Office of Research Research Ethics: RCR Program - Office of Research

Research Ethics: RCR Program

The objective of the Responsible Conduct of Research program is to provide graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, faculty, staff and NSF funded undergraduate students with information, training, and tools to address the increasingly complex issues that they will confront during their careers. The RCR program may be used to satisfy NIH, NSF, and USDA-NIFA training grant requirements for the responsible and ethical conduct of research training programs. The Research Compliance & Integrity unit provides administrative support to the RCR Program.

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Online Training Now Available

The Research Compliance and Integrity Office (RCI) in the Office of Research at UC Davis has contracted with the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) to provide online training in Responsible Conduct of Research. (RCR) These online courses are designed for faculty and staff members, graduate students and undergraduate students who are interested in or focusing on the research areas listed below. The courses satisfy federal regulations that require RCR training as a part of grant and contracts terms and conditions.

Note: These RCR courses are not completed in lieu of the basic courses in human subjects or lab animal welfare.

If unsure which course to select, please contact the Office of Research Compliance and Integrity at


Go to the CITI homepage and register to get started

UC Davis instructions for using the CITI course

RCR Course Modules

The RCR modules below present information about responsible conduct in research and contain case studies and quizzes relating to the topic of that module. The modules available include:

  • Authorship (RCR-Basic) (ID 16597)
  • Conflicts of Interest (RCR-Basic) (ID 16599)
  • Data Management (RCR-Basic) (ID 16600)
  • Financial Responsibility (ID 16601)
  • Mentoring (RCR-Basic) (ID 16602)
  • Research Misconduct (RCR-Basic) (ID 16604)
  • Introduction to RCR (RCR-Basic) (ID 17009)

Certificate of Completion

Once the course is completed, you can print a copy of the training certificates by logging in to CITI, using your username and password and clicking the “Print” link under the Completion Reports column in My Courses.

In-Person Courses

In addition to the seven required CITI modules, join one live Zoom module.  These modules are offered the fourth Monday of every month from 11:00 am to noon via Zoom ( No registration for the live Zoom session is required.  Participants must join the session using a valid UC Davis NetID.

Information on RCR

What is the RCR Format?

The 60-minute lecture-discussion sessions are offered during the academic year at both the Davis and Sacramento campuses. Sessions consist of a face-to-face lecture by a guest speaker, followed by a question and answer period. However, due to COVID-19, the 2020-2021 sessions will be held via Zoom only. These sessions are taught and facilitated by members of the faculty and administration with particular knowledge and expertise of the specific RCR topics.

How Do I Receive a RCR Certificate of Completion?

Participants who attend eight sessions covering different topics will receive a certificate of completion for the Responsible Conduct of Research program. You may carry over attendance from the sessions from the previous academic year.

Note: Due to COVID-19, the 2020-2021 will be held via Zoom only. In order to receive credit for a course, you must participate the full hour of the session. Participants that join the meeting late will not be allowed to join (more than 10 minutes). Participants who leave the meeting early will not receive credit (more than 5 minutes). Participant attendance is tracked by Zoom with the time stamp of when they joined and left the meeting. If you have technical problems where you have to rejoin, you will still receive credit as long as you rejoin withing a few minutes.

Your attendance is tracked in LMS. You can log into your LMS account to view how many course you have taken at any time. One you complete eight sessions, RCR Learning and Development will email you your certificate. For questions regarding the courses you have taken and the status of your certificate, please contact Learning and Development at

Who is Required to Complete RCR Training?

RCR training is required for:

trainees, fellows, participants, and scholars supported by specific NIH training awards, career development awards, research education grants, or dissertation research grants; and

program directors, faculty, undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and any staff participating in the research project on an NSF or USDA-NIFA award

How Often Should I Take the RCR Training?

Reflection on responsible conduct of research should recur throughout a scientist’s career: at the undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, predoctoral, postdoctoral, and faculty levels.

Instruction must be undertaken at least once during each career stage, and at a frequency of no less than once every four years.

It is highly encouraged that initial instruction during predoctoral training occurs as early as possible in graduate school.

Individuals at the early career investigator level (including mentored K awardees and K12 scholars) must receive instruction in responsible conduct of research at least once during this career stage.

Senior fellows and career award recipients (including F33, K02, K05, and K24 awardees) may fulfill the requirement for instruction in responsible conduct of research by participating as lecturers and discussion leaders.

To meet the above requirements, instruction in responsible conduct of research may take place, in appropriate circumstances, in a year when the trainee, fellow or career award recipient is not actually supported by an NIH grant

Do RCR Requirements Apply to My Award?

Training in responsible conduct of research (RCR) is a requirement for certain types of personnel receiving salaries or stipend support on specific NIH, NSF, and USDA-NIFA research awards.

Who Needs Training?

  • All trainees, fellows, participants, and scholars supported by such awards

Types of Awards:

  • Training
  • Career development
  • Research education
  • Dissertation research

Only the following types of grants require RCR training [unless otherwise specified]: 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

Who Needs Training?

  • Undergraduate and graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers receiving salaries or stipend support to conduct research on these awards

Types of Awards:

  • Awards funding research

The RCR requirement does not apply to NSF awards specifically granted to fund a conference, symposium, workshop or travel

Who Needs Training?

  • Undergraduate and graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers receiving salaries or stipend support to conduct research on these awards

Types of Awards:

  • Awards funding research

What Other Ethics Training is Required at UC Davis?

COIR (Conflict of Interest for Researchers Briefing)

This course is required of anyone who was paid by extramural funds during the prior fiscal year. It also fulfills the requirements for Conflict of Interest training for PHS-funded researchers which is required every 4 years. The course will take approximately 30 minutes to complete.

Access to Mandatory Training for PHS Researchers:

Log in to the UC Learning Center using your UCD LoginID and Kerberos password.

  • Search for keyword “COIR” in the UC Learning Center search bar on the left of your screen.
  • Select the Conflict of Interest class, and click “Start.” The online course will then launch.

Students and Affiliates: You will need to contact SDPS ( to create an LMS user account to access the PHS-COI or COIR training module.

Training Document for Subrecipients (PDF) (*to be used by Subrecipients only):

Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI Program)

Investigators, staff, and faculty advisors engaged in human subjects research are required to complete human subject research protection training prior to engaging in research activities. Training should be completed before submitting an application for IRB review when initiating a new study, or prior to engaging in research activities, including access and analysis of private identifiable data, when joining an active research project. It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator to ensure all research staff have completed all necessary training before engaging in research activities. The following personnel engaged in research must complete training:

For more information:

Research Ethics Resources



For RCR program questions, please contact Research Compliance & Integrity Unit (RCI) at

For registration assistance and/or issuance of your RCR certificate, please contact Learning and Development at