Responsible Conduct of Research Approval Process

The following steps outline the process set forth by the Office of Research Compliance for gaining approval of alternate Responsible for Conduct of Research courses. A list of approved courses can be found here. 

Step 1

The assigned course instructor will have their certification in the Responsible Conduct of Research which may be obtained in any of the following ways:

  1. Complete a general or discipline-specific RCR course online through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) and forward the completion certificate to the Office of Research Compliance; or
  2. Participate in INT601 and forward the completion report to the Office of Research Compliance; or
  3. Participate in and complete an Office of Research Compliance-approved RCR workshop.

Step 2

The proposing department will submit for approval a new or amended course syllabus incorporating the RCR topics outlined in the Office of Research Integrity publication, Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research, by Nicholas H. Steneck1, as follows:

  1. RCR – Rules of the Road
  2. Research Misconduct
  3. The Protection of Human Subjects
  4. The Welfare of Laboratory Animals
  5. Conflicts of Interest
  6. Data Management Practices
  7. Mentor and Trainee Responsibilities
  8. Collaborative Research
  9. Authorship and Publication
  10. Peer Review

This most effectively can be accomplished by incorporating the contents of INT 601 into departmental courses. This also is the preferred method, as the topics, lectures, and assignments in INT 601 are designed to meet federal RCR training requirements and are all available for use and adaptation at:

Important: If the syllabus in question is a modification to an existing, previously approved course, the department must submit the original along with the modified syllabus, and provide an explanation of the changes, and the reason for them.

1Available for download at

Step 3

The Office of Research Compliance will provide a review of the syllabus(i) and advise the department as to whether and what type of revisions are required for the course to meet federal and UMaine RCR training requirements.

Step 4

Upon preliminary approval, the Office of Research Compliance will forward course documents to the Associate Vice President for Graduate Studies (AVPGS) for final review and approval, as follows:

  1. If the course in question is a new course then the syllabus will be submitted to the graduate board for approval.
  2. If the course in question is a modified existing course, then the AVPGS shall determine if the changes in the course syllabus are significant enough that the course must be reapproved by the graduate board, or if it is acceptable as proposed.

Step 5

Courses approved as meeting the Graduate School’s RCR requirement shall be listed as such in the graduate catalog and on the website.

For more information on research compliance training, please visit the Office of Research Compliance website or contact Amanda Ashe ( or 207.581.1480).