Responsible Conduct of Research Training FAQS

Links to Responsible Conduct of Research Training can be found in the Training section of this website.

RCR Curriculum

The following topics are generally included in RCR curriculum:

  • Research integrity

  • Data acquisition and management

  • Authorship

  • Peer review

  • Conflicts of interest

  • Mentoring

  • Protection of research subjects

  • Collaborative research practices

  • Mentoring

Different disciplinary areas may also have their own topics related to research conduct in the discipline.

Back to Top

Federal Regulations

National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation requires that, at the time of proposal submission, the institution has a plan to provide appropriate Responsible Conduct of Research training and oversight to all students (undergraduates, graduate, and postdocs) who will be supported by NSF to conduct research (see NSF information page).  Section 7009 of the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science (COMPETES) Act establishes a requirement for RCR training as follows:

"The Director shall require that each institution that applies for financial assistance from the [national science] Foundation for science and engineering research or education describe in its grant proposal a plan to provide appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research to undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers participating in the proposed research project."

A student funded by the NSF can satisfy this training requirement by completing a Stanford course on the Responsible Conduct of Research, i.e., MED 255, "BIO 312: Ethical Issues in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology or by completing one of the CITI RCR courses.

Students who are funded by the National Science Foundation, e.g., students with NSF fellowships, or paid as an RA on an NSF research project, are required to complete the appropriate RCR module within the first quarter of their funding.

View the NSF RCR FAQs

National Institutes of Health

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) requires that all applications for Institutional National Research Service Award (NRSA) Research Training Grants (T32, T34) include a description of a program to provide instruction in the responsible conduct of research.

A trainee on an NIH Training Grant can satisfy this training requirement by enrolling in and completing the requirements for MED 255, Responsible Conduct of Research. Note that completion of one of the CITI modules does NOT satisfy the NIH requirement.

Back to Top

CITI RCR Training

  1. Who should complete these RCR tutorials?

    All researchers should review the basic principles of responsible research conduct. These tutorials have been provided especially for students at all levels. In particular, the National Science Foundation requires that students (undergraduates and graduates) and postdoctoral researchers who receive NSF funds (support from salary and/or stipends to conduct research on NSF grants) will obtain RCR training (including student with NSF Fellowships and students paid on NSF research projects). These modules are one way in which this training requirement can be met.

  2. How do I log in?

    Go to the CITI website. This page has two links to choose from – one for Already Registered users (who have previously taken CITI training, e.g., for the protection of human subjects in research) and one for New Users (who have not previously registered for any CITI training).

  3. Single Sign  On

    Stanford has a Single-Sign-On (SSO) process for all users of CITI. You will  be directed through Stanford's Web Auth page to access CITI. All existing CITI User Names and passwords have been converted to your SUNet ID and password.  New users will be directed to Web Auth when they indicate Stanford is their institution, which will automatically create a user name and password that corresponds to their SUNet ID and password.

    For detailed instructions for signing on as a new user go to:

  4. Do I need a SUNet ID and password?

    Yes, as a subscriber of the CITI Single Sign On you will be prompted to go through the Stanford web auth page

  5. What is a Learner Group, and which one should I pick?

    CITI provides two different types of required training for Stanford personnel: training in the protection of human subjects in research, and training in the responsible conduct of research. "Learner Groups" will identify which of these curricular programs you want to take.

    After you submit information to identify yourself, you will see a page listing the different CITI curriculum options, called "groups," for Stanford. Scroll to 3. Responsible Conduct of Research, at the bottom of this page, and select the curricular track appropriate for you. The five choices are: Biomedical , Social and Behavioral Science , Physical Science , Humanities , and RCR for Engineers and Computer Scientists.

Already Registered CITI Users

  1. Can I go back and forth between modules, or go back to modules multiple times?

    You can leave and come back to any CITI module using your CITI username and password.

  2. What if I forget my CITI username or password?

    It is your SUNet ID and password.

  3. Do I have to complete the quizzes?

    Several of the modules require a completion quiz. Where there is a required quiz, you must complete it with a score of at least 85% in order to have your completion of that module recorded.

  4. What is a passing grade?

    A grade of 85% or better is required to pass an RCR module quiz. If you do not achieve that score, you can retake the quiz (questions may be different) until you do.

  5. Does my grade go on my Stanford transcript?

    No. Module quiz scores are kept only within a database of CITI completions. Your completion of any of these tutorials is not recorded by the Office of the Registrar at Stanford University, and is not recorded on your University transcript.

  6. I am funded by the NSF. When do I need to complete an RCR module?

    Students who are funded by the National Science Foundation, e.g., students with NSF fellowships or paid as an RA on an NSF research project are required to complete the appropriate RCR module within the first quarter of their funding.

Back to Top