Research Integrity & Safety Support Services

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

RCR training mandated by NIH for training grant, CAREER award, and NSRA recipients can not be met by use of online training, and requires a very different approach that can only be met by a face-to-face course.  Additionally NIH requires that this training be completed no less than once every 4 years.

UGA has several options for providing appropriate education to graduate students, post-doctoral trainees, faculty, and staff regarding the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). All are designed to be in full compliance with the stringent policy requirements for RCR education promulgated by NIH in NOT-OD-10-019, issued November 24, 2009. They provide substantive contact hours utilizing face-to-face discussion or lecture formats combining didactic and small-group discussion, and are led by experienced research faculty members.

The following courses / seminar series offered at UGA meet NIH standards:

  1. CBIO 8080
  2. Genetics 8650 Responsible Science.A course designed for first-year graduate students on how to conduct scientific research responsibly.
  3. GRSC 8550 A graduate-level, one-hour credit course that meets weekly each Fall and Spring Semester and covers the nine RCR topics plus several others, in fulfillment of the NIH requirements for RCR. Download Syllabus.
  4. Pharmacy 7230 Ethical Issues in Research, a course on ethics of research with animal and human subjects, fraud, scientific misconduct, and conflicts of interest
  5. Qualitative Research 8595 Research Ethics in the Professional and Social Sciences, a course exploring ethical dilemmas in conducting research in the social, professional, and human sciences and the sources of ethical principles and practices used to address these dilemmas.
  6. VETM 8550

Any one of the courses listed above may be audited or taken for credit by NIH trainees. Additionally, workshops or class presentations are regularly scheduled on individual RCR topics, such as Conflicts of Interest, and Conduct in Science (Misconduct).

National Science Foundation (NSF) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

All research proposals submitted to the National Science Foundation (NSF) after January 4, 2010 must contain a certification from a Sponsored Projects Administration (SPA) authorized official that UGA has a plan to provide appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research for all undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers who receive financial support from NSF research awards.

Effective February 2013, RCR training has been considered essential by USDA-NIFA in the preparation of future scientists. By accepting a NIFA research award, UGA 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.

As a matter of policy, UGA will apply this requirement to all personnel employed on NSF and USDA-NIFA research grants unless an individual or group of individuals is granted a written waiver by Dr. Christopher King, Associate Vice President for Research Compliance, Office of Research.

Currently waivers or exemptions will only be given for:

  • high school students/teachers paid a stipend,
  • employees working exclusively in an administrative role on a project,
  • individuals who have completed a commensurate program of RCR education that can be substituted for the CITI program, and
  • employees whose project roles are deemed not related (for example, washing glassware or providing animal care).

Personnel employed on conference, travel, workshop, or symposium awards from NSF are exempt from the RCR requirement, across the board.

CITI is an online service used to provide training in a number of areas of research compliance. The CITI RCR module is available in four versions: biomedical sciences, physical sciences, behavioral and social sciences, or humanities. Each version covers 7 of 9 generally accepted RCR content topics: scientific misconduct, conflicts of interest, peer review, data collection and management, mentoring, collaborations, and authorship. Completion of any of these courses is good for 4 years of credit. After the 4th year expiration, you will be required to complete the CITI Refresher RCR module.


Login to CITI Training


CAUTION: CITI’s human subjects training module is different from their RCR module. Make sure you are taking the correct training programs, as there is no overlap between the two programs.

Non-UGA persons paid off a NSF or USDA-NIFA research grant should contact Cathy Cuppett (, 706-542-9441) to be given access to CITI through Affiliate Status.

  • The RCR program will require approximately 3-4 hours to complete.
  • Quizzes require a passing score of 80%.
  • Employees may review the modules and/or take the quizzes as often as necessary to reach a passing score. The modules do not have to be completed in a single sitting.
  • You have one month from the date you are put on payroll for any NSF or a USDA-NIFA research award to complete RCR training.
  • The CITI database will be checked by your department’s Business Officer or designee to ensure that any employee added to payroll for one of the covered awards (remember — conference, workshop, symposium, and travel awards are exempt from NSF’s RCR requirement) has met this requirement.
  • Personnel paid by an NSF research award who are still on payroll after 30 days and have still not completed RCR training must be removed from payroll until training is completed.

CITI Training

[button type=”primary” link=”” target=”blank”]CITI Login Portal[/button]


Within one calendar month of being paid (i.e., before the employee receives a second paycheck from an NSF or a USDA-NIFA research grant account), departmental Business Managers or their designees must verify that the individual has completed mandated Responsible Conduct in Research (RCR) training. Employees performing any paid work on an NSF-funded research project have 30 days from the time they start work to complete required CITI RCR training.

