Updated Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research (2021)

Program Link: https://rcr.ethics.gc.ca/eng/news-nouvelles_2021-12-17.html

Sponsor:  Panel on Responsible Conduct of Research

Description: The three federal research funding Agencies – the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) (the Agencies) – are pleased to announce the release of the Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research (2021). This latest version replaces the RCR Framework (2016) as the Agencies’ official policy on responsible conduct of research.

The Panel on Responsible Conduct of Research is mandated by the Agencies to review the Framework every five years. These revisions reflect feedback received by the Secretariat on Responsible Conduct of Research over the last five years from the research community and a public consultation conducted between April and July 2021. As noted during the public consultation, the Panel and the Secretariat are committed to developing guidance on the responsible conduct of research involving the Indigenous communities. A discussion with the Indigenous communities on this initiative will start in 2022.

Highlights of the revisions made to the RCR Framework include:

  • a definition of Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)
  • a new responsibility for researchers regarding appropriate supervision and training in the conduct of research
  • clarification to some definitions of breaches (falsification; destruction of research records)
  • additional guidance on who and how many people should be involved in conducting an inquiry
  • additional guidance on what institutions should consider disclosing at the end of an RCR process
  • an additional criterion for institutions to consider when deciding whether to dismiss or pursue an allegation