Basically, RCR is being responsible in the process of research. Being responsible means performing research honestly and objectively, without wasting public funds or allowing opinions to affect the results. For more information, please see the Office of Research Integrity's Introduction to RCR.
Real world application of RCR can be harder than it seems because of the number of government regulations and the fact that each discipline can have its own RCR protocols and practices. The CPN provides each trainee a thorough grounding in the principles of responsible conduct of research by requiring trainees to take a formal course that is offered in the fall semester of every year.
This course involves 35 contact hours and covers the ethical conduct of research involving humans or animals, ethical practices in writing and data presentation as well as best practices in mentoring and current definitions of plagiarism. It is taught by experienced senior faculty at UMC drawn primarily from the departments of Psychiatry & Human Behavior and Physiology & Biophysics.
In addition, the CPN provides continuing education about RCR through a series of lectures sponsored by the Graduate Program in Neuroscience every year. These seminars are intended to generate lively discussion by focusing on high profile issues, news and/or legislation in scientific ethics. Trainees are strongly encouraged by both their mentors as well as by the Director of the Mentoring and Education Core of the CPN to attend and, if possible, to present at these seminars.
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