According to the NIH, responsible conduct of research is defined as “the practice of scientific investigation with integrity.  It involves the awareness and application of established professional norms and ethical principles in the performance of all activities related to scientific research.”

Who is required to take RCR Training and what type if training is required?

  • NSF – Requires funded undergraduate, graduate and postdoc students to receive training which can be accomplished via CITI.
  • USDA-NIFA – Requires anyone funded including researchers, staff, etc. to receive training which can be accomplished via CITI.
  • NIH – Requires funded graduate students and postdoc to receive face-to-face training which can be accomplished through an external campus Responsible Conduct of Research Training course via Canvas and in-person presentations. NIH funded undergraduates can receive the training via CITI.

This training fulfills regulatory requirements of the National Institute of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA). The America COMPETES Act requires all students and postdoctoral employees funded by the NSF to receive RCR training; this requirement is integrated into the NSF Proposal Award Policies and Procedures (PAPP) Guide.

According to USU Memorandum dated 08.08.13, “[it] is the responsibility of the grant principal investigator to ensure that new and currently enrolled students (undergraduate, graduate or postdocs) who are working on NSF, NIH and USDA funded projects, are made aware of this requirement and complete this training.”

CITI Training is an online program with various courses.

To fulfill the RCR Training requirement, you must complete the “Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Curriculum”. You must pass each module with a score of 80% or higher.

Completion of another CITI Training Module (such as the Social & Behavioral Research Modules used by the IRB or those used by the IACUC) DOES NOT fulfill the RCR training requirement.

Once RCR Training is completed via CITI Training, the Office of Research Integrity and Compliance will automatically receive an email with your certification of completion for their records.

  • Go to the CITI website.
  • Click “Register” in the upper right corner of the page.
  • Under “Select Your Organization Affiliation,” type Utah State University in the search box. Select Utah State University from the dropdown menu. Continue to step 2 on the CITI website.
  • Enter your personal information. A secondary email address is optional but recommended. Continue to step 3 on the CITI website.
  • Create your username and password. Select a security question and answer. Continue to step 4 on the CITI website.
  • Enter your country of residence and select it from the dropdown menu. Continue to step 5.
  • Indicate your interest in receiving Continuing Education Unit credit for completed CITI Program courses. Select an answer about participating in research surveys. These are voluntary programs but you must answer the questions to proceed. Continue to step 6 on the CITI website.
  • Provide answers to the required questions (starred). Non-starred questions are optional. The institutional email address should be your email address affiliated with USU. If you do not have an office phone, please enter a mobile or home number. Continue to step 7 on the CITI website.
  • Select “Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Curriculum” near the bottom of the list, then go to the next page. 
  • You will then be promoted to select an area of focus, either “Social and Behavioral Research”, “Physical Sciences”, or “Humanities”. Select one, then click next. (YOU ONLY NEED TO COMPLETE 1 FOCUS AREA). 
  • Click “Finalize Registration.”
  1. Go to the CITI website and log in.
  2. Under “Main Menu/My Courses” scroll down to the bottom.
  3. Under “My Learner Tools for Utah State University”, click Add a Course.
  4. Select “Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Curriculum” and click next.
  5. Select the focus area you want to complete ( YOU ONLY NEED TO COMPLETE 1) and click next.
  6. You should now be enrolled for that course.

NIH policy states that “all trainees, fellows, participants, and scholars receiving support through any NIH training, career development award, research education grant and dissertation research grant must receive instruction in RCR.”

Consequently all master students, PhD students, and postdocs funded by NIH must take RCR training via Canvas and in-person presentations.

You do not need to take RCR training via Canvas & in-person presentations. You DO need to complete RCR CITI Training.

NIH RCR policy requires participation in and successful completion of instruction in responsible conduct of research by individuals supported by any NIH training/research education/fellowship/career award. This instruction must include face-to-face discussions.

At the beginning of each month, our office is notified of new hires under NIH awards.  We will reach out to you and manually add you to the training.

If you are hired mid-semester, you will need to wait until the next semester to take the training.

  • The Responsible Conduct of Research Training via Canvas is comprised of modules which you can complete at your own pace by the end of the semester. However, we advise that you complete them in conjunction with the in-person presentations.
  • There is a face-to-face presentations that corresponds with each module. You must attend 5 of the 6 presentations.
  • After each presentation, there is a required post-discussion via Canvas.
  • If you have completed all training requirements by the end of the semester, you will receive a “Certificate of Completion”.