Responsible Conduct of Research

MIT expects that all researchers at MIT carry out their work according to the highest ethical and professional standards. The responsible and ethical conduct of research (RCR) is critical for excellence in science and engineering, as well as maintaining the public's trust. Responsible Conduct of Research Training is a framework for imparting these standards, and a critical component of scholarly and career development.

MIT has selected the CITI course in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) to provide a basic course in RCR. We encourage everyone in the MIT community to take this training. This training will require your MIT certificate, so that your training can be linked to the MIT Enterprise Learning system.

NSF Requirements

As part of the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in
Technology, Education, and Science (COMPETES) Act, the National Science Foundation introduced a new requirement for educating all undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral researchers being supported by NSF awards.

MIT Policy

All MIT undergraduate students, graduate students and postdoctoral researchers paid
by NSF research awards subject to the America COMPETES Act MUST complete this training no more than sixty days after salaries are charged to the account. Salary costs for individuals who have not completed the required training within 60 days are unallowable and will be removed from the account.

Valuable Training

Christine Ortiz, Dean for Graduate Education, sent a letter to all graduate students on September 16, 2011 entitled "Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Training and Academic Integrity Standards at MIT." This letter highlighted the quality of the RCR training MIT has selected. Read her entire letter.

Basic RCR Course Curriculum

The basic RCR course includes the following topics:

  • Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research
  • Research Misconduct
  • Data Acquisition and Management
  • Responsible Authorship
  • Peer Review
  • Mentoring
  • Conflicts of Interest
  • Collaborative Research

Individuals planning to take the training will be asked to identify the area most appropriate to their work. Questions regarding the correct area of training should be addressed to the individual's supervisor.

MIT trainees will be asked to select an RCR module that has been customized according to discipline:

  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Physcial Sciences
  • Humanities
  • Engineering
  • Administration