Some grant proposals require specific plans addressing training in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) for participating researchers. While each funding agency's recommended or required RCR content may vary, in general an RCR training plan should address the following research ethics topics:


  1. conflict of interest – personal, professional, and financial
  2. policies regarding human subjects, live vertebrate animal subjects in research, and safe laboratory practices (for relevant research disciplines)
  3. mentor/mentee responsibilities and relationships
  4. collaborative research including collaborations with industry
  5. peer review
  6. data acquisition and laboratory tools; management, sharing and ownership
  7. research misconduct and policies for handling misconduct
  8. responsible authorship and publication
  9. the scientist as a responsible member of society, contemporary ethical issues in biomedical research, and the environmental and societal impacts of scientific research


Browse the sections below for information regarding NIH and NSF RCR requirements and RCR training opportunities on campus.


Federal Funding Agency RCR Guidelines


National Science Foundation RCR Guidelines

NSF requires that all undergraduate students, graduate students and postdocs supported on NSF grants (regardless of grant mechanism) complete RCR training. Certification that a plan is in place is required at the institutional level and is managed by UT's Office of Sponsored Projects.


National Institutes of Health RCR Guidelines

NIH requires that all trainees, fellows, participants or scholars receiving support through any NIH training, career development, research education or dissertation research grant receive RCR training. This applies to most D-, F-, T- and K-series fellows, but not to students or postdocs appointed on R-series grants. PIs are required to submit RCR training plans in their proposals to NIH for the above-listed funding mechanisms (D-, F-, T- and K-series). NIH recommends that in-person training should take place for a minimum of 8 hours per year, and that trainees should undergo RCR training at least once every 3 years. 


College of Natural Sciences RCR Training

Professional Development Seminar Series for Graduate Students and Postdocs

The College offers a Professional Development Seminar Series specifically targeted at postdocs and graduate students. In addition to showcasing careers within and outside academia and discussing professional development skills, each seminar includes a discussion of one or more RCR topics. The Office of Postgraduate Education maintains a seminar attendance roster to allow students, postdocs and their advisors to note which seminars and RCR topics they've covered.  

Seminars are held on the 3rd Tuesday of each month in NHB 1.720, from noon-1pm, with pizza and drinks served.  Please see the Postgraduate Education Events Calendar for information about upcoming seminars.

For additional information and the 2016-2017 seminar schedule visit

Institutional-Level RCR Training

The University of Texas at Austin endorses Responsible Conduct of Research on its campus and requires its employees and students to abide by pertinent rules, policies, guidelines and regulations. To that end, UT-Austin has established various resources to support the research enterprise of its faculty, staff and students:


Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Online RCR Training

OSP provides at no cost online RCR training modules through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) for students, faculty and staff. The modules cover: Misconduct; Responsible Authorship and Publication; Plagiarism; Conflict of Interest; Data Acquisition and Management; Responsible Peer Review; Responsible Mentoring; and Responsible Collaboration. 


Annual University-Wide Research Ethics/RCR Workshop

Once per year, OSP offers a full-day RCR Workshop (TXClass RR 100) that covers the nine topics listed above and meets NIH guidelines for in-person RCR training. This workshop is open to all members of the UT Research Community. OSP provides certification of completion of RCR training to workshop attendess.



Other Institutional-Level RCR Training Resources

The following information is copied from OSP's RCR website:

Human Subjects

Animal Subjects

rDNA and Biosafety
The Institutional Biosafety Committee has a training module (CW 512) that specifically covers the NIH rules and regulations for rDNA research, including human gene transfer.

The Graduate School provides ethics training that includes modules on: 1) Human Research; 2) Animal Research; and 3) Academic Integrity.

Handbook of Operating Procedures UT-Austin has a Research Integrity Officer and has an established process for handling suspected instances of scientific or other scholarly misconduct. The handbook is accessible by everyone online.

The Information Security Office (ISO) The ISO's mission is to create a secure computing environment in which the university community can teach, learn and conduct research. All members of our community have a responsibility to do their part to support this mission.

Intellectual Property (Copyright) Tutorial Policy: Doctoral candidates are required to provide documentation of taking the university's Copyright Tutorial and passing the associated test. The tutorial may be taken anytime before turning in the dissertation, but students are advised to take it early in candidacy, as it is designed to educate the student on the frequently confusing and changing copyright laws.


If you'd like to have your existing RCR efforts included on this site, please contact Strategic Research Initiatives.