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Responsible Conduct of Research

The National Science Foundation (NSF) requires responsible conduct of research (RCR) training for all undergraduates, graduates, and post-doctoral fellows who conduct research supported by NSF funds. Similarly, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) requires that all trainees, fellows, participants, and scholars receiving support through any NIH training, career development award (individual or institutional), research education grant, or dissertation research grant must receive RCR training, including professional and scientific employees receiving funding from these sources. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) also requires education in RCR for program directors, faculty, undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and any staff participating in research projects supported by an NIFA award. For faculty, RCR training is required for NIFA grants, and otherwise on a case-by-case basis, when the award stipulates that RCR training is a requirement. There are two options for satisfying the training requirement, which must be completed during the course of the individual’s involvement in the federally funded project.

OPTION 1 – Responsible Conduct of Research Training Workshops

Responsible Conduct of Research training is required by NSF, NIH and NIFA. Spring 2021 RCR Training will be held remotely over WebEx in a synchronous fashion (the presenters will be live on specific days and times) throughout the month of February. Each unique session will be held twice. Attendees will be required to sign up for and attend 8 unique courses, which will fulfill the 8 hour requirement. 8 Hours must be completed to meet the requirements and will eliminate the need to complete the online CITI RCR modules.

In order to reduce potential conflicts with class schedules, the training will occur throughout the month of February:

Please check back for dates and times; we are currently working on scheduling and will update the website when we have sessions scheduled.

OPTION 2 – Approved Department-Sponsored RCR Course

Some departments may require that all of their students take an RCR course, regardless of involvement in federally sponsored research. Department-sponsored RCR courses must be approved by the Office of the Vice President for Research. In addition, GRAD 5910: Responsible Conduct in Research, is a 1-credit graduate course offered every semester which satisfies the RCR requirement.

Fall semester:

Catalog Number Class Number Topic
GRAD 5910-001 3927 D. McDonald – Responsible Conduct in Research

Spring semester:

Catalog Number Class Number Topic
GRAD 5910-001 7292 D. Daggett – Responsible Conduct in Research

The following course is also available to be taken through UConn Health:

Catalog Number Class Number Topic
MEDS 5310 1022 H. Aguila – Responsible Conduct in Research

RCR Curriculum

The RCR curriculum includes the following topics:

  • Authorship and plagiarism [NIFA requirement]
  • Data and research integration (acquisition and management) [NIFA requirement]
  • Research Misconduct / Reporting misconduct [NIFA requirement]
  • Mentor/trainee responsibilities and relationships
  • Collaborative research and industry relationships
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Use of Human Subjects in Research
  • Animal welfare - Use of Animal Subjects in Research
  • Export Controls Compliance
  • Biosafety Regulatory Compliance
  • Peer Review

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here is a list of frequently asked questions about the Responsible Conduct of Research training workshops and requirements. Click on each question to expand and reveal the answer.

Are the RCR training workshops offered during the summer?

No, the RCR training workshops are only offered in January, prior to the start of the Spring Semester.

My program does not require me to work with the topic subject groups. Must I attend that portion of the program?

Yes. The requirement for RCR training is 8 hours of in-person training, and you must participate in the full program in order to satisfy the requirement.

I took the CITI training online. Do I have to take the training in person?

In order to satisfy the RCR requirement, you must participate in the 8 hours of in-person training.

I took the RCR training at another University. Must I repeat the RCR training?

The Office of the Vice President for Research will review written requests for credit for prior RCR training with appropriate supporting documentation.

Does my academic Department/Major course that covers Responsible Conduct of Research satisfy the RCR requirement?

A course can only satisfy the RCR requirement if it is pre-approved by the Office of the Vice President for Research.

How do I confirm that I completed the RCR Requirement?

Your student transcript will indicate satisfactory completion for credit-bearing RCR courses. The Office of the Vice President for Research can verify full participation in the two-part training workshops.

Will I be notified by the Office of the Vice President for Research that I need to take RCR training?

No. If you are being paid on a Federal grant with an RCR training requirement, the Principal Investigator (PI) will inform you that you must satisfy the RCR requirement.

What happens if I do not fulfill the RCR requirement?

If you do not fulfill the RCR requirement, you cannot be paid with federal funds to work on the federally funded grant.

If I am not currently working and being paid on a federal grant, can I take the RCR training?

Individuals who are being paid to work on federally funded grants have priority for registering. Individuals who plan to work on federally funded grants should consider registering for RCR training.


For general information pertaining to this requirement:

Nicholas Lacafta
Office of the Vice President for Research
Whetten Graduate Center, Unit 1246
University of Connecticut
Storrs, CT 06269
Telephone: 860.486.8802