Responsible Conduct of Research

The responsible conduct of research (RCR) in the sciences has been defined in relevant guidelines as:

“the practice of scientific investigation with integrity. It involves the awareness and application of established professional norms and ethical principles in the performance of all activities related to scientific research.”

Today’s research environment presents increasingly complex ethical and regulatory issues. As a result, many research sponsors and scientific organizations now consider that formal instruction in the responsible conduct of research is an essential component of research training in the sciences.

Northeastern University adheres to professional practices that encompass scholarly and research integrity and promotes, actively endorses, and participates in the instruction in the responsible conduct of research (RCR) for all faculty, students and staff, regardless of status, discipline, or source of funding. Our goal is to develop and make available to the Northeastern Research Community programs and materials that will increase the knowledge of and facilitate the practice of responsible research.

The RCR instruction, as defined by federal agencies and by various scientific societies, covers the following content areas:

  • Collaborative Science
  • Research Ethics and the Role of the Scientist
  • Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment
  • Data Acquisition, Management, Sharing and Ownership
  • Mentor/Trainee Responsibilities
  • Peer Review
  • Publication Practices and Responsible Authorship
  • Research Misconduct
  • Research Involving Human Subjects
  • Research Involving Animals

In order to facilitate more meaningful training, modules will be tailored for the four broad disciplinary categories of biomedical research, social and behavioral research, physical science, and humanities. Detailed instruction in the last two content areas is required for those engaging in human subject research, animal research, and laboratory research, and is provided through the Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) and Institutional Animal Care & Use Committees (IACUCs) respectively.

Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) website