Responsible Conduct in Research (RCR) Training


View the RCR Training and UF requirements below for each sponsor (NSF, USDA NIFA, NIHas well as instructions on how to navigate to the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) for RCR Training.

National Science Foundation (NSF) Training

NSF’s RCR Training Requirement

NSF requires all undergraduate, graduate students and postdocs who receive NSF support (salary and/or stipend) to conduct research be provided training in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR).

UF Requirement

In response to NSF’s requirement, the University of Florida requires all students and postdocs conducting research and paid (salary and/or stipend) directly from a NSF sponsored project to complete the RCR Training provided through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI).

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the background behind this training requirement?

NSF RCR Training Requirement implements provisions of the America COMPETES Act. The NSF RCR guidelines are published at Part I – Grant Proposal Guide and in Part II – Award and Administration Guide.

2. Does the NSF have a RCR FAQ website?

NSF maintains a RCR FAQ website at Responsible Conduct of Research Frequently Asked Questions.

3. When does this training requirement go into effect?

RCR Training Requirement is effective on those NSF research awards funding new full proposals submitted to the NSF on or after January 4, 2010.

4. Who must complete the RCR training?

The NSF requires all undergraduate, graduate students and postdocs who receive NSF support (salary and/or stipend) to conduct research be provided training in the Responsible Conduct of Research.

5. What are UF’s Responsibilities?

At the time of a NSF proposal submission, the Division of Sponsored Programs (DSP) certifies that the University of Florida has a plan to provide appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research to undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers who will be supported by NSF to conduct research.The University of Florida must be able to verify that undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers supported by NSF to conduct research have received RCR Training.

6. What is UF’s RCR Training Plan?

In response to this NSF requirement, the University of Florida requires all students and postdocs conducting research and paid (salary and/or stipend) directly from a NSF sponsored project to complete the RCR Training through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI). The CITI RCR Training is on-line and free. The CITI RCR Training is discipline specific (Biomedical, Social and Behavioral, Physical Science, Humanities, Engineers) and covers the following essential RCR topics:• Research Misconduct • Data Acquisition and Management • Responsible Authorship • Peer Review • Laboratory Animal Welfare • Human Subjects Protections • Mentoring • Conflicts of Interest • Collaborative Research •For a signed pdf version see UF’s RCR Training Plan

7. Where do you go to Log-in, Register and Complete RCR Training?

Navigation Instruction to CITI’s on-line RCR Training

8. How does UF verify completion of RCR Training?

Each student and postdoc who is paid (salary and/or stipend) directly from a NSF sponsored project will be notified by email that they must take the CITI on-line RCR Training. The email will provide instructions and navigation to myUFL which will be the gateway to CITI RCR Training.The University will track and verify RCR Training completion of students and postdocs using the myUFL system.

9. What are the Principal Investigator’s Responsibilities?

Principal Investigator’s (PIs) do not need to document anything in the proposal on RCR Training. DSP certifies to the NSF that RCR Training is provided when submitting a proposal.PIs of NSF sponsored projects are encouraged to complete the CITI on-line RCR Training and have RCR discussions with their students and postdocs.DSP will call on PIs to help direct students and postdocs to Login, Register and complete the RCR Training.

10. How many times will a student or postdoc need to take RCR Training for a NSF grant?

UF’s current requirement is to take the RCR Training once.

11. Do volunteers on an NSF project require RCR Training?

Volunteers are not required to take the UF RCR Training. The NSF regulation and UF’s implementation only requires students and postdocs who are paid directly (salary and/or stipend) from a NSF sponsored project conducting research to take the UF RCR Training.

12. Will UF accept RCR Training received from another Institution?

UF will not accept RCR Training received from another Institution. You will be required to take UF’s RCR Training.

13. When does RCR Training need to be completed?

Students and postdocs who are paid (salary and/or stipend) directly from a NSF Sponsored project will be notified by email to complete the RCR Training through the CITI on-line service provider.The expectation is all students and postdocs find time immediately upon receipt of the email notification to log-in, register and complete the UF RCR Training.The email notification will continue every 2 weeks with the Principal Investigator copied until the RCR Training is completed.

