Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Requirements

This page reviews the principles of Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) and the use of CITI courses to satisfy RCR training requirements.

Please note: this is not the same as the Human Subjects Research (HSR) training required for IRB applications. For instructions regarding HSR training, go to this page instead.

What is Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)?

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) involves the awareness and application of established professional norms and ethical principles in the performance of all activities related to scientific research. Projects funded by NSF, NIFA, and NIH have different requirements regarding training that vary by funder and role on the study.

RCR courses vary by discipline. You only need to complete one of these based on your field of study:

  • Biomedical Responsible Conduct of Research Course
  • Social and Behavioral Responsible Conduct of Research Course
  • Physical Science Responsible Conduct of Research Course
  • Humanities Responsible Conduct of Research Course
  • Responsible Conduct of Research for Engineers

Projects funded by NSF and NIFA have different requirements regarding training in RCR. NIH RCR training requirements cannot be met by completing CITI courses since it must be face-to-face or in-person training.

Do I have to complete RCR training?

UCR encourages all students and faculty to complete RCR training. If you are working on a project funded by NSF, NIFA, or NIH it is likely that some RCR training requirements apply to your participation. See below for details.

What are the training requirements for specific funding agencies?

This table shows federal funding agencies that have requirements for RCR training

Federal Funder Minimal Requirement for RCR Target Audience (who must do the training) CITI RCR

NSF Online or face-to-face training Faculty, Senior personnel, Undergraduates,
Graduate students,
Postdoctoral researchers

Includes faculty training
NIFA Online or face-to-face training Faculty,
Program Directors,
Undergraduate students,
Postdoctoral researchers,
any staff

Includes faculty training
NIH * Face-to-face training/interaction

Trainees, Fellows,
Scholars, Participants


Must be completed at least once during each career state and at least once every 4 years


* For NIH, the requirements for such training apply to all NIH Institutional Research Training Grants, Individual Fellowship Awards, Career Development Awards (Institutional and Individual), Research Education Grants, and Dissertation Research Grants. The programs are listed as:

D43, D71, F05, F30, F31, F32, F33, F34, F37, F38, K01, K02, K05, K07, K08, K12, K18, K22, K23, K24, K25, K26, K30, K99/R00, KL1, KL2, R25, R36, T15, T32, T34, T35, T36, T37, T90/R90, TL1, TU2, and U2R.

Where do I obtain the required training?

If you have NSF or NIFA funding, you can use CITI's online RCR training to fulfill the RCR training requirements. If you have NIH funding, face-to-face RCR training is required. See the instructions below.

Where can I find more information regarding RCR?

Several resources are available for UCR researchers. The Office of Research Integrity (ORI) provides RCR information in the RCR section of the Resources Page. Also, many professional societies and governmental licensing authorities have adopted policies or best practices that might be usefully considered.

Whom can I contact?

If you need to arrange for in-person RCR training, or are interested in templates for tracking training, contact the Director of the Research Ethics Education Program, Dr. Dena Plemmons at or 951-827-4312

For information regarding online training and requirements, contact RED's AVC Charles Greer at


CITI Program's Online RCR Training


Step One: Create/Access Your Account

  1. Choose the Log In button at 
  2. Click Log In Through My Organization
  3. Start typing University of California at Riverside and select it when it appears on the list

The first time you log on through UCR’s Single Sign On, the system will ask whether you have an existing CITI account that you would like to merge with the account being created. If you wish to merge an existing account, choose “I already have a CITI Program account.” Otherwise, choose I don’t have a CITI Program account and I need to create one.”


If you choose to link an existing account, the system will ask for the username and password associated with that account before linking it to your Single Sign On account.

Step Two: Select Curriculum

If there are no courses associated with your account yet, you will be taken to the Select Curriculum page. If you decide to wait to add courses, click the My Courses link when you return to the account and then click the View Courses button next to University of California at Riverside. 


Also on this page, you will find links that will allow you to affiliate your account with UCR. If you logged in using UCR's Single Sign On application, then your account is probably already affiliated with UCR and you don't need to do this. But if you do not see UCR on this page then your account is not yet affiliated with UCR. Adding a UCR affiliation will allow any future training completion records to be automatically added to Kuali Research protocols where you are listed as a laboratory member.

For details on adding affiliations and transferring completion records for courses completed prior to affiliating your account with UCR, see the Knowledge Base article  at

To add new courses to your account, click the Add a Course link in the gray box near the bottom of the My Courses page.



This brings up the Select Curriculum page, which displays a series of checkboxes to identify the course category(ies) that you'd like to add. 



The next section asks you to choose specific courses from the selected category. Choose the courses that most closely match your area of research. The regulations require you to complete at least one course. You are welcome to select as many as you like.



At the end of the selection, a message indicates that your enrollment was successful and the courses now appear on your My Courses page. You can repeat the Add Courses process whenever you want to add other courses to your account.



You can start the training right away or complete it later by exiting and logging back in when you are ready.

Step Three: Verify Your Completion Records

CITI automatically records Human Subjects training data and in most cases your completion can be confirmed by UCR staff. However, you may choose to generate a certificate of completion for your own records. This is especially important if you completed the training through a different institution, since UCR staff can only access records for people who affiliated with UCR prior to completing the training.

  1. Log in to
  2. On the My Courses page, click the View Courses button to see a list of your complete and incomplete courses
  3. Click the View-Print-Share Record button for the desired course
  4. Select the method you would like to use for sharing your training completion and click the associated button

For Technical questions, contact CITI at or 1-888-529-5929.

What units on Campus are involved in RCR training?

The Office of Research and Economic Development (RED) and the Research Ethics Education Program (REEP) have developed an Institutional Plan to Meet Federal Requirements for Training and Oversight in the Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research.