UW Research

Responsible Conduct of Research Training

UW offers Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training in response to the requirements stated in H. R. 2272, section 7009 of the “America COMPETES Act,” the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (Grant Proposal Guide and Award and Administration Guide), and 2 CFR Part 422 for Research Institutions Conducting USDA-Funded Extramural Research. RCR training is intended to help sensitize the university research community to the wide range of ethical and professional issues that must be considered to ensure a climate of research integrity.

NSF RCR Training

RCR training is now required for all undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral researchers supported by National Science Foundation (NSF) funds.

The NSF RCR training required by the University of Washington differs for undergraduate students versus graduate students and postdoctoral researchers.

Note: UW’s NSF RCR training does NOT meet NIH’s educational requirement for research trainees to take Responsible Conduct of Research training. The NIH requirement is met through the Biomedical Research Integrity Program.

NSF RCR Training for Undergraduates versus Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Researchers

In response to the NSF RCR training requirement, the UW Office of Research offers different RCR training through CMDITR and CITI which are on-line services providing research ethics education to all members of the research community.

  • CMDITR RCR training is a standardized RCR program covering a broad range of disciplines to meet sponsor requirements. The program is accessible to undergraduates with less prior experience in research, and is designed with the goal of teaching important key concepts and providing thoughtful educational feedback to users. Instructions for registering and completing CMDITR RCR Training.
  • CITI RCR training is a multi-faceted standardized RCR program to meet sponsor requirements and expand the UW’s commitment to provide UW graduate students and postdocs with an exceptional academic experience. Instructions for registering and completing CITI RCR training.

NIH Requirements

NIH requires only those individuals receiving training grants to undergo RCR training. UW offers RCR training that meets NIH RCR training requirements through the UW Biomedical Research Integrity Lecture Series. (NSF RCR training requirements differ from NIH training requirements in that NSF requires that any student or postdoctoral researcher supported by NSF receive RCR training.)

USDA-NIFA Requirements

RCR training is now required for all Principal Investigators, Key Personnel, and Investigators participating in National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) sponsored research. These designations may apply to faculty, staff, undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows. See GIM 10 for the University’s definition of an Investigator.

CITI RCR Training provides on-line research ethics education to all members of the research community and meets the RCR requirements for USDA-NIFA awards. Instructions for registering and completing CITI RCR training.

Objectives of RCR Training

  • Encourage best practices in the conduct of research and scientific investigations.
  • Foster an ability to recognize an ethical choice and the ability to make a principled decision.
  • Provide accessible educational opportunities and resources designed to help students and postdoctoral researchers meet the America COMPETES Act Responsible Conduct of Research training requirements.