Policy on Responsible Conduct of Research

Policy Number: 500


The permanent link for this policy is: https://policies.northeastern.edu/policy500/

I. Purpose and Scope


This policy promotes scientific integrity through training in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) and applies to students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and investigators supported on applicable research awards funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or any extramural funding organization that makes RCR a term and condition of its award.

II. Definitions


For purposes of this policy,

The Responsible Conduct of Research means the practice of scientific investigation with integrity. It involves the awareness and application of established professional norms and ethical principles in the performance of all activities related to scientific research.

III. Policy


All Northeastern University undergraduate students, graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, including short-term visitors, paid by NSF research awards subject to the America COMPETES Act, and individuals receiving support through applicable NIH training, career development award (individual or institutional), research education grant, or dissertation research grant, must participate in instructional programs in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR), which are consistent with the legal, regulatory, and ethical requirements established by regulatory agencies, funding sources, professional organizations, and the University’s Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research.

RCR instruction, as defined by federal agencies and by various scientific societies, covers the following content areas:


  • Collaborative Science
  • Research Ethics and the Role of the Scientist
  • Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment
  • Data Acquisition, Management, Sharing and Ownership
  • Mentor/Trainee Responsibilities
  • Peer Review
  • Publication Practices and Responsible Authorship
  • Research Misconduct
  • Research Involving Human Subjects
  • Research Involving Animals

IV. Additional Information


In order to facilitate more meaningful training, modules will be tailored for the four broad disciplinary categories of biomedical research, social and behavioral research, physical science, and humanities. Detailed instruction in the last two content areas is required for those engaging in human subject research, animal research, and laboratory research, and is provided through the Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) and Institutional Animal Care & Use Committees (IACUCs) respectively.

The federal agencies’ RCR policies can be found at on the NU-RES page for Responsible Conduct of Research: https://research.northeastern.edu/nu-res/compliance/responsible-conduct-of-research/.


V. Contact Information


Office of the Senior Vice Provost for Research & Graduate Education






Chief Research Compliance Officer



Office of Human Subject Research Protection



Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) website

Responsible Office/Department(s)


Related Procedures





Research Integrity; Research Ethics; Responsible Authorship; Peer Review

Version History

Last Revision Date: February 3, 2023

Issued: January 1, 2010