About RCR@Duke

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) broadly refers to a code of ethical conduct that researchers should abide by on a daily basis. The National Institutes of Health initiated the first RCR education requirement in 1990 and this educational initiative has evolved and strengthened over time.  In parallel, the Office of Research Integrity, within the Department of Health and Human Services, has developed a variety of resources and programs to support responsible conduct of research education.

Scientists are objective thinkers by training, but human by design.  Making ethical and practical decisions requires practice, periodic reflection and discussion to learn and experiment with different approaches.  RCR education strives to promote ongoing discussion and examination of scientific operating procedures (including experimental design, data analysis, and data management), academic and collegial relationships and collaborations, and the ethical considerations accompanying research studies and the research culture.  Practicing research responsibly is a daily habit, and should be integrated into the culture of research.

Duke has developed comprehensive RCR training programs required for researchers at each career stage: 

NIH trainees (including junior faculty, residents, clinical fellows, postdocs; Organized by Trent Center for Bioethics)

Postdoctoral Associates and Scholars

Graduate Students

• 3rd year medical students

Undergraduates in research


Compliance for these different RCR programs is tracked separately by each Duke Office RCR Program leader.