National Institutes of Health RCR Training


Please review the commonly asked RCR training questions related to the NIH. For more information about NIH requirements concerning RCR training, please see NIH's Update on the Requirement for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research.

NIH RCR Training FAQs

Who needs RCR training?
NIH requires RCR training for 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.

Which specific NIH grant types require RCR training for researchers?
NIH requires RCR training for researchers supported by the following grant types: 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. The RCR training obligation also applies to any other NIH-funded programs that include instruction in RCR as a requirement in its respective funding opportunity announcement.

When should RCR training take place?
NIH encourages RCR instruction at every stage of a researcher’s career and at a frequency of no less than once every four years. NIH also highly encourages that initial RCR training for predoctoral researchers takes place as early as possible in graduate school.

What topics should RCR training cover?
NIH acknowledges that the following research integrity topics are included in most acceptable RCR training programs:

  • Conflicts of interest—personal, professional, and financial
  • Policies regarding human subjects, live vertebrate animal subjects in research, and safe laboratory practices
  • Mentor/mentee responsibilities and relationships
  • Collaborative research including collaborations with industry
  • Peer review
  • Data acquisition, laboratory tools, management, sharing, and ownership
  • Research misconduct and policies for handling misconduct
  • Responsible authorship and publication
  • The scientist as a responsible member of society, contemporary ethical issues in biomedical research, and the environmental and societal impacts of scientific research.

How should RCR training be delivered?
NIH guidelines indicate that online training alone is insufficient—RCR training must include a face-to-face component. Faculty participation in face-to-face training is highly encouraged. NIH also notes that acceptable RCR training programs generally involve at least eight contact hours.

How should RCR training be documented?
PIs are responsible for maintaining documentation of the RCR training their personnel receives. This training should be documented in the RCR Reporting System. PIs will receive an annual reminder about this obligation, but we encourage you to document this training as it is completed.