The Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)
This web site has been created to:
Ethics is part of, not separate from, the practice of science and scholarship. The Kenyon mission statement says the college focuses upon those studies that are essential to the intellectual and moral development of its students. Whether you work in the sciences and social sciences or the arts and humanities, Kenyon students deserve a solid grounding in the ethics of research and scholarship and an understanding of the relevance of ethics to one's discipline. Though accepted practices for the responsible conduct of research can and do vary among disciplines, there are some important shared values for the responsible conduct of research that bind all researchers and scholars together.
Public and regulatory demand for accountability has increased significantly in past 20 years in response to abuses and scandals. Federally funded research must comply with regulations related to nine areas of research responsibility that comprise "Responsible Conduct of Research."
Kenyon offers RCR training through the CITI program.
Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI)
CITI Program's Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) series includes disciplinary courses for the biomedical sciences, the humanities, the physical sciences, and the social, behavioral and education sciences.
Each of the RCR course offerings covers the core norms, principles, and rules governing the practice of responsible research. RCR training is now part of funding requirements of both the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). RCR is increasingly viewed as an essential component of research training, regardless of a researcher’s source of funding.
On satisfactory completion of the CITI course, a printable certificate is available. NSF and NIH require documentation of RCR training.
In addition to online courses, NSF and NIH have expectations of frequent, ongoing interactions between mentors and mentees in the research setting as a key learning tool for RCR instruction. A description of your consultations on RCR with your mentees or with your mentor, as the case may be, is important to include in an RCR plan, including a method of documenting their occurrences.
NSF Requirements for RCR
Statutory Requirement: "The Director [NSF] shall require that each institution that applies for financial assistance from the Foundation for science and engineering research or education describe in its grant proposal a plan to provide appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research to undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers participating in the proposed research project."
NSF PAPPG 2017
2. Institutional Responsibilities
a. An institution must have a plan in place to provide appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research to undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers who will be supported by NSF to conduct research. As noted in Chapter II.C.1e, institutional certification to this effect is required for each proposal.
b. While training plans are not required to be included in proposals submitted to NSF, institutions are advised that they are subject to review, upon request.
c. An institution must designate one or more persons to oversee compliance with the RCR training requirement.
d. Institutions are responsible for verifying that undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers supported by NSF to conduct research have received training in the responsible and ethical conduct of research.
Office of Research Integrity (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
General Resources (ORI)
Office of Research Integrity, Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research
Many Web sites provide access to case studies, bibliographies, and other materials for learning about and teaching research ethics.