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Responsible Conduct of Research

Responsible Conduct of Research

Responsible conduct of research (RCR) is defined 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.

All undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) must complete mandatory RCR training. Additionally, researchers supported by certain NIH programs, including training grants, are also required to complete RCR training. RCR training helps researchers learn how to address the ethical issues that inevitably arise in research. An RCR course typically covers the following areas: ethics, conflict of interest, responsible authorship, policies for handling misconduct, data management, data sharing, and policies regarding the use of human and animal subjects.

Each campus offers an RCR program. Please contact your respective Research Compliance office for information about the RCR program at your campus.

RCR Resources

Last updated: 8 Aug 2016

Resources for International Ethical Standards and Research Procedures

The following list contains a collection of resources specific to ethics and policy guidelines for
international research.

The Fogarty International Center at the U.S. NIH supports and facilitates global health research conducted by U.S. and international investigators, builds partnerships between health research institutions in the U.S. and abroad, and aids in training the next generation of scientists to address global health needs. Fogarty also aims to strengthen research bioethics expertise in developing countries by providing resources and information to bioethicists, research ethics committee members, researchers, students, and everyone else involved in international health research.

Discusses ethical issues that arise when research is sponsored or conducted in developing countries, where systems for protecting human participants equivalent to those of the U.S. have not yet been established.

President Obama requested the Commission to assess research standards following the October 2010 revelation that the U.S. Public Health Service supported unethical research in Guatemala from 1946 to 1948 that involved intentionally exposing thousands of Guatemalans to sexually transmitted diseases without their consent. The President gave the Bioethics Commission two assignments: to oversee a thorough fact-finding investigation into the specifics of the studies, reported in, "Ethically Impossible: STD Research in Guatemala from 1946 to 1948" and to assure that current rules for research participants protect people from harm or unethical treatment, domestically as well as internationally, with 14 changes to current practices to better protect research subjects, reported in Moral Science: Protecting Participants in Human Subjects Research.

UNESCO’s Ethics of Science and Technology program works to assist Member States in developing sound policies and decisions on ethical issues in science and technology and released the International Declaration of Bioethics and Human Rights in 2005.  Of particular interest are two capacity-building initiatives:  Assisting Bioethics Committee and the Ethics Education Program. UNESCO’s Global Ethics Observatory (GEObs) is a set of databases containing information on all currently available ethics resources worldwide.

  • World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO’s Ethics and Health Initiative examines a range of bioethical issues—such as access to health services, organ transplantation, and research with humans—raised by WHO’s own activities.
  • The World Medical Association (WMA) is an international organization of over 95 medical associations. While it is best known for the Declaration of Helsinki, WMA has published a number of guidelines and reports that address standards in medical education, ethics, and science.
Last updated: 22 Aug 2017

International Laws, Guidance, and Essential Country Data

OISE: International Integrity Resources, NSF

Office of International Science & Engineering (OISE) provides resources to assist in developing training and oversight plans for the responsible and ethical conduct of research in international contexts and understanding international codes of conduct.

OHRP Compilation of International Human Subject's Laws

The Office for Human Research and Protections (OHRP) provides leadership in the protection of the rights, welfare, and wellbeing of subjects involved in research conducted or supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The International Compilation of Human Research standards provide a listing of laws, regulations, and guidelines on human subjects protections in over 100 countries and from several international organizations.

World Bank Countries and Economies

The World Bank provides comprehensive national data for developing countries around the world. The data includes such measures as GDP, population growth, CO2 emission levels, poverty ratio, life expectancy, and others.

CIA World Fact Book

The World Factbook provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities.

World Health Organization Country Information

The World Health Organization Country Information webpage provides information and data on all countries that are members of the United Nations and World Health Organization. The data includes population statistics, information on national health systems, disease burden, and health profiles of each country.

Last updated: 9 Sep 2016

Campus Directory of Research Compliance Offices

UC Berkeley

Research Administration and Compliance
University of California, Berkeley
2150 Shattuck Avenue, Suite 300
Berkeley, CA 94704-5940
(510) 642-0120

UC Davis

Research Compliance & Integrity
University of California, Davis
1850 Research Park Drive, Suite 300
Davis, CA 95618-6153
(530) 754-7754

UC Irvine

UCI Office of Research
University of California, Irvine
5171 California, Suite 150
Irvine, CA 92697
(949) 824-0018

UC Los Angeles

UCLA Research Policy & Compliance
University of California, Los Angeles
11000 Kinross Ave., Suite 340
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1406

UC Merced

Research Compliance and Integrity
University of California, Merced
5200 North Lake Road
Merced, CA 95343
(209) 228-4805

UC Riverside

Research and Economic Development
University of California, Riverside
University Office Building Suite 200
Riverside, CA 92521
(951) 827-5535

UC San Diego

Office of Research Affairs
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0043
(858) 534-9758

UC San Francisco

Office of Ethics and Compliance
University of California, San Francisco
Laurel Heights
San Francisco, CA 94143-0294
(415) 476-1825

UC Santa Barbara

UCSB Office of Research
University of California, Santa Barbara
3227 Cheadle Hall
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-2050
(805) 893-4188

UC Santa Cruz

UCSC Office of Research Compliance Administration
University of California, Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064

Last updated: 22 Aug 2017
Last updated: 8 Aug 2016