Group of students discussing a topic at RCR orientation

Since the 1990s, the Duke University Graduate School has been at the forefront of the development of Responsible Conduct of Research training efforts. We see RCR training not as merely complying with policy or avoiding misconduct, but as a crucial part of a comprehensive graduate education that fully prepares our students for the complex challenges they will face as future researchers, scholars, and teachers.

We provide RCR training through collaborations with faculty and staff across Duke University and the Duke University School of Medicine, experts from nearby institutions in the Research Triangle, and national and federal organizations including the Council of Graduate Schools and the US Office of Research Integrity. 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.

Our RCR training encompasses the full range of ethical responsibilities of those engaged in research and teaching. We work closely with the Office of Research Support to ensure that our training is current and fulfills the needs of postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and undergraduate students conducting research. The RCR training program for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows is designed to meet the requirements of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 (PDF).

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 multiyear faculty and staff leadership. Contact The Graduate School at if you need a copy.

Expansion of RCR Training at Duke

  • 1994: Began requiring RCR training for incoming doctoral students in any Duke department or program that receives funding from the National Institutes of Health.
  • Late 1990s: RCR training requirement expanded to PhD students in biological sciences, physical sciences, social sciences, the Pratt School of Engineering, and the Nicholas School of the Environment.
  • 2003: RCR training requirement expanded to all doctoral students, including those in the humanities and social sciences.
  • 2013: Began requiring incoming master’s students to attend RCR training at orientation.
  • 2019: Began requiring incoming master’s students to attend an additional RCR forum.
  • 2020: RCR reorganized, new catalog numbers