Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)

This course meets the NIH training requirement for all trainees, fellows, participants, and scholars receiving support through any NIH training, career development award, research education grant, or dissertation research grant.  HSPH’s, as well as other Harvard catalyst institutions’ graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and junior faculty members will be allowed to take the course without paying tuition (if not taking this course for credit) but are expected to attend a minimum of six lectures, participate in class discussions, and complete all case study assignments.

Please note:

  • HSPH offers this course as a courtesy for those who are required to fulfill RCR training per the terms of their funding grant, but does not track proof of training or have the power to issue waivers for the course.  Please check with the NIH as to whether you need RCR training if you are not sure.
  • This course is separate from CITI Training, encompassing far more than strictly Human Subjects Research, and must be completed in person per NIH requirements.
  • For applicable researchers, RCR “instruction must be undertaken at least once during each career stage, and at a frequency of no less than once every four years.”
  • If you have taken an RCR course at another institution, you may already have fulfilled this requirement, check with NIH to see.
  • Click here for more information from NIH

Course Objectives:

At the end of the course the students will be able to:

  • Describe the concepts of research misconduct and research integrity.
  • Describe basic ethical and regulatory requirements for conducting bench, animal, clinical, and public health research and apply them to research practice.
  • Recognize when laboratory practices, publication practices, and other research practices deviate from legal, ethical, or regulatory requirements.
  • Describe practices that promote compliance with ethical and legal requirements for the responsible conduct of research.

Grading Criteria

  • Pass/Fail for students who take the course for credit and register via the registrars office (HSPH only)
  • Certificate of Completion- for all participants, who attend a minimum of 6 lectures, participate in class discussions, and complete the 12 case study assignments


Registration for the Spring 2016 Responsible Conduct of Research Course (HPM548) is now open.  The course will run on Friday mornings from 8:30AM-10:20 AM, January 29th – March 11th, 2015 in Kresge G-1.

For Harvard Chan School students taking this course for credit, please register through the Registrar’s Office. For all others, complete this form to register:

Graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and junior faculty members from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health or other Harvard Catalyst institutions may take the course tuition free if no academic credit is desired. All participants in the class must prepare for and substantively contribute to at least six class sessions and complete all twelve case study assignments.


If you have any questions regarding the RCR course, Please contact Alyssa Speier at 617-432-2140 with any questions.