UW Research
Frequently-Asked Questions

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Training FAQs

When do I need to take the course again? 

The UW currently only requires the RCR course to be taken once.

Do NSF Fellows have to take RCR training?

NSF Fellows conducting research at the University of Washington who are supported by the NSF to conduct research are required to take RCR training.

Does RCR and RECR mean the same thing?

Generally, yes. The National Science Foundation (NSF) uses the term Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research (RECR) where other agencies, sponsors and organizations use Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). The principles and goals are the same: disseminating knowledge with rigor and reproducibility while creating a research environment characterized by integrity. UW uses the terms interchangeably.

What proposals are impacted by the NSF requirement?

RCR training is required for all researchers (undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, faculty and other senior personnel) who are or will be supported by NSF and are working on projects for proposals that are submitted or due on or after July 31, 2023.

Who gives me access / provides the username and password?

For CITI and CMDITR, creating a username and password is a self-registration process.

If I’m a student, what department should I report as being affiliated with? 

Report your department with which your PI on the NSF grant is affiliated.

How much time do I have to complete the RCR trainings in their entirety?

You are required to complete the training prior to participating in NSF sponsored programs.

Do PIs need to document in their proposals that RCR training will be provided?

At this time PIs do not need to document anything in the proposal on RCR training. The University assures NSF that it has a plan to provide and oversee RCR training and that such training addresses mentor training and mentorship.

Are PIs, other faculty working on NSF grants, or staff required to take RCR training?

Yes, effective July 31, 2023, RCR training requirements (that were once limited to students and postdocs) now apply to all researchers* supported by the NSF who are working on research projects: not only undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers, but also faculty and other senior personnel participating on these awards.

As well as the cohort described above, researchers include Investigators, as defined in GIM 10, Principal Investigators (PIs) and co-PIs.

If I’m volunteering my time on an NSF specific project or am participating in an NSF supported project for course credit, am I required to take RCR training?

No. Only researchers (undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, faculty and other senior personnel) who are supported by NSF are subject to the RCR training requirement.

If a UW PI is conducting research supported by an NSF grant and the PI is working with a non-US student who is volunteering effort on the grant and working in Europe, does this student need to complete the RCR Training? 

Only researchers (undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, faculty and other senior personnel) supported by the NSF are required to take RCR training through University of Washington.

If I am an individual who has transferred from another institution where an RCR requirement was in place, will any prior training be accepted by the UW, or will I have to take the RCR training required and offered by UW?

If you receive funding from the NSF, you are required to complete RCR training while at the UW. Previous RCR training completions may not be used to meet the UW requirement.

Does the NSF have guidance regarding Responsible Conduct of Research? 

The NSF provides robust and comprehensive resources from their Office of the Director (OD) on RCR. They review a broad range of topics, including emerging trends and requirements, that range from rigor, reproducibility, and integrity, to peer review, disclosure, intellectual property and foreign influence, as well as the fair and respectful treatment of students and colleagues.  Find this and more on the Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research page.

Page Update: LG/7.27.23