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A resource for RCR education and training. Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)

Course Details and Preparation

Dates, Time Commitments, and Location

  • Fridays, September 6 - October 25, 2019; 8:00am - 9:30am
  • Participants must attend a minimum of six sessions for credit/certification
  • Location: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Seats available to Harvard-affiliated schools and institutions: 45

Course Objectives

At the end of the course the students will be able to:

  • 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 that promote compliance with ethical and legal requirements for the responsible conduct of research.

Course Details

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

Each week, participants attend a 90-minute lecture. Additionally, participants are responsible for completing assigned readings and twelve brief case studies.

Please note:

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

Course Completion

Those who meet course requirements will receive a certificate of course completion.