RCR Policies and Guidelines

Appalachian's plan (PDF) addresses RCR requirements for training students in the responsible conduct of research. 


The America COMPETES Act, signed into law in 2007, included guidelines requiring that all proposals to the National Science Foundation include a plan for "appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research" as well as a description of the mentoring activities provided for postdoctoral researchers. The National Science Foundation requires that the authorized organizational representative certify that the institution has a plan to provide appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research to undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers who will participate in NSF sponsored projects. Training plans do not need to be included in proposal submissions but are subject to review upon request. Federal Register, Volume 74, Number 160.

The National Institutes of Health requires all applicants for Institutional National Research Service Award (NRSA) Research Training Grants (T32, T34) include a plan for an RCR instructional program which includes the subject matter of the instruction, the format of the instruction, the degree of faculty participation, trainee attendance, and the frequency of instruction. NIH Guide, Volume 21, Number 43. The NIH also requires that NIH Institutional Research Training Grants, Individual Fellowship Awards, Career Development Awards, Research Education Grants, Dissertation Research Grants, or other grant programs with a training component as noted in the Funding Opportunity Announcement include instructions in RCR. NOT-OD-10-019

The Public Health Service (PHS) policy on RCR is currently suspended, but it required that all research staff working on PHS supported projects engage in RCR instruction and recommended that institutions consider the need for providing RCR instruction to non-PHS-supported research staff as well as administrative staff. The Office of Research Integrity is currently revising the policy.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires RCR training for anyone associated with a research project receiving a National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) award must receive RCR training.