UW Research

Responsible Conduct of Research

The University of Washington is committed to responsible conduct of research. An emerging concern in responsible conduct is reproducibility as indicated by recent reports from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (‘Reproducibility and Replicability in Science’ in 2019 and ‘Open Science by Design’ in 2018). Disciplinary standards about reproducibility vary considerably. Researchers are encouraged to pursue these through the most effective and appropriate means, according to the nature of their research and the best practices of their discipline.

UW offers Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training in response to the requirements stated in H. R. 2272, section 7009 of the “America COMPETES Act,” the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (Grant Proposal Guide and Award and Administration Guide), and 2 CFR Part 422 for Research Institutions Conducting USDA-Funded Extramural Research. RCR training is intended to help sensitize the university research community to the wide range of ethical and professional issues that must be considered to ensure a climate of research integrity.

NSF Training Requirements

RCR training is now required for all undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral researchers supported by National Science Foundation (NSF) funds.

Note: UW’s NSF RCR training does NOT meet NIH’s educational requirement for research trainees to take Responsible Conduct of Research training. The NIH requirement is met through the Biomedical Research Integrity Program.

NIH Requirements

UW offers RCR training that meets NIH RCR training requirements through the UW Biomedical Research Integrity Lecture Series. (NSF RCR training requirements differ from NIH training requirements in that NSF requires that any student or postdoctoral researcher supported by NSF receive RCR training.)

USDA-NIFA Requirements

RCR training is now required for all Principal Investigators, Key Personnel, and Investigators participating in National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) sponsored research. These designations may apply to faculty, staff, undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows. See GIM 10 for the University’s definition of an Investigator.

CITI RCR Training provides on-line research ethics education to all members of the research community and meets the RCR requirements for USDA-NIFA awards Instructions for registering and completing CITI RCR training.

Objectives of RCR Training

  • Encourage best practices in the conduct of research and scientific investigations.
  • Foster an ability to recognize an ethical choice and the ability to make a principled decision.
  • Provide accessible educational opportunities and resources designed to help students and postdoctoral researchers meet the America COMPETES Act Responsible Conduct of Research training requirements.

Policy, Regulation, and Guidance