These training records contain identifiable student data that are protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA); thus, Business Managers who have the educational need to check CITI training records for RCR training completion will be granted permission by Office of Research to check CITI records.

  1. Enter the UGA CITI Records portal by logging in with your UGA MyID and pasword. This will take you to the CITI Training Records Dashboard page.
    1. If you have already been granted access by OVPR or by another Business Manager, you will see “Search Records” on your screen.
    2. If you have not been granted access, only your own CITI records (if applicable) will display, and the “Search Records” menu pick will not display.  (To be granted access by OVPR, please contact Gary Rachel ( or phone 706-542-5905).
  2. Click Search Records.   You will then see the Search CITI Training Records page, where you may search for a person’s training records using name, UGA MyID and/or the Course.
  3. Enter the person’s last name in the last name field; then select “Responsible Conduct of Research” from the Course drop down list.
  4. After entering your search criteria, click “Search”.
  5. A list of that person’s training records will appear which meet your search criteria.
    1. If you selected to search for records for the Responsible Conduct of Research, you will see only the training records for that Course.
    2. If you entered a person’s name, then you will see only records for person(s) with that name.
  6. To help you find a record, you may sort any column by clicking the column’s heading.
  7. You may refine your search by entering or revising your search criteria and clicking “Search” at any time.
  8. If the employee does not appear, then there are no records matching your search criteria.  Assuming your search criteria were correct, then the employee has not completed any RCR courses.  (See step 7 below.)
  9. If you find the employee’s records and the employee has completed any one of the four CRC courses, then it’s OK to keep the individual on payroll for a restricted NSF research award.
  10. If the employee has no training records, or if you find the employee’s records and the employee has NOT completed any one of the four RCR courses, that employee can no longer be paid for an NSF research grant account and must be taken off that account immediately (and any salary charges to the grant should be removed through the use of a Journal Voucher).
  11.  When completed RCR training can be verified, the employee should be returned on payroll for the applicable NSF research award.
  12. After you have obtained your results, click the “Logout” button.

Questions: contact Gary Rachel at or 706.542.5905.


No. The RCR training requirement applies to new awards submitted, or due, on or after January 4, 2010, to conduct research, which excludes, for example, conference, symposium, workshop, or travel awards.

No. The NSF directive applies only to individuals paid off an NSF award. Cost-shared effort does not apply.

No, students who receive only scholarship or stipend support to enroll in an academic program through such NSF programs as S-Stem and Noyce are not required to receive RCR training. However, students must take RCR training if they receive NSF scholarship or stipend support to engage in research, or if conducting research is included in their academic program.

No, any evidence of an acceptable RCR program substitution and its completion is sufficient to meet either NSF or NIFA requirements. Provide this evidence to Dr. Chris King, Associate Vice President for Research, and he will grant a written waiver from the CITI requirements.

No, students who receive only scholarship or stipend support to enroll in an academic program through such NSF programs as S-Stem and Noyce are not required to receive RCR training. However, students must take RCR training if they receive NSF scholarship or stipend support to engage in research, or if conducting research is included in their academic program.

We recommend that you go ahead and have all those you intend to employ on the project complete the training. The training is very worthwhile for anyone who works on research projects, whether your proposal is funded or not. Save time now to save problems later.

Yes, any person receiving pay from an NSF research grant to UGARF, even those who are not UGA employees or students, has to take the training. Anyone can access the CITI training materials by following the same set of instructions provided to UGA employees and students. He/She identifies the University of Georgia as their affiliate institution upon log-in, and that record will be automatically accessible by departmental personnel who verify completion of the course before putting someone on payroll.

No, but the person will need a written waiver from Dr. Chris King. Dr. Chris King keeps the institution’s records of granted waivers under this policy. He will make these records available to NSF auditors, if required, and will provide a written response to the applicable department’s business manager so that individual knows a waiver has been granted for the individual in question.

You must complete the mandated RCR training every 4 years. Those completing CITI RCR training may take the CITI RCR Refresher once their original credit one of the basic RCR modules expires.

Yes. However, UGA’s requirements (i.e., RCR training for anyone employed on an NSF research grant) do not flow down; NSF’s requirements flow down—and those requirements are limited to undergraduate and graduate students, and post-doctoral researchers. For NIFA awardees, however, USDA requirements flow down to all subawards and to employees on them who are engaged in research.

Yes. Since most individuals taking the CITI RCR Training are likely already on payroll as employees being paid from an NSF or NIFA grant award, they are charging time to the grant and the time you expend to take the course is being paid for by UGA. Taking RCR training is an NSF and NIFA requirement and UGA pays the CITI membership fees associated for all CITI course participants.


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