Responsible conduct of research (RCR) and scholarship is a defining concept of a research university. A sense of accepted ethical standards is an essential component of education and community standards. While all education must strive to impart a rational set of rules for behavior, graduate and post-doctoral training is a time at which faculty, both individually and collectively, have a particular obligation to impart training in ethical standards accepted within academic and community life, and to include in that training specific rules of behavior appropriate to their particular discipline(s).
A growing number of programs now require formal instruction in RCR, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Because of funding mandates, students and post-doctoral scholars who are supported by the NIH or the NSF must receive at least 8 hours of RCR training every 4 years, and at least once per stage (i.e. as an undergraduate, graduate student and as a post-doctoral fellow or scholar). The NIH and NSF training materials are not entirely appropriate for students and postdoctoral scholars who fall outside of the disciplines covered by these funding agencies.
In the interest of ensuring that a broader cross-section of students and trainees were aware of the issues that arise with research, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, commenced an initiative in 2012 to assess existing materials and programs on campus related to responsibly conducting research.
Responsible Conduct of Research is folded into the Research Policy and Compliance department operations.