14. What happens when a student or postdoc cannot or did not complete the RCR Training?

The expectation is all students and postdocs will take the RCR Training. DSP will have the ability to track students and postdocs that do not complete RCR Training. In those cases DSP will contact the individuals directly as well as contact the Principal Investigator for assistance.If there are circumstances that prevent a student or postdoc from taking the RCR Training, the student, postdoc and/or PI should notify Brian Prindle, RCR Compliance Coordinator, as soon as possible.

15. Who at UF can be contacted with questions about the NSF RCR Training Requirement?

Questions may be directed to Brian Prindle, Associate Director of Research and RCR Compliance Coordinator.

USDA NIFA (National Institute for Food and Agriculture) Training

NIFA’s RCR Training Requirement

NIFA requires all program directors, faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, postdoctoral researchers and staff who are paid from NIFA grants receive training in Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). The RCR training provided to each individual must be documented and is subject to NIFA review.

Full text can be found on page 5 of the NIFA’s February 2013 Agency-Specific Terms & Conditions (PDF). For newer versions of the NIFA Agency Specific Terms and Conditions, please visit the NSF host website.

UF Requirement

In response to NIFA’s requirement, the University of Florida requires all Principal Investigators, faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, postdoctoral researchers and staff who are paid (salary and/or stipend) directly from a NIFA sponsored project to complete the RCR Training provided through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI). 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the background behind this training requirement?

For NIFA awards and all grants subject to the February 2013 NIFA Agency Specific Terms and Conditions or any revisions thereafter, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) issued the following RCR Training requirement;

“By accepting a NIFA award the grantee assures that program directors, faculty, undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and any staff participating in the research project receive appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research and that documentation of such training will be maintained. Grantees are advised that the documentation of the training is subject to NIFA review upon request.”

Full text can be found on page 5 of the NIFA’s February 2013 Agency-Specific Terms & Conditions (PDF).

For any newer versions of the NIFA Agency Specific Terms and Conditions, please visit the NSF host website.

2. When does this training requirement go into effect?

NIFA’s RCR Training Requirement became effective for awards subject to the February 2013 Research Terms and Conditions (see page 5).

3. Who must complete the RCR training?

In response to NIFA’s requirement, UF requires all Principal Investigators, faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, postdoctoral researchers and staff who are paid (salary and/or stipend) directly from a NIFA sponsored project.

4. How will I know if I am required to take RCR Training?

All Principal Investigators, faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, postdoctoral researchers and staff who are paid directly from a NIFA grant will be notified by email that they must take the CITI on-line RCR Training. The email is generated every two weeks until RCR Training is completed. The email will provide instructions and navigation to myUFL which will be the gateway to CITI RCR Training. By navigating thru myUFL the University is able track and verifies RCR Training completion.

5. Where do you go to Log-in, Register and Complete RCR Training?

Navigation Instruction to CITI’s on-line RCR Training

6. How many times do I need to take RCR Training at UF?

UF’s current requirement is to take the RCR Training once.

If your myUFL record indicates you have previously completed RCR Training you will not be requested to take the training again.

7. What are the Principal Investigator’s Responsibilities?

Besides taking the RCR Training, Principal Investigators are encouraged to have RCR discussions with their students and postdocs.

In addition, the Division of Sponsored Programs will call on Principal Investigator’s to help direct students and postdocs to Login, Register and complete the RCR Training.

8. What are UF’s Responsibilities?

The University of Florida must provide RCR Training and be able to verify that Principal Investigators, faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, postdoctoral researchers and staff who are paid (salary and/or stipend) directly from a NIFA sponsored project have completed RCR Training.

9. How does UF verify completion of RCR Training?

By navigating thru myUFL to CITI, the University is able to track and verify RCR Training completion as well as track those that are required to take RCR Training but have yet to complete.

10. What are the Principal Investigator’s Responsibilities?

Besides taking the RCR Training, Principal Investigators are encouraged to have RCR discussions with their students and postdocs.

In addition, the Division of Sponsored Programs will call on Principal Investigator’s to help direct students and postdocs to Login, Register and complete the RCR Training.

