/ Provost's Office

Responsible Conduct of Research Training

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Training complies with National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) requirements for an institutional program of education in the responsible conduct of research.

NIH defines responsible conduct of research as:

“the practice of scientific investigation with integrity. It involves the awareness and application of established professional norms and ethical principles in the performance of all activities related to scientific research.”

This training is separate from the training required for research involving humans and animals.

NSF requires responsible conduct of research training for undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty and other senior personnel involved in any NSF-funded research grant.  Similarly, NIH requires that all trainees, fellows, participants and scholars receiving support through any NIH training, career development award, research education grant or dissertation research grant must receive RCR training. This requirement also applies to all faculty, including new faculty, mid-career faculty and senior faculty, and professional and scientific employees receiving funding from these sources.

Faculty and Senior Personnel RCR Training

As part of our commitment to the responsible conduct of research, and to comply with the NSF and NIH requirements, Hope College subscribes to the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) to provide online training modules in the RCR. NSF training can be virtual or in-person. Although NIH does allow for some interactive video training, please note NIH does require mostly face-to-face instruction.

Further details about NSF and NIH RCR training requirements can be found online.

Undergraduate Training

Both NSF and NIH require Hope College to provide training to undergraduate students engaged in funded research projects on the responsible and ethical conduct of research. Both agencies consider RCR training critical to the preparation of future scientists and engineers.

Hope College’s RCR training is conducted annually in June and open to all summer research students. Additional training for students is managed on a department-by-department basis. The RCR plans for each department are detailed below.