  • mentor/mentee responsibilities and relationships;
  • collaborative science;
  • civility issues in research environments, including but not limited to, harassment, bullying, and inappropriate behavior;
  • policies regarding laboratory safety, biosafety, and human and animal research subjects;
  • views about scientists as responsible members of society;
  • social and environmental impacts of research; and,
  • contemporary ethical issues in biomedical research.

    CBI RCR Plan

    • RCR concepts will be reviewed during orientation. Click here for a pdf of slides or this orientation.
    • The University holds an all day RCR training session for all NSF and NIH funded students.
    • An RCR workshop series will be held four times a year.
      –Involve discussion of case studies
      –compliance records (attendance) must be maintained.
      –Cover ORI designated RCR topics.

    Our RCR Topics
    1) Authorship and Ownership
    2) The Sanctity of Data (Fabrication and Falsification)
    3) Data Sharing
    4) Peer Review
    5) Conflicts of Interest
    6) Whistle-Blowing: Benefits and Risks
    7) Mentor-Trainee Responsibilities
    8) Collaborative Science.

    CBI RCR  Sessions:

    November 20, 2022: Jessica Tanis; Image Analysis and Figure Preparation

    September 2, 2022: Aditya Kunjapur; Manuscript preparation guidelines

    April 27, 2022: Dawn Fallick; Communicating with the Media

    March 2, 2022: Catherine Grimes; Professionalism 

    December 1, 2021: CBI  Fellows Megan Dang and Erica Green; Data Reproducibility & Misinterpretation  

    September 1, 2021: E. Terry Papoutsakis; Authorship and Ownership 

    April 21, 2021: CBI Fellows, Kimberly Wadzanowski, Brielle Hayward-Piatkovskyi, Christine Rourke, Katie Nelson; Fellowship Opportunities and Writing an Effective F31 Proposal 

    January 13, 2021: Karl Schmitz; Peer Review and Related Conflict of Interest Issues

    December 2, 2020: Mary Watson and Emily Day; Lab Notebooks 

    August 19, 2020: Matthew Butchbach; Manuscript Writing and Evaluation  

    Spring 2020: CBI Fellows (Jodi Kraus, Allyson Dang, Ophelia Ukaegbu); Distant Learning During COVID-19

    Winter 2020: Catherine Grimes; Individual Development Plans

    Fall 2019: Xinqiao Jia; Collaborative Research  

    Spring 2019: Jason Gleghorn; Authorship, Ownership, and Mentoring

    Winter 2018: Salil Lachke; Ethics in Research

    Fall 2018: CatherineGrimes; Inclusive Leadership and Mentorship

    Spring 2018: CBI Fellows Ott, Chen and McDonald; Failure in Research 

    Older RCRs include:
    Fall 2009, Publication and Authorship (Koh)
    Winter 2010, The Sanctity of Data (Simmons)
    Summer 2010; Peer Review (Hanson)
    Fall 2011, Conflict of Interest (Fox)
    Spring 2011, Collaborative Science (Roberts)
    Summer 2011, Whistle Blowing; Benefits and Risks (Koh)
    Fall 2011, Data Sharing (Green)
    Winter 2012, Mentor-Mentee Responsibilities (M. Duncan)
    Spring 2012, The Lab – Avoiding Research Misconduct (Grimes)
    Summer 2012, Communication and Difficult Situations (Bahnson)
    Fall 2012, Reviewing, Citations and Responsibility (Thorpe)
    Winter 2013, Collaborative Science (Zhuang)
    Spring 2013, Publications and Authorship (Sullivan)
    Summer 2013, Peer Review (Boyd)
    Fall 2013, Mentoring (Bahnson)
    Winter 2014, The Sanctity of Data (Antoniewicz)
    Spring 2014, Industrial Research Collaborations and Funding (Lenhoff)
    Summer 2014, Mentor-Mentee Responsibilities and Relationships (Bahnson)
    Fall 2014, Conflict of Interest (Green)
    Winter 2015, Data Sharing (Hanson)
    Spring 2015, Quality of Life for Grad Students (Grimes)
    Summer 2015, Research and Data Integrity While Working in a Laboratory (Zhuang)
    Fall 2015, Mentoring (W. Chen)
    Winter 2016, The Sanctity of Data (Bahnson)
    Spring 2016, Authorship and Peer Review (Rozovsky)
    Summer 2016, Collaborative Science (Bahnson)
    Fall 2016, Lab Culture: Relationships between PIs and Students (student led by Schaefer, DeMeester and Gebreselassie)
    Winter 2017, Data Integrity and Scientific Misconduct (Bahnson)
    Spring 2017, Ethics of Communicating with your Advisor (M. Duncan)
    Summer 2017, CBI Program Visioning (Bahnson, Leimkuhler Grimes)
    Fall 2017, Inclusion in Science (Booksh)

     Where do you go to report Scientific Misconduct?

    Every University and College has resources and administrators to contact. The University of Delaware has a UD Research Office [] with links to several resources:

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