RCR-PS Template

The UCSF Responsible Conduct of Research Program for Postdoctoral Scholars (RCR-PS) is a nine-hour, six-session course designed to satisfy NIH and NSF requirements for training in the responsible conduct of research.

Unique to the postdoctoral training experience, the RCR-PS program utilizes a combination of faculty presentations and in-person case study discussions during each session. With attention to the tools and resources required for successful, ethical research careers, postdocs will meet with UCSF faculty to discuss the following topics:

  1. Societal implications of scientific misconduct
  2. Science in the genomic era: biomedical research and human subjects
  3. Scientific entrepreneurship and the university-industry interface and 
conflicts of interest
  4. Collaborative science: data management, sharing, and ownership
  5. Responsible authorship, publication, and peer review
  6. Animal welfare in research


Each 1.5-hour session includes a combination of a brief faculty presentation; critical in-person discussion of 1-2 case studies in pairs or small groups; and a general large-group discussion of the case studies and overall topic followed by remaining questions, answers, and resources specific to the session's topic.

In addition to in-person training and discussion of case studies, postdocs also are required to participate in an online ethics forum, thereby providing a valuable opportunity for additional interactive discussion. The online ethics forum provides a way for postdocs to continue classroom discussions; ask questions of faculty and peers; post relevant articles, resources, and case studies; share their own experiences; and voice their concerns and opinions. The website is password-protected, and all comments remain confidential.

The course website also serves as a centralized repository of RCR-PS resources and information and is a site where postdocs from different campus locations can form a community and maintain contact.