Responsible Conduct of Research Training

The Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) at Seattle University

For all research personnel – students, staff and faculty – please ensure your research team is up-to-date on their Responsible Conduct of Research Training. This is required for all NSF and NIH personnel and strongly encouraged for all other researchers to uphold SU's commitment to responsible and ethical research. This training should be completed at least every four years.


In 2007, Congress passed the America COMPETES (Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in  Technology, Education, and Science) Act, which required that "each institution that applies for financial assistance from the National Science Foundation (NSF) 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." 

NIH mandates that trainees on an NIH institutional research training grant, individual fellowship, career development award (institutional or individual), research education grant, dissertation research grant, or other grant programs that have a significant training component have a minimum of eight hours of formal instruction at least once during each career stage and at least every four years.


For every grant it holds funded by the National Science Foundation or the National Institutes of Health, Seattle University must show that it has provided all relevant personnel with adequate training on the responsible conduct of research. For each NSF and NIH award, participating members must show proof of having taken the Responsible Conduct of Research module in the discipline pertinent to the research to be undertaken through CITI (Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative). The RCR Coordinator at Seattle University will be responsible for certifying that grant personnel have completed the requisite training.

Policy & Procedure

In order to meet the RCR requirement, all researchers  must receive Responsible Conduct in Research training for any institutional research project they engage in that is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) or the National Institutes of Health (NIH). As such:  

  • When a principal investigator (PI) receives a grant from the NSF or NIH, the PI and all project staff, including students, will  complete the CITI training module before starting research on the project (unless RCR training has been completed and documented within the past four years). The tutorials should take no more than two hours. 
  • Researchers new to CITI must first set up an account and select Seattle University as their institutional affiliation. They will then answer a series of questions that will determine what course modules they should take.
    • For Questions 1-8, select "Not at this time."
    • For Question 9, researchers should choose the Responsible Conduct of Research module that fits the broad field research they will undertake (Biomedical, Physical Science, or Social and Behavioral) and click on "Submit."
    • They may then start the chosen course module or postpone until a later time. The module does not need to be finished in a single session.
  • A passing score of 80% is required. If this is not achieved, the module must be retaken by the researcher before undertaking the NSF or NIH funded research.
  • The RCR Coordinator will verify the names of the researchers who have passed the course for verification purposes through CITI.
  • If human subjects are used in research, researchers will also need to take a course on Protecting Human Research Participants. 
  • If animal subjects are used in research, researchers will also need to take a course in Laboratory Animal Research.

Click here to begin your CITI RCR Training

For questions about this requirement or CITI, please contact the Director of OSP, Jenna Isakson, (206) 296-6161.