RCR Training and Education at Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley State University is committed to supporting and nurturing a culture of scholarship and research that embraces research integrity and research ethics. GVSU has created on blended educational program to meet the RCR requirements as mandated by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 

NSF RCR Training Requirements (Note: Updated Requirements Effective July 31, 2023)

The NSF requires all principal investigators, co-principal investigators, and senior personnel who are or will be supported by NSF funds to complete RCR training. These requirements apply to new proposals submitted or due on or after July 31, 2023. The "RCR-Basic Course" through CITI fulfills this requirement. This training must be completed by all individuals paid on the grant, and it must be completed before any funds can be spent on the award. Instructions to access CITI can be found here.

Online Training

GVSU has selected CITI to provide a basic training in RCR.  CITI provides a flexible online course that uses videos and a blended learning environment to involve learners in the learning process. 


Three primary courses are available for GVSU researchers:

1. The RCR - Basic Course is a general RCR course that can be applied to any discipline. This course fulfills the RCR requirement for IRB and IACUC protocol submission. 

2. Graduate program-specific RCR courses are available for several different graduate programs. This course can also be taken by new faculty researchers, graduate students, and undergraduate students. Some, but not all, graduate program-specific RCR courses fulfill the RCR requirement for IRB and IACUC protocol submission. Please check with the Office of Research Compliance and Integrity if you are seeking to work on an IRB or IACUC protocol and are unsure if the graduate program-specific RCR course you are planning to take meets the IRB/IACUC requirement.

3. The RCR - Concise Course is a shorter course, serving as a brief introduction to new researchers and a refresher course for researchers who have previously had RCR training. This course fulfills the RCR requirement for IRB and IACUC protocol submission. 


By the end of the RCR course, learners are expected to be able to: 

  • Explain the key responsibilities of a researcher
  • Identify the challenges one could face in meeting those responsibilities
  • Apply a range of strategies to respond and adapt to the challenges one may face when conducting research. 


Additional Optional Courses

  • Human Subjects Protections (Required for those individuals doing research with human subjects)
  • The Humane Use and Care of Animals in Research
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Good Clinical Practice
  • Export Controls

Face-to-Face Education

Certain grants received through the National Institute of Health require RCR training for investigators. NIH provides the following guidance for this training (full details are available here): Substantial face-to-face discussions among the participating trainees/fellows/scholars/participants; a combination of didactic and small-group discussions (e.g. case studies); and participation of research training faculty members in instruction in responsible conduct of research are highly encouraged. While on-line courses can be a valuable supplement to instruction in responsible conduct of research, online instruction is not considered adequate as the sole means of instruction. A plan that employs only online coursework for instruction in responsible conduct of research will not be considered acceptable, except in special instances of short-term training programs or unusual and well-justified circumstances.   

GVSU typically hosts an in-person RCR Workshop every two years that can be used to meet the NIH requirements. Contact ORCI to learn more: [email protected]

Page last modified July 21, 2023