Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)

At Howard, we are committed to fostering a research environment and scholarly culture guided by the highest legal and ethical standards of research and scholarly integrity. Ongoing Responsible Conduct of Research training is critical to this effort.   

Satisfying the RCR Training Requirement

The Graduate School at Howard encourages all its faculty, administrators, and students to be familiar with the professional and ethical standards in academic research. All enrolled (and registered) graduate students to complete two RCR training components: 

Phase I training, Graduate School RCR Training Requirement 

Complete one synchronous (live) training session with the Howard Office of Regulatory Research Compliance and five asynchronous online modules taken on the Canvas platform. Full participation is required to receive credit for the training. Phase I training is a one-time participation requirement and is offered each semester. The certification students receive upon successful completion of the training does not expire.   

Phase II training, Online CITI RCR Training Course Requirement

Complete an online training course offered through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI). CITI certification expires every two years. Students should seek advice from their academic advisors concerning the best time to complete the course during their enrollment in The Graduate School.   

Office of Regulatory Research Compliance (ORRC) 

The Office of Regulatory Research Compliance (ORRC) at Howard University is responsible for the development, oversight, and monitoring of research compliance at Howard University.  

The ORRC acts as a resource to Howard’s research community, ensuring research is conducted following federal, state, and local regulations and guidelines protecting human participants, animals, students, and staff involved with research. 

The overall goals of the ORRC are: 

  • To support and promote the ethical conduct of research at Howard University 

  • To serve the Howard University community by facilitating institution-wide research compliance policy and procedure development. 

  • To educate students, staff, and faculty about regulations related to human subjects research, animal care and use, biosafety, data use, and ownership. 

Institutional Review Board Requirements  

Graduate students whose research involves human participants must seek review and receive a notice of approval or exemption from Howard University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). before beginning their research. 

Graduate students whose research involves live vertebrates must seek and receive a notice of approval from Howard University’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) before ordering, acquiring, or handling animals for their research. 

The Howard University Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) reviews all institutional research activities involving the use of biohazardous agents, recombinant DNA (rDNA) molecules, cell lines, and human tissue, including blood, stem cells, viruses, vectors, and any agent that requires approval for biosafety activities as described in current governmental regulatory requirements. 

Graduate fields and special committees may require additional training beyond these minimum requirements. 

Other Research Ethics Resources