Responsible Conduct of Research refers to:

a. Practicing integrity in every aspect of research and in accordance with the core values and professional norms of individual disciplines and those agreed upon by the research community, and

b. A collection of training topics that are suggested or required by various federal funding agencies and which typically include:

  • Authorship and publication
  • Collaborative research
  • Conflicts of interest and conflicts of commitment
  • Data acquisition and management
  • Human subjects in research
  • Mentor and trainee responsibilities and relationships
  • Peer review
  • Protection of proprietary information and IP
  • Research misconduct
  • Safe and inclusive research environments
  • Safe laboratory practices
  • Scientist as a responsible member of society
  • Welfare of laboratory animals

"The integrity of knowledge that emerges from research is based on individual and collective adherence to core values of objectivity, honesty, openness, accountability, fairness, and stewardship."

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Fostering Integrity in Research. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.


"The responsible and ethical conduct of research (RECR) is critical for excellence, as well as public trust, in science and engineering. RECR involves not only a responsibility to generate and disseminate knowledge with rigor and integrity, but also a responsibility to:

  1. conduct peer review with the highest ethical standards;
  2. diligently protect proprietary information and intellectual property from inappropriate disclosure; and
  3. treat students and colleagues fairly and with respect.

Consequently, education in RECR is considered essential in the preparation of future scientists and engineers."

—NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide, Chapter IX – Grantee Standards, June 1, 2020

If you would like to make an anonymous report related to any violation of ethical standards or institutional policies, we encourage you to use the Accountability & Integrity Hotline: EthicsPoint