Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)

Marquette University maintains a commitment to research excellence. As early as 2008, the university was already working to develop an Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) program. Initially, the objectives were to 1) familiarize researchers with basic ethical issues in research; 2) help researchers develop and refine methods of analyzing and dealing effectively with those issues; 3) provide an interdisciplinary forum for constructive dialogue about research ethics issues facing universities like Marquette University; and 4) enable participants to play a leadership role in promoting research ethics within their disciplines. 

When the federal RCR requirement went into effect in 2010, Marquette was well positioned to comply and develop a robust RCR program. The format has changed significantly over the years to allow for more discussion and to offer different levels of training to better meet the needs of participants.

Topical areas that continue to be addressed include:

  • Data Acquisition and Management
  • Mentor-Trainee Relationships
  • Publication Practices and Authorship
  • Peer Review Practices
  • Collaborative Research
  • Protection of Human Subjects
  • Research Involving Animals
  • Conflict of Interest and Commitment
  • Ethical Decision Making in Research
  • Research Misconduct

Although these are the main subject matter for the modules, it is anticipated that the following topics be interwoven into the modules: Plagiarism; Intellectual Property; Lab Management; Financial and Personnel Management; Ethical Deliberation and Training; and Whistleblowing.   

As a Catholic, Jesuit university, responsible and ethical research is a fundamental part of who we are. This is exemplified as RCR falls under multiple goals within Marquette’s strategic plan, “Beyond Boundaries,”  including Research in Action and Pursuit of Academic Excellence for Human Well Being. This particularly holds true as we define and grow areas of greatest research potential and grow scholarly collaboration across disciplines and research that addresses community and world problems and as we engage students in high-impact educational experiences.

Marquette’s Responsible Conduct of Research provides training to designated Marquette undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and mentored faculty associated with select NSF, NIH, United States Department of Agriculture - National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) awards; and personnel on grants from other sponsors who require RCR training. Students in professional development programs in the Graduate School, and other projects in the MU research community may elect to take RCR training, but are not required to do so under federal regulations. 

The RCR curriculum developed and delivered by the Graduate School is the only curriculum recognized by Marquette as being compliant with federal and other grantor guidelines.  Undergraduate training programs can supplement with additional materials/training as they see fit once the base RCR curriculum is delivered by the Graduate School.