Sponsored Programs & Research Compliance

Colorful Specimen Tubes

Responsible Conduct of Research


Each member of the university community has a responsibility to create and foster an environment promoting intellectual honesty and the highest standards of academic integrity. This includes attributing appropriate credit for work that is not your own, communicating responsibilities clearly to collaborators, practicing accurate and unbiased data collection, and being a good role model to other members of the research team.

Research misconduct constitutes unacceptable personal conduct with respect to scholarship and research. Disdain for misconduct in any aspect of research or scholarly endeavor must be upheld, as misconduct in any form is destructive of the standards the university attempts to instill in its students, the public perception of academia and academic disciplines, and the financial support of the government and other sponsors for scholarship and research.

News and Updates

The Research Integrity Office, which oversees the Responsible Conduct of Research training program, is conducting all operations virtually.  RCR training workshops will resume in the Fall 2022 semester in a virtual format.

Please visit UNCW's Best for the Nest website for plans and guidelines related to COVID-19.  Other pandemic-related resources for research are posted here.


Student Training

Students (undergraduate, graduate and post-doc) who are hired to work on research projects funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or the National Science Foundation (NSF) are required to complete training on the responsible conduct of research (RCR).  Staff in the Research Integrity Office (RIO) will contact PIs who have been awarded NSF or NIH funds to notify them of RCR training requirements for applicable students and provide updates on upcoming training workshops.

PIs subject to the above requirements must provide RIO with the names of all students who are or will be paid from NSF or NIH funds, or respond that they currently do not have any students who are subject to the requirement.

PIs are ultimately responsible for ensuring that applicable students complete the training requirements itemized below. RIO will assist PIs in notifying and prompting students to the extent possible.

Students who are subject to the above requirements must complete the three components listed below.

  1. Online Training: Students must complete an online course on the Responsible Conduct of Research offered through the CITI Program (see below for more information on this requirement).
  2. Formal Face-to-Face Instruction: Students must complete formal face-to-face instruction on RCR topics either through RIO workshops or BIO 501 curriculum.  The curriculum will include the following topics:
    • Conflicts of Interest
    • Research Subjects
    • Mentor-Mentee Responsibilities
    • Collaborative Research
    • Peer Review
    • Data Acquisition, Sharing and Management
    • Laboratory Safety
    • Research Misconduct
    • Responsible Authorship and Publication
    • Ethical Issues in Research
  3. Informal Guidance: PIs subject to the above requirements must provide informal guidance to their mentee students in an ongoing way in laboratory and classroom settings.

RIO maintains records of online and formal student training and issues training certification to students when online and formal training are completed.

Faculty Training

Faculty members who receive funds from NIH may be required to complete RCR training based on the type of grant. Faculty members subject to NIH's RCR requirement will be invited to participate in RCR training as lecturers and discussion leaders every four years or at each career stage, as allowed by NIH policy.

RCR Online Training Links

Members of the UNCW community may register for the online Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) course through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) at the University of Miami.

Click here for instructions on how to register for RCR training (PDF) - we encourage you to follow these instructions to ensure you register for the correct course.

If you experience difficulty using the CITI website, please check to see if you are using a current version (issued within last 3-4 years) of one of the following browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or Safari.

RCR "In-Person" Workshop Dates (conducted virtually)

Following are dates and locations for virtual RCR training workshops for Fall 2022:

  • TBD
  • TBD

Please note - the online training described above must be completed prior to in-person workshop.  You do not need to attend a RIO RCR workshop if you have already completed BIO 501.

RCR Contact Information


Tell the RCR team in the Research Integrity Office how we're doing on this quick, 4-question survey, which you can also access by scanning this QR code!


Additionally, please be aware that the Office of Internal Audit at UNCW maintains an anonymous reporting tool to facilitate reporting of allegations of fraud, waste, abuse, or mismanagement of funds. Concerns about ethical practices may also be reported anonymously to the State Auditor’s Fraud and Abuse Hotline by calling 1-800-730-8477 or filing a complaint online at http://www.ncauditor.net/HotTips/.