Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Training
National Science Foundation (NSF) and USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) RCR Training
RCR training is required under the America COMPETES (America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science) Act. Additionally, in response to the CHIPS and Science ACT of 2022, the National Science Foundation has amended their grants policies. For all NSF proposals submitted after July 23, 2023, Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research (RECR formerly RCR) training is mandated for all undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, faculty, and other senior personnel.
This new mandate replaces the existing RCR policy and expands the training requirement to faculty and other senior personnel. Additionally, the new requirement mandates that the RCR training also covers mentor training and mentorship.
What do you need to know?
- Berkeley has a membership with CITI (Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative) that offers basic RCR training which includes a mentorship module. The mentorship module was updated by CITI on July 1, 2023.
- The CITI RCR Training should be completed at least every four years by all staff and trainees that are actively supported by an NSF grant—including faculty and staff.
- RAC is monitoring compliance with this requirement. Failure to complete this requirement will jeopardize the University accepting future NSF sponsored research awards.
What do you need to do?
- All students, postdocs, faculty and other senior personnel supported by an NSF project must complete, at a minimum, CITI training in the Responsible Conduct for Research. Please be sure to login using the LOG IN THROUGH MY ORGANIZATION option. DETAILED LOGIN AND REGISTRATION INSTRUCTIONS
- Please review and share with your research team the additional resources below.
Recommended National Academies Reports on Mentoring:
- Mentoring of Black Graduate and Medical Students, Postdoctoral Scholars, and Early-Career Faculty in Science, Engineering, and Medicine: Proceedings of a Workshop (2022)
- The Science of Effective Mentorship in STEMM (2019) with a complementary interactive guide
- Effective Mentoring in STEMM: Practice, Research, and Future Directions (2017)
Additional Resources for Mentorship Training and Learning:
- OEC Online Ethics Center For Engineering And Science
- CIMER Center for Improving Mentoring Experiences in Research
- CITI Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (mentoring as a chapter of the basic RCR course)
- National Research Mentoring Network
- Berkeley Center for Teaching and Learning
- UC Learning Implicit Bias Series
National Institutes of Health (NIH) RCR Training
On November 24, 2009, the National Institutes of Health updated its
policy for instruction of trainees in the Responsible Conduct of
Research. The updated policy states:
“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. This policy will take effect with all new and renewal applications submitted on or after January 25, 2010, and for all continuation (Type 5) applications with deadlines on or after January 1, 2011. This Notice applies to the following programs: 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. This policy also applies to any other NIH-funded programs supporting research training, career development, or research education that require instruction in responsible conduct of research as stated in the relevant funding opportunity announcements.”
The NIH Guide Notice Update on the Requirement for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research provides additional information.
NIH RCR Training at UC Berkeley
Online training alone is not acceptable to NIH.
Undergraduate Students, Graduate Students, and Postdoctoral Scholars
Classroom Training in RCR at UC Berkeley - On campus face-to-face training courses offered by UC Berkeley.
Training faculty and sponsors/mentors are highly encouraged to contribute both to formal and informal instruction in responsible conduct of research. Informal instruction occurs in the course of laboratory interactions and in other informal situations throughout the year. Training faculty may contribute to formal instruction in responsible conduct of research as discussion leaders, speakers, lecturers, and/or course directors. If you are interested in participating in the Classroom RCR course on campus, please contact Victoria (Tori) Sharma at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NIH policy requires participation in and successful completion of instruction in responsible conduct of research by individuals supported by any NIH training/research education/fellowship/career award. It is expected that course attendance is monitored and that a certificate or documentation of participation is available upon course completion. NIH does not require certification of compliance or submission of documentation, but expects institutions to maintain records sufficient to demonstrate that NIH-supported trainees, fellows, and scholars have received the required instruction.
Implementation of USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) RCR Requirement
The responsible and ethical conduct of research (RCR) is critical for excellence, as well as public trust, in science and engineering. Consequently, education in RCR is considered essential in the preparation of future scientists. By accepting a NIFA award the grantee assures that program directors, faculty, undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and any staff participating in the research project receive appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research and that documentation of such training will be maintained. Grantees are advised that the documentation of the training are subject to NIFA review upon request.
NIFA RCR Training at UC Berkeley
Online Option: Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI)
- Please note: As of June 6, 2016, all learners should use the “Log in via SSO” option for all CITI training.
- Your login credentials will be your Calnet User ID and Password.
- For learners who already have a CITI account, all previous information including planned and completed training will be combined under the new Calnet account. You may need to enter your login information from your previous CITI account, so please have it available.
- If you have any questions or experience any difficulty with this process, please contact us at email@example.com.
- Research project staff should choose the most appropriate RCR online modules to complete. Students and post docs who may have used the CITI site for their human or animal subjects training will be able to use their existing username and password to access the site and add the RCR course to their “grade book.”
Classroom Option: Classroom Training in RCR at UC Berkeley
On campus face-to-face training courses offered by UC Berkeley.
For more information on the RCR requirements contact:
- Classroom Training in RCR at UC Berkeley
- Upcoming RCR Training at UC Berkeley (sign up for mailing list)
- Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Training Certification Form
- CITI RCR Course
- Introduction to RCR: A Summary for Undergraduate Researchers
- America COMPETES Act: RCR Background
- Campus CALmessages Announcement