Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)

The Boston University Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Training Program has been available to all students and postdoctoral fellows in the sciences and engineering since 2006. The training fulfills the five required instructional components of NIH policy. This course is mandatory for all students and postdocs supported on XTNC.

The RCR Program for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows is a live, in-person instructional program consisting of four units of two hours each, for a total of eight contact hours. Each unit is conducted on a different date during the academic year. All four units must be completed over the first two (2)-year period of any trainee’s participation in the XTNC program. Preparatory readings (and online modules, as of 2010, from the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative program, are required for each session. Topics are explored in detail through discussion of carefully selected case studies for each of the following units:

Unit 1: “Creating the Research Record and Managing Data: How and Why”:This unit explores data acquisition, recording, management, sharing, and presentation. The case studies will involve ethical dilemmas that may arise (in any field of research) when planning for and creating a proper scientific record and selecting data for presentation.

Unit 2: “Research Collaborations: Ethics, Collegiality and Agreements”:This unit explores collaborative work, scientific interactions, resource sharing, authorship, mentorship, proprietary data, collaborations between academia and industry.

Unit 3: “Publication: What, When, Why, How, by Whom”: This unit explores the duty to publish and the multiple responsibilities of authorship, who should be an author, and peer review.

Unit 4: “Objectivity in Research: Oversight of Conflicts of Interest and Scientific Misconduct”: This unit explores institutional procedures related to (1) reporting of “scientific misconduct” and (2) managing conflicts of interest that may arise when University researchers have financial interests that may be affected by their research.