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Training and Education


In June 2020, Senate approved updates to the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Policy. This policy, which is applicable to all staff and students based at or affiliated to UCT, now includes provision for training and education in RCR. Section 4.1 states:

”Ethical and responsible conduct of research is critical for excellence, as well as public trust, in research. Consequently, education in the responsible and ethical conduct of research is considered essential in the preparation of academic, research staff, research ethics committee members and post-graduate students.”

The Office of Research Integrity (ORI) is tasked with developing and delivering appropriate RCR training activities to the UCT research community across a variety of platforms including face-to-face workshops, written communication, online training initiatives and webinars. We have spent the past few years carefully developing a series of online training modules. These modules are currently available only to staff members (T1, T2 and permanent) but, we are working with stakeholders to make the modules available to post-graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and other ‘categories’ of staff who do not currently have access.


Each module consists of online content and a self-contained knowledge check, followed by a final assessment on the Learning Management System. Once you have completed the final assessment (and achieved more than 80%), you will be directed to a course evaluation. A certificate of attendance (for individual modules) will be triggered once the course evaluation has been submitted.

  • Responsible Conduct of Research: Introduction to Research Integrity (Module 1)

    Module In this module you will be introduced to the concepts and background of Research Integrity and Research Ethics. You will also be introduced to the broad range of topics covered by Research Integrity, and some of the international and institutional standards and policies which guide and govern practices. We hope you will leave this module with an understanding of why fostering research integrity is beneficial to you personally and to the research enterprise in general.




  • Responsible Conduct of Research: Research Misconduct and Questionable Research Practices (Module 2)

    Module This module outlines practices and policies that govern research misconduct at the institution and internationally. You will be introduced to questionable research practices and be given some tips for avoiding them. We hope you will leave this module understanding why research misconduct and questionable research practices are problematic, how they can impact you personally and professionally, and what this means for research in general.




  • Responsible Conduct of Research: Responsible Authorship and Publication Practices (Module 3)

    Module In this module, you will be introduced to responsible authorship practices, including some strategies for avoiding authorship disputes. The module will also cover problematic publication practices and tips for avoiding predatory publications. We hope you will leave this module with ideas to tackle authorship conversations, before they turn into problems and strategies for avoiding predatory publications.




  • Responsible Conduct of Research: Research Involving Human Participants (Module 4, Part 1)

    Module Note: Module 4: Part 1 is a pre-requisite for Part 2; you must complete the case study contained in Part 1 in order to progress to Part 2.

    Introduction and Benchmarks for Ethical Research

    This module will briefly introduce the concept of research ethics and take you through the principles and benchmarks. During the module you will be introduced to ethical violations of the past, role players, informative case studies and, tips to avoid ‘ethics dumping’. We hope you will leave this module with an understanding of the key benchmarks which should be considered when conducting research studies.

    There is no final assessment associated with Part 1 of the “Research Involving Human Participants” module. Once you have completed part 1 you will need to progress to part 2 to complete the module.




  • Responsible Conduct of Research: Research Involving Human Participants (Module 4, Part 2)

    Module Note: Module 4: Part 1 is a pre-requisite for Part 2; you must complete the case study contained in Part 1 in order to progress to Part 2.

    Assessing Ethical Risk and Resources

    This module will introduce you to levels of vulnerability associated with research participants; risk assessments; and international, local and institutional resources. We hope you will leave this module with an understanding of the research ethics landscape and, and of the many topics you need to consider and address in order to be an ethical and responsible researcher.





Programme and Certificates

The courses have been set up so that you can take each, individually, as your schedule allows. The individual courses will result in a certificate of attendance for each course.

We have also set up an “RCR Programme” on the learning management system, which will result in a certificate of completion, once you have completed all of the courses. The courses can still be taken in any order (with the exception of modules 4.1 and 4.2 which need to be completed in that order), and as your schedule allows, however there is a ‘completion time limitation’ of 4 months, meaning that you have 4 months from the time you start the programme in order to complete it.


The modules are currently hosted on HR’s SuccessFactors (SF) Learning Management System. You can access the courses by simply logging in to the platform and searching for them. If you are having any challenges, here is a quick-start guide.

Please remember that, for the moment, only T1, T2 and permanent members of the UCT staff community have access to the courses via SF. We are working on a solution to reach a wider audience.

Blended sessions

Our longer-term goal is to offer a blended learning experience to the UCT community, either in the form of face-to-face workshops or webinars, following the completion of the online modules. This would offer faculties, departments or research units the opportunity to:

  • Engage on specific topics further, and in relation to their own disciplines
  • Recap or clarify content in the online modules
  • Work through additional, relevant case studies and examples

If your faculty/department/unit is interested in exploring options, please send an email to research.integrity@uct.ac.za.

Future modules

We will be developing additional modules in the future to cover other topics in RCR:

(This is a dynamic list and may change to meet institutional needs. This list is not given in any particular order)

  1. Data practices, management, sharing and institutional policy (development underway)
  2. POPIA and EU-GDPR
  3. Peer review
  4. Research Collaborations
  5. Conflicts of Interest and Commitment
  6. Role of supervisor/mentor in the ethics/RCR process
  7. RI and RCR in an African Context
  8. Animal Ethics
  9. Compliance (Animal)
  10. Compliance (Biosafety)
  11. Compliance (Human)


Please get in touch with us: research.integrity@uct.ac.za