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RCR Training

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)

Responsible conduct of research is the ethical conduct of science that satisfies a scientific moral code. This code strives to maintain the integrity of research and prevent serious deviations in research practice that constitute research misconduct.

The University seeks to create and promote an environment of responsible conduct, and funding agencies such as the NIH require RCR training programs to be in place. In past years the Department of Surgery implemented and conducted its own RCR program. New in 2012 is the university-wide RCR training program administered by CTSI. This program is aimed at all university researchers, and meets the requirements of both the University of Pittsburgh and funding agencies.

All departmental laboratory residents, postdoctoral associates/scholars and graduate students are strongly encouraged to attend these courses. Attendance is mandatory for NIH T32 training grant trainees, including attendence at Dr. Simmons' Research Conference and one-on-one meetings with your mentor.


Topics covered by the RCR Training Program

Full information about online and course-based training can be found on the CTSI RCR training program website. Information for some available courses is described below. Each course session lasts 1 hour (unless otherwise stated) and session times and locations are listed on the CTSI calendar, as well as in our Events calendar. CME credit for these courses is also available.

Overview of Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) at the University of Pittsburgh
This workshop introduces the importance of conducting safe, ethical, and successful research. The course uses cases to illustrate specific RCR issues, such as conflict of interest and research misconduct. Attendees will be equipped to identify RCR issues and policies that guide their research management.

Ethics and Policies in Human Participant Research
This workshop discusses the ethical issues and policies governing research involving humans. The course uses recent cases to highlight ethical principles governing human participant research. Attendees will learn to recognize lapses in good clinical practices and the importance of human participant safety in conducting successful clinical research.

Policies, Ethical Issues, and Research Misconduct in Animal Research
This workshop discusses the ethical issues and policies governing research using animals. The course uses recent cases to illustrate the importance of responsible animal care in successful research. Attendees will learn to utilize guidelines for safe use of animals in research.

Data Acquisition, Sharing and Ownership
This workshop discusses methods of data acquisition, security and retention that provide responsible management of research data. The course discusses cases of poor data management. Attendees will learn methods of securing data and gain an understanding of policies and guidelines for data management.

Publication and Authorship
This workshop discusses authorship and publication of research findings. The course uses cases to illustrate the standards and issues involved in the publication process.

Peer Review
This workshop discusses the importance and responsibilities of peer review. The course uses cases to illustrate issues that can arise during the peer review process.

Conflict of Interest
This workshop presents cases illustrating conflicts of interest and discusses the ethical concerns. Attendees will learn to identify, report and manage conflicts of interest.

Consent Workshop (2.5 hours)
This workshop provides a combination of didactic, case studies and role play. The emphasis is on the process rather than the content of consent. Attendees will learn how to discuss research participation with potential volunteers in ways that demonstrate respect, honesty and openness and enhance trust.