11. Will UF accept RCR Training received from another Institution?

UF will not accept RCR Training received from another Institution. You will be required to take UF’s RCR Training.

12. When does RCR Training need to be completed?

The expectation is immediately upon receipt of the email notification for you to log-in, register and complete the UF RCR Training. You do not need to complete the RCR Training in one session. CITI will save your place and you can pick –up where you left off upon your return.

The email notification will continue every 2 weeks with the Principal Investigator copied until the RCR Training is completed.

13. What happens when a student or postdoc cannot or did not complete the RCR Training?

The expectation is all PI’s, faculty, students, postdocs and staff will take the RCR Training.

DSP has the ability to track all those that are required to complete RCR Training. In those cases where completion appears to be delinquent DSP will contact the individuals directly as well as contact the Principal Investigator for assistance.

If there are circumstances that prevent completing the RCR Training, the student, postdoc or PI should notify Brian Prindle, RCR Compliance Coordinator, as soon as possible.

14. Who at UF can be contacted with questions about the NIFA RCR Training Requirement?

Questions may be directed to Brian Prindle, Associate Director of Research and RCR Compliance Coordinator.

NIH (National Institutes of Health) Training

NIH’s RCR Training Requirement

NIH requires 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 receive training in Responsible Conduct of Research.

This RCR Training requirement applies to the following programs: 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.

UF Requirement

  • Principal Investigator’s must submit an RCR Training Plan in the proposal submission that meets the RCR Training expectations of the NIH.
  • The PI is responsible for maintaining RCR training records to document that all NIH supported trainees, fellows, and scholars received the required instruction.
  • RCR Training Plans must include significant face-to-face interaction and participation
  • The following topics have been incorporated into most acceptable RCR Training Plans:
      • Conflicts of Interest
      • Policies regarding Human Subjects, Live Vertebrate Animal Subjects in Research and Safe Laboratory Practices
      • Mentor/Mentee Responsibilities and Relationships
      • Collaborative Research, including collaborations with industry
      • Peer Review
      • Data Acquisition and Laboratory Tools (management, sharing and ownership)
      • Research Misconduct
      • Responsible Authorship and Publication
      • The scientist as a responsible member of society, contemporary ethical issues in biomedical research, and the environmental and societal impacts of scientific research
  • UF course GMS 7003 Responsible Conduct of Biomedical Research is a common element of most UF NIH RCR Training Plans.
  • The Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) offers online RCR Training by discipline (Biomedical, Social and Behavioral, Physical Science, Humanities, Engineers) is also a good source of RCR Training and can be included in a NIH RCR Training Plan.

CITI for RCR Training

If you are being requested to complete RCR Training to satisfy NSF, NIFA or any other sponsor’s RCR Training requirements please follow the navigation below to myUFL and then on to the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI). The CITI RCR Training is online and free. The CITI RCR Training covers the following essential RCR topics:

  • Research Misconduct
  • Data Acquisition and Management
  • Responsible Authorship
  • Peer Review
  • Laboratory Animal Welfare
  • Human Subjects Protections
  • Mentoring
  • Conflicts of Interest
  • Collaborative Research

Navigating to CITI

By following the navigation to myUFL and then to CITI the University of Florida is able to document and verify RCR Training completion of individuals and be capable of responding to sponsor’s request to document compliance with grant RCR Training requirements.

Login, register and complete your RCR Training, today.

  1. Go to myUFL and login using your GatorLink username and password.
  2. Click Main Menu > My Self Service > Training and Dev – CITI only > Click CITI Training.
  3. You have now entered CITI. A CITI profile consisting of your name, email, and affiliation with UF has automatically been completed for you.
  4. You are asked to “Add a course or update your learner groups for University of Florida”.
  5. Select the appropriate RCR Training course for your area of research (Biomedical, Social and Behavioral, Physical Science, Humanities, Engineers).
  6. To add the course to your “My Courses” click the “CONTINUE” button.
  7. To begin your RCR Training, Click the “Enter” hyperlink.
  8. You may complete the RCR Training in one or multiple login sessions.
  9. If multiple sessions, always login to CITI through myUFL and navigate to CITI RCR Training.