UMass Boston

Responsible Conduct of Research

All members of the research community, including faculty, research staff, students, adjunct faculty, and visiting researchers, are expected to adhere to the highest ethical and professional standards as they pursue research activities to ensure compliance with all legal, regulatory, and ethical requirements established by the University, regulatory bodies, funding sources, and professional organizations. 

The Office of Research Integrity (ORI) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is the federal agency charged with the responsibility of oversight for the responsible conduct of research (RCR). The ORI publishes and periodically updates its comprehensive guide an Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research. The ORI encourages researchers to make a special effort to understand, discuss, and teach others about the responsible conduct of research. It is understood that responsible conduct of research can be taught and learned in many ways and that the standards can vary from discipline to discipline.

In addition, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) have established regulatory requirements for RCR.


NIH Requirement

The NIH requires that all trainees, fellows, participants, and scholars receiving support through any NIH Institutional Research Training Grants, Individual Fellowship Awards, Career Development Awards (Institutional and Individual), Research Education Grants, Dissertation Research Grants, or other grant programs with a training component as noted in the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) must receive RCR instruction. 


NSF Requirement

The National Science Foundation requires that, at the time of proposal submission, the institution has a plan to provide appropriate RCR training and oversight to all students (undergraduates, graduate, and postdoctoral scholars) who will be supported by NSF to conduct research. Students who are funded by the National Science Foundation, e.g., students with NSF fellowships, or paid as an RA on an NSF research project, are required to complete the appropriate RCR module within the first quarter of their funding.


Required Training

An online responsible conduct of research training can be completed here: CITI course. Find step by step guides for CITI trainings here: