Responsible Conduct of Research Training (RCR)

Do you have research funded by NSF? Will undergraduates, graduates, or post-docs be involved in the research? Do you have an NIH training grant?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, please read the following notice:

The RCR training course is required by the National Science Foundation (NSF) for all those working on an NSF grant as of January 4, 2010. This requirement only includes undergraduates, graduates, and post-docs working on research funded by NSF. The NSF published a Q&A document regarding this policy.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) requires that all trainees, fellows, participants, and scholars receiving support through any NIH training, career development award (individual or institutional), research education grant, and dissertation research grant must receive instruction in responsible conduct of research. This policy became effective for  all new and renewal applications submitted on or after January 25, 2010. This link provides the agency documentation on this NIH requirement for instruction in RCR.

The University of Alaska Anchorage promotes Responsible Conduct of Research enforcing high standards of ethics and accountability in planning, implementation, behavior, and information dissemination. UAA provides several CITI Courses in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR), which include a comprehensive basic course in RCR for all UAA faculty, staff, research administrators, and students involved in any aspect of research.  

NSF and NIH Training Requirements

The CITI course fulfills the NSF requirement for RCR training. However, receipt of online RCR training alone may not be sufficient to meet NIH RCR training requirements, which depends upon the type of person being trained and whether other training options (e.g., mentoring, classroom training, lectures) should be utilized.

Access to CITI

CITI can be accessed here:

  1. Go to the CITI home page (the link above) and log in (remember your login information so you can re-enter to complete this course or to choose another option).
  2.  Find the link "add a course or update your learner group" and click.  Then click on "update groups".  Then read and follow the directions checking the option(s) you want to complete.
  3. Click to continue and click on "Go Back to Learner's Main Menu".  The course you chose will be listed there and you can begin the course you selected.  It will come up whenever you log in again.
  4. A certificate is available to print/save upon completion.  

Overview of RCR Training

The basic RCR course includes the following topics:

  • Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research
  • Research Misconduct
  • Data Acquisition and Management
  • Responsible Authorship
  • Peer Review
  • Mentoring
  • Conflicts of Interest
  • Collaborative Research

The other RCR options include:

  • CITI Biomedical Sciences RCR Course
  • CITI Social and Behavioral Sciences RCR Course
  • CITI Physical Sciences and Engineering RCR Courses
  • CITI RCR Course for Students and Investigators in the Humanities
  • CITI Course for IACUC Members
  • Review the CITI Health Information Privacy and Security (HIPS) Course

The course is flexible enough that classroom instructors of research methods courses can use this online tutorial as an addition to class instruction.  Research students, staff and faculty are encouraged to complete the CITI Course in the Responsible Conduct of Research and other RCR training options in the area of specific interest or expertise.