Responsible Conduct of Research Training

Ethical standards and responsible practices are the context for successful scientific research. At any step in the research process, you may need to address ethical issues in a thoughtful, responsible manner. The CTSI Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Center serves as a resource for researchers at the University of Pittsburgh. Our objective is to provide education so that you can learn to effectively recognize and avoid research misconduct and understand the resources that are available to support your research.

Explore Our RCR Topics

RCR Topics

  • Conflict of interest
  • Data Acquisition
  • Research Misconduct
  • Human Participants, Animal Subjects, Lab Safety
  • Mentor/Mentee
  • Collaborative Research
  • Responsible Authorship
  • Peer Review
  • Scientist in Society


Continued updates on newly scheduled RCR sessions will be posted to this page. Please check back for more information.

To register for upcoming RCR sessions, visit the CTSI Events Page.


Spring 2021 Schedule

Communicating Science

January 12, 2021. Noon – 1 p.m. Zoom.
(Please bring an article or presentation abstract that you are working on to this workshop)

Presented by Judy Cameron, PhD, Department of Psychiatry.

All audiences want to learn interesting new scientific information and have it delivered as a good story in an understandable format. This workshop will assist you in learning how to convey the importance of your message while being interesting, maintaining the attention of the audience and making the learning process enjoyable. An overview of scientific communication skills, including knowing your audience and why they are interested in the information you are speaking about, how to translate scientific jargon into understandable concepts for the public, and how to keep the audience engaged will be presented. (subject matter: scientist in society)


Authorship Conflict

January 14, 2021. Noon - 1 p.m. Zoom.

Presented by Tetsuro Sakai, MD, PhD, MHA, Professor of Anesthesiology and CTSI, Vice-Chair for Professional Development, Director, Resident Research Rotation, Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine.

Upon the completion of this workshop based on actual examples of authorship conflict observed in an academic center, the attendees will be able to describe authorship eligibility in scientific manuscripts, indicate potential types and causes of authorship conflict, and discuss possible methods to solve, address, and avoid authorship conflict. (subject matter: responsible authorship)


Managing Up, Down, and All Around

January 20, 2021. Noon – 1p.m. Zoom.

Presented by Doris Rubio, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Clinical Research Education and Training, Health Sciences, Director, Institute for Clinical Research Education, Professor of Medicine, Biostatistics, Biomedical Informatics, Nursing, and Clinical Translational Science.

Leadership involves successfully managing relationships with people above, below, and lateral to you in the academic hierarchy. This session highlights the importance of these relationships and provides tips on managing your mentor (up), being a good mentor and staff supervisor (down), and providing peer mentorship to colleagues (all around). (subject matter: mentor/mentee)


“3R” Literature Searching for Animal Research Protocols

January 21, 2021. Noon – 1 p.m. Zoom.

Presented by Melissa Ratajeski, MLIS, AHIP, Health Sciences Library System.

Researchers using warm-blooded species (other than birds, mice of the genus Mus, and rats of the genus Rattus) classified in the USDA Pain Classification D or E are required to conduct a literature review addressing the 3Rs: Refinement, Reduction, and Replacement.  This session will provide tips for searching the literature and meeting the IACUCs requirements. (subject matter: animal subjects)


Managing Conflict of Interest: Protecting the Integrity of Research

February 2, 2021. Noon – 1 p.m. Zoom.

Presented by Jane Volk, Office of Research Protections, Conflict of Interest Division.

This workshop introduces the importance of conducting safe, ethical, and successful research. Topics include conflicts of interest and research misconduct. Attendees will be equipped to identify RCR issues and policies that guide their research management. (subject matter: conflict of interest)


Study Design (RCR/BERD workshop)

February 9, 2021. Noon - 1 p.m. Zoom.

This workshop is co-sponsored by CTSI Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research Design Core and the RCR Center.

Presented by Stephen Wisniewski, PhD, Professor of Epidemiology, Co-Director, Epidemiology Data Center, Vice Provost for Budget and Analytics.

