Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Overview

RCR Compliance Policy

Federal agencies, including NSF, NIH, and USDA NIFA, require trainees involved in research on certain categories of grants that they fund to receive Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training. This requirement affects proposal preparation and project management. For more information, see

Applicable grants awarded by NSF or NIH require RCR training for all trainee participants; USDA NIFA requires RCR training for the entire research team, including faculty and staff. The online portion of the training must be completed within 90 days of hiring or employment on the grant or the end of that semester (whichever is later). The online requirement also applies to PURA-paid undergraduates.

The in-person portion of the training must be completed within one year of hiring or employment on the grant. This requirement covers applicable NSF and NIH postdocs, graduates, and undergraduates. A plan for completion must be submitted on the Page 3 addition to the standard proposal Routing Form.

RCR Doctoral Policy

In addition, Georgia Tech requires that all PhD students admitted Fall 2011 or later complete RCR training. For information about the GT RCR Academic Policy for Doctoral Students see Adhering to the Doctoral Policy does satisfy the requirements of the Compliance Policy.

RCR Master’s Thesis Policy

Georgia Tech also requires all master’s students who enroll in 7000 thesis hours during Fall 2014 or later to complete RCR training. For information about the GT RCR Academic Policy for Master’s Thesis Students see

RCR Compliance by NSF and NIH-funded individuals can be satisfied by two steps

1. Take the online CITI RCR training.

2. Take 4 hours of in-person RCR instruction if NSF-funded or 8 hours of in-person RCR instruction if NIH-funded, which can be met in various ways, including:

  • Attend the OSP RCR Workshops (note that the Workshops do not satisfy the PhD academic requirement mentioned above)
  • PHIL 6000 Responsible Conduct of Research (1 credit hour)
  • PUBP 8101 and 8102 Dissertation Starter Courses (for PhD students in Public Policy)
  • Another discipline-specific IAC course that explicitly provides and documents coverage of the required topics.

RCR Compliance by Project Directors

Documentation of RCR Training

1. Documentation of online RCR training is accomplished through the CITI Program; records will be maintained in the Research Administration Education & Compliance training system.

2. Documentation of in-person training that has been taken to satisfy the RCR Compliance Policy is the responsibility of the PI unless the training has been completed through an OSP approved RCR training event ( or through an approved RCR course ( OSP approved RCR training events will be documented in the Research Administration Education & Compliance training system; RCR courses will be documented in Banner.

  • For training completed outside of OSP approved events or approved RCR courses, the PI should document the date, attendance, agenda, and number of contact hours spent discussing RCR-related topics ( This document should be included in the project file.

Annual Certification of RCR Training

An annual certification of RCR training must be made through the OSP Contract Information System. This is accomplished through clicking the link in the OSP Deliverable notification email and checking the box under “RCR Report” which certifies that “all students (undergraduate, graduate) and postdoctoral researchers funded by this project are in compliance with the Georgia Tech Responsible Conduct of Research Compliance Policy”. Checking this box certifies that all trainees on the project who are required to have completed their RCR training by the annual certification date have done so. (Trainees have 90 days or until the end of the semester after appointment to the project to complete the CITI RCR online course and one year to complete the in-person training). Note that newly appointed trainees for whom the training is not yet due are considered in compliance with the policy for the purposes of this year’s certification.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

Charges for the particular person in non-compliance with the RCR Compliance Policy will be moved to the respective School’s State account. This includes the tuition waiver as well as the personal service charges.

Failure to comply with the RCR process will result in loss of funding to the Institute.

For questions about the RCR training requirements, contact Jason Borenstein in Public Policy or Judy Willis. For questions about proposal preparation and documenting compliance, contact David Selman.