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Responsible Conduct of Research

As the Commonwealth’s leading engineering school, the UK College of Engineering is committed to providing faculty, staff, students, postdoctoral researchers and others with the knowledge and skills necessary to conduct themselves professionally and with integrity. To this end, the College of Engineering has developed a plan for Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) education consisting of varied components, each a critical element in creating an overall culture of ethics in the college and among our constituent groups.

Researchers (faculty, staff and students alike) must maintain the highest standards of scientific integrity and ethical behavior in all phases of the conduct of research. The potential for subjectivity, unconscious bias, and conflicts of interest that coincide with data collection and analysis, the attribution of responsibility and credit, the mentoring of students and fellows, and the use of human and animal subjects for research are all areas in which the researcher must be fully informed. 

For these reasons, the UK College of Engineering’s Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) curriculum is designed to ensure that graduate students are made aware of the rules, regulations and guidelines governing the responsible and ethical conduct of research. 

The College of Engineering’s RCR program for graduate students consists of four equally important educational components: 

  1. RCR web-based course by CITI (Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative). The following website explains how to access the online program.  
    https://www.research.uky.edu/responsible-conduct-research; New students must complete this requirement prior to arriving on campus.
  2. RCR seminar presented by the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies
  3. Faculty-led small group discussions of pertinent case studies
  4. A written exercise from relevant case studies.

Any graduate student who does not complete these four requirements will be denied class registration for the upcoming semester.

Training Prior to Arriving on Campus

Prior to arriving on campus, new graduate students are expected to complete the CITI on-line training program for Responsible Conduct of Research. This is the first of three components in our RCR training program.

To complete this requirement you must first activate your UK Link Blue ID. Your Link Blue ID and Student ID number were sent to you in your acceptance letter from UK. To activate your account, visit http://www.uky.edu/ukat/help/linkblue. Contact your Director of Graduate Studies if you are unable to find your Link Blue information.(Note: Monitor your UK e-mail account to ensure you do not miss important messages. Enable forwarding if you prefer a different account.)

Once your account is active, follow the instructions found at the following website to access and login to the CITI RCR training site. 


When asked to choose an RCR course, choose the Engineers Responsible Conduct of Research Course.
You must complete all ten modules of RCR and score 80% on the module quizzes to pass the course.

Office of Research Integrity

The University of Kentucky’s Office of Research Integrity (ORI) provides support for seven federally mandated review committees: four Medical and one Nonmedical Institutional Review Board (IRB), and the Radioactive Drug Research Committee (RDRC). ORI also supports the institution in promoting ethical conduct of research and educating UK students and employees regarding research misconduct regulations, and data ownership.

For more information, please visit the ORI website.