For a research study to successfully answer the clinical question being addressed, the appropriate study design must be implemented.  The purpose of this workshop will be to provide a basic overview of common study designs, as well as the advantages and limitations of each approach. (subject matter: data acquisition)


How to Partner with and Recruit in Schools

February 18 2021. Noon – 1 p.m. Zoom.

Presented by Lisa Ripper, MPH, CPH, CTSI Community Health Research Manager, and Dr. Elizabeth Miller, MD, PhD, FSAHM, Director, Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine Medical Director, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh; Academic Co-Director, CTSI Community PARTners (Community Engagement Core), University of Pittsburgh.

There are special considerations and processes for how to partner with schools to conduct research in schools as well as to recruit for research studies through schools. We will share experiences partnering with schools to facilitate research and will lead a discussion about how to work with schools. (subject matter: collaborative research)


Bias in Scientific Literature

February 25, 2021. Noon – 1 p.m. Zoom.

Presented by Keith Vogt, MD PhD, Assistant Professor, Departments of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine and Bioengineering.

In this workshop, we will discuss sources of bias in scientific literature, including: falsified and incorrectly analyzed data, possible bias from publishers and media, the impact of proliferation of low-impact and predatory journals, and current research culture favoring positive results and little replication. (subject matter: peer review)



Previous Sessions

Responsible Conduct of Research Principles and Application, presented by Teri Reiche, CTSI, on November 18, 2020. Principles of Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) that promote safe, ethical, and successful research will be examined. Case studies illustrating specifics such as conflict of interest and research misconduct will be discussed, along with information on federal and university research resources that are available for investigators and students. (subject matter: scientist in society)

Community Partner Research Ethics Training (CPRET): A Strategy for Improving Recruitment and Retention, presented by Bee Schindler, LMSW, and Erricka Hager, MPH, Community Engagement Coordinators, CTSI Community PARTners, on November 19, 2020. Join us to learn about a Pitt-IRB approved research ethics training for community partners. CPRET was designed to help principal investigators and research coordinators tailor research ethics training for a specific study and to encourage dialogue with community members who will participate on the research team. This training is particularly relevant for investigators engaged in clinical and translational research involving community stakeholders. Investigators have the opportunity to create and discuss scenarios that may arise in the course of their specific study while ensuring that Core research ethics principles – i.e., autonomy, beneficence, and justice – are defined and reviewed (subject matter: collaborative research)

Conducting Ethical Human Participant Research, presented by Teri Reiche, CTSI, on November 24, 2020. This workshop discusses ethical issues and policies, using recent cases to highlight ethical principles governing human participant research. Attendees will learn to recognize lapses in ethical research practice and the importance of human participant safety in conducting successful clinical research. (subject matter: human participant research)

Preprints, How, Why, and Should I? presented by Melissa Ratajeski, MLIS, AHIP and Carrie Iwema, PhD, HSLS, on December 4, 2020. In this workshop, we will discuss the facts and myths of preprint publication, addressing the questions: “What are preprints?” “Can I still publish in a peer reviewed journal?” (subject matter: responsible authorship)

Pitt + Me + Kids, presented by Kerri Jackson & Heather Rockwell, CTSI, on December 8, 2020. The Pitt + Me Research Recruitment Program is CTSI’s strategic platform for study recruitment, engagement, and retention. Come to this workshop to find out how your study team can recruit the pediatric participants you need to meet your research aims, using Pitt + Me. (subject matter: human participant research)

Best Practices for Reproducible Science, presented by Janette Lamb, PhD, Genomics Research Core, Health Sciences Core Research Facilities, on December 14, 2020. It has been estimated that at least 50% of basic and preclinical research cannot be reproduced. How can project design contribute to robust, reproducible data? We will discuss how replication can lead to greater data confidence, what controls are appropriate and how N affects high content technologies. (subject matter: data acquisition)