Responsible Conduct of Research
The University of Washington is committed to the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) and aligns its guidance and resources with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Strategic Council for Research Excellence, Integrity and Trust. An ongoing concern in RCR is reproducibility and reliability as indicated by reports from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (see, e.g., ‘Reproducibility and Replicability in Science’ in 2019 and ‘Open Science by Design’ in 2018). In recent years this concern has broadened to include research integrity in a variety of settings and situations that are central to the conduct of research, and UW strongly recommends practices that promote not only sound research but a healthy, collaborative research environment.
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. As disciplinary variations exist, researchers are also encouraged to pursue best practices through the most effective and appropriate means depending on the nature of their research, or as required by sponsoring agencies.
UW offers RCR training in alignment with requirements provided in 42 U.S.C § 18620-1, updated by America COMPETES Act (2022), as amended by the CHIPS and Science Act (2022), and detailed in the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG), as well as 2 CFR Part 422 titled Research Institutions Conducting USDA-Funded Extramural Research.
RCR training at the University satisfying NIH requirements is offered and facilitated by the Biomedical Research Integrity (BRI) lecture series in UW Medicine’s Department of Bioethics and Humanities.
NSF Training Requirements
Effective July 31, 2023, RCR* training is required for all researchers† (undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, faculty and other senior personnel) receiving research support from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Completing CITI’s RCR Training, as provided by the University, satisfies Investigator requirements for NSF sponsored programs.
*The NSF uses the term Responsible and Ethical Conduct (RECR). UW uses RCR and RECR interchangeably.
†As well as the cohort described above, researchers include Investigators, as defined in GIM 10, Principal Investigators (PIs) and co-PIs.
The United States Department of Agriculture-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) require, in advance of their participation, completion of RCR training by all Principal Investigators, Key Personnel, and Investigators‡. Completing CITI’s RCR Training, as provided by the University, satisfies Investigator requirements for USDA-NIFA sponsored programs.
‡Investigators, defined in GIM 10, can include anyone who contributes in a significant or meaningful way to the design, conduct, or reporting of University research and research-related activities.
CITI RCR Training provides on-demand RCR and other compliance training modules for all members of the research community. Completing the CITI RCR module meets sponsor requirements placed on researchers by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA). Instructions for registering and completing CITI RCR training.
Objectives of the RCR Training Program
- 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 researchers (undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, faculty and senior personnel) meet the Responsible Conduct of Research training requirements as updated by the America COMPETES Act (2022) and the CHIPS and Science Act (2022);
- Conduct peer review with the highest ethical standards;
- Diligently protect proprietary information and intellectual property from inappropriate disclosure; and
- Develop mentorship and collaborative skills that enable researchers to treat students and colleagues fairly and with respect.
Policy, Regulation, and Guidance
Forms, Tools, and Resources
- eScience Institute – Reproducibility
- eScience Reproducibility and Open Science Working Group
- UW University Libraries Research Guides Reproducibility
- UW University Libraries Preferred File Formats
- UW Medicine’s Policy on Professional Conduct
- UW University Libraries Scholarly Publishing & Open Access
- UW Office of Research, Compliance