Responsible Conduct of Research Training

Academic integrity and research ethics are fundamental to the practice of science.  Duke has attempted to create a rigorous and relevant program for its students to train them in the highest standards for conducting research.  Specifically, Duke Medical School has spearheaded a program in Responsible Conduct in Research (RCR) with its Annual First-Year Biomedical PhD Student Ethics Retreat which has been on-going for more than 20 years.  Currently, biomedical PhD students are required to participate in three different RCR courses that comprise 18 hours of RCR credit.  Students must complete written assessments to receive course credit, which is formally tracked by the university registrar to ensure that all RCR requirements are met prior to graduation.

First-Year Ethics Retreat

All first year biomedical PhD students (usually about 100 per year) attend this retreat on the weekend prior to the start of classes in August.  The retreat includes lectures and small group discussions led by biomedical faculty that cover topics essential to RCR training as designated by NIH.  12 hr credit for GS710.
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Third-Year RCR Course

This is an on-site, one-day retreat that combines professional development activities with a recapitulation of topics covered at the First-Year Retreat. The course is required of all predoctoral students in the medical school at the end of their 3rd year (and at the end of their 7th year, if necessary).  4 hr credit for GS713.
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RCR Forums

To meet total RCR credit-hour requirements, students need to participate in one additional RCR forum during their graduate tenure. Each forum is a one hour lecture followed by a 1-1.5 hour small group discussion. Students may choose from a range of forums, changing annually. The faculty varies with the topic and include faculty from outside the biomedical sciences. These forums are held on Duke campus and, unlike the First-Year Retreat or the Third-Year RCR Course, are open to all graduate students in the university, including those from the humanities and social sciences. 2 hour credit for GS711.
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