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Responsible Conduct of Research


Ethics are fundamental to all academic research. They foster the trust necessary for complex modern research institutions to function. In particular, researchers’ behavior must inspire their colleagues’ trust in their research results and the public’s trust that the information created through university research is reliable and that public funding of research is valuable.  NIH and NSF have specific ethics requirements tied to their grant awards supporting students and post doctoral scholars.

Federal Sponsor Requirements

  • The National Institutes of Health requires all NIH trainees receive training in research ethics
  • The National Science Foundation requires all NSF supported undergraduate students, graduate students and postdoctoral researchers receive RCR training

Nine Core Instructional Areas

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) is a broad term referring to integrity and ethical standards in the work of scientists, scholars, and professionals involved in the field of scientific inquiry and practice.  The Office of Research Integrity of the US DHHS has identified nine core instructional areas that are important for RCR.  The resources listed below are designed to assist the UVM community in meeting responsibilities in these nine areas.

  1. Data Acquisition, Management, Sharing and Ownership
  2. Conflict of Interest and Commitment
  3. Human Subjects
  4. Animal Welfare
  5. Research Misconduct
  6. Publication Practices and Responsible Authorship
  7. Mentor / Trainee Responsibilities
  8. Peer Review
  9. Collaborative Research

RCR Training

  • CITI Online Training ( Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative RCR training for all disciplines with automatic completion certification for UVM users)

  • UVM Courses - NSCI 327 - Resp Conduct in Biomed Rsch (Course Description: Topics in Scientific Integrity surrounding responsible conduct and practices in biomedical research. Prerequisites: Advanced Graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and assistant professors in the biological or biomedical sciences.)

Other Resources for Learning and Curriculum Development

  • Introduction to RCR - NIH Office of Research Integrity (html version, Sept. 2006, updated from revised printed version, June 2004)
  • RCR for Administrators  -NIH Office of Research Integrity (especially geared for Departmental Business Managers)
  • RCR Resources - (tab on the top menu bar of the NIH Office of Research Integrity homepage) Provides a variety of  materials that may be useful in RCR education programs.
  • Applied Ethics Resources - ( a collection of ethics-related websites, run by philosopher-ethicist Chris MacDonald formerly a postdoc at the Maurice Young Center for Applied Ethics. Most of the EthicsWeb sites have a Canadian "slant," but all provide information that will be of interest to international visitors.)

    UVM's Commitment to Compliance 

    The scientific research enterprise, like other human activities, is built on a foundation of trust. Scientists trust that the results reported by others are valid. Society trusts that the results of research reflect an honest attempt by scientists to describe the world accurately and without bias. The level of trust that has characterized science and its relationship with society has contributed to a period of unparalleled scientific productivity. But this trust will endure only if the scientific community devotes itself to exemplifying and transmitting the values associated with ethical scientific conduct.

    UVM is committed to maintaining the integrity fundamental to these activities through the responsible and ethical conduct of its faculty, staff, and students. To this end, the university has established policies and procedures to address many of these issues.

Last modified September 08 2016 11:12 AM

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