University of Pennsylvania

Biomedical Graduate Studies
Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) and Scientific Rigor and Reproducibility (SRR)

Faculty Requirements and Reporting – Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) and Scientific Rigor and Reproducibility (SRR)

All faculty with BGS students in thesis work are required to hold a 1.5-hr lab meeting devoted to RCR, and another to SRR, each year. Some flexibility in structuring these meetings exists, as noted below. Compliance is self-reported.

To report an RCR- or SRR-focused lab meeting, go to

Other faculty must serve as facilitators of BGS RCR workshops, or other relevant BGS-approved RCR or SRR activities, once every three years. This is monitored separately.

Compliance with these requirements is essential to securing and maintaining funds for training. For this reason, and owing to the value of the information afforded to students as a part of their training, BGS requires and actively monitors compliance.

With regard to the structure and resources for RCR- and SRR-focused lab meetings:

  • The intent of an RCR-focused lab meeting is to have a discussion among lab members of one or a few RCR topics both in general terms and from the perspective of the work and concerns of the laboratory. The discussion can be split, if desired, between two lab meetings as 2 45-minute segments. Topics should be rotated. Resources in the form of case-study modules are provided for the following topics: acquisition and management of data, collaborative science, conflicts of interest and time, mentoring, peer review, research misconduct, responsible authorship and publication, scientists as responsible members of society, use of animals in research, and use of humans in research.

  •  The intent of an SRR-focused lab meeting is to have a discussion among lab members from a similar perspective, but now regarding experiemental design and transparency as they relate to reproducibility. Topics include scientific premise, rigorous experimental design (incl. statistics), consideration of sex and other variables, authentication of key biological and/or chemical resources, and presentation/publication practices. The discussion can be split among several lab meetings if desired, but it must be formally articulated as relating to training in SRR.

  • The PI is encouraged to tailor presentations according to the needs of his or her laboratory and the stages of development of the students, inclusive of any student performing a rotation project.