Responsible Conduct of Research

Courses in Responsible Conduct of Research: 

GRDM-G504 -Introduction to Research Ethics (2-3cr.)*  - Introduction to the basic concepts of research ethics. The course covers historical development of concern with ethics in science as well as practical information needed by students working in science today. Format will be lecture and discussion.

GRDM - G505 Research Ethics (1 credit)  - The purpose of this course is to provide students with a formal setting to learn about the basic rules and acceptable standards required for anyone conducting scientific research.  The course will help students obtain knowledge and develop skills for dealing with potential ethical problems in the research laboratory on their own.  This course is designed for all beginning graduate students working in the life sciences or related fields and other researchers who require basic training in the responsible conduct of research.

GRDM - G506 - Responsible Conduct of Translational Research (1 credit) -  This one-credit course provides a basic introduction to RCR related to translational research and fulfills the NIH requirements for instruction in RCR for trainees and students in this area.  The course is team taught by faculty members of the Bioethics and Subject Advocacy Program (BSAP) of the Indiana CTSI.  This one credit course may be more appropriate than the two- or three-credit G504 course for trainees who are not pursuing a graduate degree or do not need the credits in ethics towards their degree. Finally, GRDM 506 will focus on topics in translational and precision health research, fitting the focus of many CTSI trainees.   Students in this class will develop an interest in and a positive attitude toward lifelong learning in matters of scientific integrity and the responsible conduct of research or other profession. Click link for course syllabus.

Responsible Conduct of Research

According to NIH, responsible conduct of research 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. As defined by federal agencies, RCR encompasses the following nine areas:

  • Collaborative Science  - Collaborations take place in a variety of forms, including the borrowing and lending of supplies, resources and equipment between researchers; seeking input from an expert in a different discipline; and partnering with colleagues who have a similar background or field of knowledge for fresh ideas and abilities.

  • Conflicts of Interest and Commitments - Conflicts of interests or commitments are not inherently negative; rather, the way in which the conflict is managed is important.

  • Data Acquisition, Management, Sharing and Ownership  - This site is designed as a central location for viewing and retrieving shared data archives relevant to psychological science.

  • Human Research Protections - Research with human participants plays a central role in advancing knowledge in the biomedical, behavioral and social sciences.

  • Lab Animal Welfare - Ways to improve laboratory animal welfare through the implementation of policies and regulations that both maintain the integrity of scientific research and sustain the welfare of such animals.

  • Mentoring  - Mentoring a less-experienced researcher is a professional responsibility of all scientists. The ultimate goal of the mentor is to establish the trainee as an independent researcher.

  • Peer Review - Positive peer reviews contribute to increased funding opportunities, academic advancement and a good reputation.

  • Publications Practices and Responsible Authorship - Although researchers can disseminate their findings through many different avenues, results are most likely to be published as an article in a scholarly journal.

  • Research Misconduct  - Institutions should have procedures in place to investigate and when appropriate report findings of misconduct to the Office of Research Integrity (ORI). They should also have policies that protect both whistleblowers and the accused until a determination is made.


IU Center for Bioethics | 410 W. 10th St., Suite 3100 | Indianapolis, IN 46202 | Tel: 317-278-4034 | Fax: 317-278-4050