Course Goals

  • Describe the concepts of research misconduct and research integrity.
  • Describe basic ethical and regulatory requirements for conducting bench, animal, clinical, and public health research and apply them to research practice.
  • Recognize when laboratory practices, publication practices, and other research practices deviate from legal, ethical, or regulatory requirements.
  • Describe practices, including data safety and management, that promote compliance with ethical and legal requirements for the responsible conduct of research.
  • Understand what constitutes a safe research environment (e.g., those that promote inclusion and are free of sexual, racial, ethnic, disability and other forms of discriminatory harassment).

As an investigator, you may be required to meet NIH and NSF training requirements in Responsible Conduct for Research (RCR). Take this opportunity to register for one of the 45 seats reserved especially for Harvard-affiliated researchers in the RCR courses at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The curriculum consists of the following topics:

  • Conflict of Interest
  • Mentor/Mentee Responsibilities and Relationships
  • Complying with Federal Grant and Contract Requirements
  • Collaborative Research
  • Peer Review of Grants and Publications
  • Data Acquisition, Management, and Ownership
  • Research Misconduct
  • Responsible Authorship
  • The Scientist as a Responsible Member of Society
  • Laboratory Safety
  • Human and Animal Research Regulations
  • Intellectual Property Considerations in Research: Bay-Dole Act
  • Export Controls

Session dates

The Spring 2024 RCR course will run on Fridays from 11:30am-1:00pm in person on the Harvard Chan School campus in Boston from January 26, 2024 to March 8, 2024.

Time commitment

  • 90 minutes class time per week for eight weeks (fall) or seven weeks (spring), plus readings and 12 brief case studies.
  • Participants must attend a minimum of six sessions for credit/certification.
  • Those who meet course requirements will receive a certificate of course completion.


  • Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health offers this course as a courtesy for those who are required to fulfill RCR training per the terms of their funding grant, but the school does not have the power to issue waivers for the course. Please check with the NIH as to whether you need RCR training if you are unsure.
  • This course is separate from CITI Training, encompassing far more than strictly human subjects research, and must be completed in person per NIH requirements.
  • For applicable researchers, RCR “instruction must be undertaken at least once during each career stage, and at a frequency of no less than once every four years.” 1
  • If you have taken an RCR course at another institution in recent years, you may already have fulfilled this requirement; check with NIH to confirm.
  • Attendees who arrive 30 minutes late or more will not receive credit for that day.
  • Please refer to the NIH for more details.
  • We believe that the research community is strengthened by understanding how a number of factors including gender identity, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, culture, religion, national origin, language, disability, and age shape the environment in which we live and work, affect each of our personal identities, and impacts all areas of human health.

1 From the NIH Update on the Requirement for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research, 24 Nov. 2009


  • MD, PhD, or equivalent.
  • Trainees, fellows, and scholars receiving support through any NIH or NSF training, career development award, research education grant, or dissertation research grant.


The application process is closed. Please check back for future opportunities.