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Duke University Graduate School
2127 Campus Drive
Box 90065
Durham, NC 27708 USA

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Responsible Conduct of Research (Master's and Ph.D. degree requirement)

Duke University Graduate School strives to promote responsible research and academic integrity by:

  • engaging in strategic planning on RCR education
  • providing training on academic integrity and RCR topics
  • developing RCR educational resources
  • evaluating RCR educational programs, and
  • presenting key findings to the scholarly community.

RCR training is a formal requirement for every Master's degree and Ph.D. degree student enrolled in The Graduate School. The RCR training requirement reflects our expectation that every graduate student will be aware of academic standards and well-qualified to address the growing ethical challenges that arise when teaching or conducting scholarly research. We collaborate with faculty and staff across Duke University and Duke University School of Medicine, with experts from nearby institutions in the Research Triangle, and with national and federal organizations including the Council of Graduate Schools and the U.S. Office of Research Integrity.

Since the 1990s, Duke Graduate School has been at the forefront of the development of RCR training efforts, and we have expanded RCR training to Master's and Ph.D. degree candidates to ensure that all graduate students who receive funding by federal agencies (NIH, NSF, etc.) are in compliance with federal guidelines and mandates for such training. The RCR training program for graduate students (and postdoctoral fellows) is designed to meet the requirements of H.R. 5116, the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-358, Jan. 4, 2011; House passed Senate's final resolution on Dec. 22, 2010). We work closely with the Office of Research Support at Duke to ensure that ongoing RCR training efforts fulfill the needs of postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and undergraduate students participating in research and that we provide education on current RCR policies. The Graduate School's RCR program has developed from a modest orientation for certain biological science fields to our current structure of face-to-face training offered via three distinct RCR Orientation events for Ph.D. students by academic discipline, an RCR Orientation for Master's degree students begun in Fall 2013, ongoing two-hour RCR Forum workshops, and department-specific training. Training for Duke postdoctoral fellows is led by the Office of Postdoctoral Services and the Office of Research Support, and undergraduates participate in RCR training via the Undergraduate Research Support Office.

NOTE:   For Duke faculty and departments:  
    A summary of our RCR program, designed for Duke faculty to incorporate into NIH or NSF research grant proposals, can be provided to faculty or departments. The Graduate School also has a spreadsheet of multi-year faculty and staff leadership. Please contact the Graduate School if you need a copy.

Contact Information:

Douglas L. James, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs
Duke University Graduate School
Office of the Dean
2127 Campus Drive, Box 90068
Durham, NC 27708
Phone: (919) 681-3251
Fax:     (919) 684-2277