Foundation, Corporate,
and Government Relations

Amy Lindner
315-859-4648 (fax)

Responsible Conduct of Research

The America COMPETES Act of 2007 established new guidelines that require research and education proposals to present a plan for "appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research." The Office of Foundation, Corporate, and Government Relations stands ready to assist faculty in identifying appropriate RCR training, instruction, and guidance. 

Hamilton College's Policy
Faculty who receive federal funding to conduct research or to supervise student researchers or post docs are responsible for ensuring all work is done in compliance with university and governmental policies. This includes ensuring that all post docs and undergraduate students supported by funds from the National Sciences Foundation are given proper training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research. This training MUST take place during the first year of employment or, if the period of employment is less than a year, must take place before the termination of the employment period. The student or post-doc need not complete the tutorials in one sitting, but, again, must complete the course prior to the end of the employment period. 

RCR training is required of all students and postdoctoral fellows who receive salary and/or a stipend for research on NSF grants. However, because adherence to the highest ethical and moral standards is the expectation for all members of the Hamilton College community, we strongly suggest that all undergraduates engaged in research with faculty participat in RCR training.
Faculty are encouraged to use the National Ethics Center's RCR training modules. After students pull up the homepage, they can then click on the "RCR Modules from CMDITR." They will be asked to register themselves and then, prior to completing the modules, they should join the HAMILTON COLLEGE group. Students must successfully complete Modules 1 (Rights and Obligations) and 2 (Collaboration, Communication, and Grants Management). Module 3 (Intellectual Property) is encouraged but not required.
Hamilton College is responsible for tracking and verifying completion of this training for employees. Once the student or post-doctoral fellow has completed the training, they alert their supervising faculty member who will, in turn, notify the Academic Budget Manager in the Dean of Faculty's Office. The Academic Business Manager will be able to verify completion online by logging into the Hamilton College group page at the National Ethics Center.
If the supevising faculty member finds the National Ethics Center material to be insufficient, there are a number of other resources available:

North Carolina State University provides online courses in Philosophy of Science, Research Ethics, and Animals in Research.

The Center on Materials and Devises for Information Technology Research, with the support of the NSF, has created an online RCR course. Group and Individual registration is required but a preview is available.

The Collaborative Institutional Training Incentive (CITI) provides an online course in the Responsible Conduct of Research.

Columbia University provides a number of online courses on RCR topics, including; Conflicts of Interest, Mentoring, Responsible Authorship and Peer Review, Research Misconduct, Collaborative Science and Data Acquisition and Management.

The University of New Hampshire provides several online modules for RCR training.

NSF funded Visionlearning.com provides a learning module and follow-up quiz on Scientific Ethics.

The Poynter Center at Indiana University has developed a curriculum for Moral Reasoning in Scientific Research. The Center also holds an annual training for research ethics education.

The National Academies Press book "On Being a Scientist: Responsible Conduct in Research" is available online.


Books and Journals

Research ethics: a reader (e-book) Elliot & Stern. 1997.

Research ethics: cases and material. Penslar. 1995.

Science and Engineering Ethics

Additional Information

Responsible Conduct of Research at PUIs (CUR 2009)

Research Responsibility and Undergraduates (CUR 2002)

Resources for Research Ethics Education

AAAS Integrity in Scientific Research resource page

NAP's Integrity in Scientific Research: Creating an Environment That Promotes Responsible Conduct

HHS Office of Research Integrity - Educational Resources

Honor in Science (Sigma Xi)