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Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)

Students admitted to Duke’s Graduate School via the ITEHP (and those who are supported by an NIH Training Grant) are required to abide by the Basic Medical Science track of RCR requirements which is 18 credits. Students who entered through the Nicholas School of the Environment and have elected to complete the ITEHP certificate should refer to the Natural Science and Engineering Track (12 credits):

RCR compliance and tracking: All RCR credits are tracked by the university registrar and recorded on the student’s transcript. Biomedical students are required to have 18 hrs of credit in order to graduate with a PhD:12 hrs at Beaufort and 6 hrs of RCR retraining at the end of their 3rd year. As with the Beaufort retreat, students are required to submit an assessment before they receive credit. 

All RCR credits are monitored by the university registrar.

**NEW requirement (implemented in 2014): THIRD YEAR RCR COURSE:

Responsible Conduct of Research and Career Training Course

GS713, 4 credits

Trent Semans Center for Health Education

July 11, 2014


Description:  A Responsible Conduct of Research and Career Training course will be required of all students who attended the RCR Beaufort course in August 2011 or in August 2007. This includes students who are currently enrolled in graduate programs in Arts and Sciences and in Pratt, as well as those in biomedical programs.  This policy ensures that all students who entered biomedical and interdisciplinary programs associated with the School of Medicine are retrained in RCR at least every four years and fulfills the NIH requirement for RCR retraining.  The course is consistent with NIH recommendations that students receive career information and complete an Individual Development Plan (IDP). 

Career Development Session:  The morning session will be devoted to career development.  In March 2014, students will be asked to complete an Individual Development Plan by June 2014. The nature of the IDP will be determined by each program for its students with the AAAS IDP used as a guide.  This is in keeping with the  NIH recommendation for creating IDPs for graduate students.  During registration for the session, students will be asked to 1) verify that they completed an IDP; 2) to provide the name(s) and dates of the advisor/mentor consulted in conjunction with the IDP; and 3) to indicate two or three career interests determined by their IDP.

The morning session will begin with a short (30 min) introductory talk that reviews national and Duke data for career outcomes for biomedical PhDs.  This will be followed by 1) information about career training provided by the university Career Center and by the Graduate School and 2) an introduction of a panel of Duke alumni/faculty in traditional and non-traditional careers.  Panel members will include those in academia, teaching, biotech, pharmaceutical industry, science writing/editing, regulatory affairs, clinical research/trials, research/academic administration, etc.  This will be followed by two 50 min breakout sessions led by a panel member(s) to discuss careers in greater detail.  Students will be sorted by career interests determined by IDPs and will switch sessions after the first hour.  The morning will end with a lunch talk focused on the stress and uncertainty involved in career planning presented by Dr. Gary Glass from Counseling and Psychological Services.

RCR Retraining Forum: The RCR retraining session will occur in the afternoon and include two one hr lectures; one on scientific misconduct and its relation to questionable research practices and a second on interpersonal relationships in science such as authorship, mentor/mentee relations, responsibility of collaborators, distribution of reagents, etc.  These are among the NIH-recommended RCR topics which were covered in depth at the Beaufort RCR retreat. Each lecture will be followed by a one hour, small group (8-10 students) session.  During registration, students will be asked to provide one example of a questionable research practice they have encountered or are unsure about.  These examples will serve to guide the discussion.

Faculty: The faculty for the RCR and career training session will be the same as that for the Beaufort retreat held the previous year.  This ensures that faculty are familiar with RCR topics and have experience leading small group RCR discussions.