Office of Research Responsible Conduct of Research - Office of Research

Responsible Conduct of Research

What is Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)?

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) “is the awareness and application of established professional norms and ethical principles in the performance for all activities related to scientific research.” The Research Ethics and Compliance Office (RECO) in the Office of Research administers the Responsible Conduct of Research Certification Program by upholding requirements set forth by granting bodies and UC Davis policies. The RCR Certificate Program is designed to satisfy federal regulations that require RCR training as a part of grant or contract terms and conditions. RCR introduces and reinforces ethical principles to guide the performance of scientific research activities by combining engaging and relevant live Zoom sessions and challenging on-line modules. While RCR requirements may differ by study, or funding agency, the UC Davis RCR program is designed to satisfy requirements of all funding agencies including National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)


Schedule of
RCR live
in-person zoom



Who must participate in RCR Training?

At UC Davis RCR training is strongly encouraged for all students and faculty or staff. If you are working on a project funded by NSF, NIFA, or NIH it is most likely that RCR training will be required.

*For NIH, the requirements for training apply to all NIH Institutional Research Training Grants, Individual Fellowship Awards, Career Development Awards (Institutional and Individual), Research Education Grants, and Dissertation Research Grants. The programs are listed as: 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.

UC Davis RCR Certificate Program Requirements

    • Attend at least eight live Zoom sessions 
        • Offered the fourth Monday of every month from 11:00 am to noon via Zoom at
        • Every RCR learner must participate in eight live Zoom sessions, facilitated by faculty or staff, to receive the RCR Certificate.
        • No registration for the live Zoom session is required.
        • Participants must join the session using a valid UC Davis NetID and provide a UC Davis email address.
    • Complete the RCR training modules via CITI (CITI Login)
        • Register with CITI
        • RCR Training Certification is valid for three years.
        • The minimum passing score for each module is 80%. You may retake the quiz from any module that you did not pass.
        • Participants enroll in the RCR courses for all learners.
          • Courses Include:
            • Introduction to RCR; Authorship; Collaborative Research; Communicating with the Public; Conflicts of Interest and Commitment; Data Management; Environmental and Social Dimensions of Engineering Research (for engineers only); Financial Responsibility; Mentoring; Peer Review; Plagiarism; Presentation of Research Findings; Reproducibility of Research Results; Research Involving Human Subjects; Research Misconduct; Research, Ethics, and Society; and Using Animal Subjects in Research.

NOTE: These RCR courses do not satisfy the basic courses for human subjects or lab animal welfare.

New NSF Requirements

Effective January 1, 2024

  • Principal Investigators and all other senior personnel (i.e., faculty and other academic appointees) supported on new NSF grants that result from proposals submitted on or after July 31, 2023, are required to complete RCR training.

UC Davis Office of Research and RECO provide training in Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research (RCR) that meets new NSF requirements. Courses on Mentoring, Introduction to Export Compliance and Export Compliance for Researchers are now included to satisfy the export control requirement. A course on research security is now included. These online courses are designed for Principal Investigators, faculty and staff members, graduate students and undergraduate students and satisfy federal regulations that require RCR training as a part of grant and contracts terms and conditions.

NOTE: Due to the expansion to the RCR program:

  • Participants who enrolled in the RCR program prior to July 31, 2023 will have until January 1, 2024 to complete the remaining requirements. New NSF requirements must be completed, regardless of enrollment date.
  • Participants who have started the certificate program in the 2023 calendar year but do not finish before January 1, 2024 may be required to complete additional expanded requirements.
Address questions to the Research Ethics and Compliance Office,
Elizabeth “Liz” Chase at [email protected]