Responsible Conduct of Research FAQs

RCR is an acronym for Responsible Conduct of Research. The concept involves: “the awareness and application of established professional norms and ethical principles in the performance of all activities related to scientific research.” Source: NIH NOT-OD-10-019
National Institutes of Health: NIH requires RCR training for individuals receiving support from NIH under certain programs (see policy below for applicable list) and with submission dates after January 25, 2010 for new and renewal applications and for continuation applications with deadlines on or after January 1, 2011. National Science Foundation: In 2009 NSF announced its implementation of Section 7009 of the America COMPETES Act which requires that institutions applying for financial assistance from the NSF provide training in the best practices of responsible and ethical conduct of research to undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers participating in the proposed research projects. The NSF implementation plan became effective January 4, 2010. Sources:
ORIA offers an online training program for faculty, staff and students. This program is available through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI). For information on how to complete this training, see the Responsible Conduct of Research Training Plan.
The CITI course satisfies NSF institutional training requirements. The course is designed to be used by institutions or organizations to provide a comprehensive Basic course in the RCR. The CITI course generally does not satisfy the NIH requirements.  Individuals accepting certain NIH awards will need to participate in in-person training.
OSP will receive a certificate of completion from CITI or the course director once you have finished the applicable course. If you have any questions, please contact Lindsay Wescott at
You check out our links available in the section for Federal Government Resources, as well as GMU University Resources.