Responsible Conduct of Research Training

NIH requires that 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 must receive instruction in responsible conduct of research (RCR).

In addition, NIH requires that training get repeated at least once during each career stage, and at a frequency of no less than once every four years.

NSF and other funding agencies also require RCR training for the researchers working on their funded projects.

PIs are responsible to ensure compliance of all researchers working on their projects. Instruction may (as approved by the sponsor) take place in a year when the recipient is not actually supported by an NIH grant. Instruction must be documented.

Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, please complete reading of three publications:

  1. ORI's Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research
  2. Avoiding plagiarism, self-plagiarism, and other questionable writing practices: A guide to ethical writing
  3. On Being a Scientist: Responsible Conduct in Research, 3rd Ed.​

Following are options to fulfill requirements, based on funding agency.

Undergraduate students should take the online CITI course for RCR and for other topics designated by the project PI.

Faculty may also attend the following in-person options, or may participate in the development and instruction of an RCR program specific to their discipline or lab.


Take a course. Eligible courses are listed below and each of these courses independently fulfills the 8-hour requirement.

  • PHCL 7605 (Ethics in Research)
  • IMMU 7607 (Science as a Profession)
  • TXCL/PHCL 7400 (Ethical Issues in Pharmaceutical Science and Toxicology)

The following courses will suffice if supplemented by attending appropriate sessions of the RCR seminar series (described below) for missing topics:

  • CLSC 7150 (Ethics & Responsible Conduct of Research)
  • CPBS 7605 (Ethics: Computational Bioscience Research)

Attend the monthly interactive RCR seminar series​ developed by the UCD Office of Regulatory Compliance. Email with any questions.

It is strongly recommended that all persons complete the online RCR training modules from CITI prior to attending these seminars. The background preps one for a quality discussion.

Review of the materials at the topic websites below should also be done prior to attending the seminar.

These nine seminars also fill the requirement for agency-required "refresher" training to be taken every four years.

Students or other researchers who have completed any of the courses listed above are welcome to attend and join in the discussions in order to explore a greater depth and intricacies of the topic.


Any of the above will suffice.  Also, free online CITI course in RCR. Find instructions here.

Other funding agencies will need to be asked about requirements. Please let us know if you find out that what we offer is insufficient to meet other agency specifications.