Responsible Conduct of Research
UNC Charlotte is committed to fostering a culture of integrity and excellence in research. Central to this commitment is the promotion and embrace of responsible conduct of research (RCR), a cornerstone of ethical and professional investigative practice in the academic community. RCR encompasses a range of key principles, including integrity, objectivity, transparency, collaboration, respect for intellectual property, human subjects protections, animal welfare, and responsible data management. The Office of Research Protections and Integrity (ORPI) administers the University’s program of RCR training. This program is designed to comply with federal sponsor regulations, ensuring that our researchers – students, faculty, and staff – receive comprehensive RCR education in line with national standards. If you have questions about RCR, please contact email@example.com.
What is RCR?
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), RCR is “the practice of scientific investigation with integrity. It involves the awareness and application of established professional norms and ethical principles for all activities related to scientific research.” The principles of RCR extend to all components of the research enterprise. Some topics relevant to RCR include the following:
- Collaborative Research
- Conflicts of Interest
- Human and Animal Subjects Research
- Data Acquisition, Analysis, and Management
- Peer Review
- Research Misconduct
- Research Security and Transparency
RCR education at UNC Charlotte promotes integrity, transparency, and excellence in research. As part of the graduate curriculum, all doctoral students must complete a course focused on research ethics. RCR training is also required for personnel (including students) who are supported to conduct research under certain awards sponsored by the NSF, USDA NIFA, and NIH. These requirements are summarized in the table below:
|Sponsor||Personnel Subject to RCR Training Requirement||Training Options|
|NSF||Undergraduates, graduate students, and postdocs who receive NSF support to conduct research. Note: For proposals submitted on or after July 31, 2023, the requirement also includes faculty and other senior personnel.||CITI RCR course or a University Research Ethics course|
|NIH||Trainees, fellows, participants, and scholars supported by any NIH training award, career development award (individual or institutional), research education grant, or dissertation research grant. Programs included in the requirement are as follows: D43, D71, F05, F30, F31, F32, F33, F34, F37, F38, K01, K02, K05, K07, K08, K12, K18, K22, K23, K24, K25, K26, K30, K99/R00, KL1, KL2, R25, R36, T15, T32, T34, T35, T36, T37, T90/R90, TL1, TU2, and U2R. For other training/development programs, the requirement for RCR training is stated in the FOA.||Face-to-face training (e.g., through a University Research Ethics course)|
|USDA NIFA||Program directors, faculty, undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, and any staff participating in a NIFA research project.||CITI RCR course or a University Research Ethics course|