RCR Overview

The responsible conduct of research (RCR) encompasses all aspects of research with the goal of fostering integrity and deterring misconduct in research. It includes areas such as Research Misconduct, Data Acquisition, Management, Sharing and Ownership, Publication Practices and Responsible Authorship, Peer Review, Mentor and Trainee Responsibilities, Conflicts of Interest and Commitment, Collaborative Research, Human Subjects, and Animal Welfare.

As of January 2010, National Institutes of Health (NIH) requires that all trainees, fellows, participants, and scholars receiving support through any NIH training, career development award (individual or institutional), research education grant, and dissertation research grant must receive instruction in responsible conduct of research. Format: Substantial face-to-face discussions; a combination of didactic and small-group discussions. Online training is not sufficient. NIH requires at least eight contact hours every four years for RCR training.

National Science Foundation (NSF) has required UNC Asheville to describe in its grant proposals for science and engineering research or education 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 project. “Oversight” means tracking and verification that the requirement has been met.

It is important to know that research integrity and the elements of the RCR apply to all research, scholarship and creative activities, whether funded or not. For all funded projects, UNC Asheville is required to document RCR training.