Responsible Conduct of Research Programs

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) broadly refers to a code of ethical conduct that researchers should abide by on a daily basis. RCR education strives to promote ongoing discussion and examination of research operating procedures (including experimental design, data analysis, data management), academic and collegial relationships and collaborations, and the ethical considerations accompanying studies and the research culture itself.  Making ethical and practical decisions requires practice, periodic reflection and discussion to learn and experiment with different approaches. 

The National Institutes of Health initiated the first RCR education requirement in 1989 and this educational initiative has evolved and strengthened over time.   Similarly, the National Science Foundation initiated an RCR education requirement for all trainees in 2009.

Duke has developed multiple RCR programs for researchers at different career stages:

The Office of Research Integrity, within the US Department of Health and Human Services, has developed a variety of resources and programs to support responsible conduct of research education.