In order to meet the institutional obligation to provide RCR training, The University of Iowa has developed a Responsible Conduct of Research Plan under the joint sponsorship and responsibility of the Graduate College and the Office of the Vice President for Research.

three researchers in lab

NSF issues new training requirements

A new NSF requirement will go into effect for new proposals submitted or due on or after July 31, 2023. At the time of award, all faculty and senior personnel who secure new funding must complete a new online course in the responsible and ethical conduct of research (RECR).

RCR Training Process

Our current RCR program focuses on four groups specifically engaged in NIH and/or NSF- funded research or other scholarly creativity involving undergraduates, predocs, postdocs and early career faculty holding NIH K-Awards.  For the purposes of RCR education, members of these four groups are designated as trainees

If the trainee is engaged in research that is funded by NIH, NSF, or NIFA (e.g., investigator initiated, career award, fellowship, or training grant), then the trainee must complete the appropriate RCR program described below.

View the complete University of Iowa RCR Training Plan.


How to get started


1. Complete CITI online training. (View instructions for CITI below.)

  • Trainees may complete modules at their own pace, but must complete the entire course RCR course within the first month of research participation.
  • No cost to trainee
  • Trainees will access the CITI site through a UI portal designed to track and record their progress.
  • Records of completion will be automatically generated, electronically maintained, and may be transferrable to other institutions

Graduate and Doctoral Degree Students, Postdoctoral Fellows and K-Award Faculty

1. Complete CITI online training. (View instructions for CITI below).

2. Phase 2 Face-to-Face Discipline Specific RCR courses

  • Each academic unit and/or college has courses for trainees in their discipline.
  • Offered in either Fall or Spring semesters depending on the academic unit. 
  • Trainees must enroll and complete the approved face-to-face RCR course after completion of the Phase 1 CITI training.
  • For graduate students, this course will factor into student registrations and will be subject to the UI Tuition and Mandatory Fees Table in effect at the time.

  • No cost to postdoctoral or K-Award trainees

  • Course completion will be recorded on the student’s transcript and can be reported to other institutions.


NIH T32 trainees may be required to complete specific T32 RCR training identified by their individual NIH training programs.

NSF-supported faculty and senior personnel

A new NSF requirement will go into effect for new proposals submitted or due on or after July 31, 2023.

At the time of award, all faculty and senior personnel who secure new funding must complete a new online course in the responsible and ethical conduct of research (RECR). Learn more on the UI RECR webpage.

CITI instructions

  1. Log in to CITI. Once logged in, choose Responsible Conduct of Research (CITI) under “Training”.**
  2. Once logged in to the external site, click on “University of Iowa Courses” to expand the menu. Next, click “Add a course or update your learner groups for University of Iowa”.
  3. Select “I am required to complete Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training” and choose the most appropriate course among the 5 choices provided: Biomedical RCR, Social Sciences RCR, Physical Science RCR, Humanities RCR, Engineers RCR.

**Faculty and senior personnel supported by NSF projects should follow the instructions for CITI on the RECR web page.

Approval of RCR courses for Advanced Training

Not all of the in‐person ethics of research training course offered at the University of Iowa satisfy either the institutional RCR plan of the Federal guidelines. A doctoral program, department or college that wants to offer an advanced face-to-face RCR course for doctoral and postdoctoral trainees must submit a proposal to the Graduate College prior to the semester in which the course will be taught to count as an approved course. In addition, all course syllabi are audited yearly to ensure they continue to meet federally required content standards. Please contact Shelly Campo in the Graduate College at 335-2136 for more information.

View the list of approved courses.

Federal policies

National Science Foundation

The America COMPETES Act requires that the National Science Foundation (NSF) must ensure that all undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers participating in NSF-funded projects receive appropriate training in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). As of January 2010, institutions must, at the time of proposal submission, formally certify that an RCR training plan is in place and must, as a condition of award, ensure that all participating students and postdoctoral researchers receive the required training.

UPDATE: The CHIPS and Sciences Act of 2022 amends the America COMPETES Act to also require all faculty and senior personnel supported on NSF proposals submitted on or after July 31, 2023, to complete Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research (RECR) training. Learn more on the UI RECR webpage.


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) requires that 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 must receive instruction in responsible conduct of research

US Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)

Program directors, faculty, undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and any staff participating in the research project (“participant”) must receive appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research. NIFA requires this training only for projects that are research in nature.



Questions and comments on the overall RCR Plan or the CITI online training may be directed to: Mike Andrews, Director of Research Integrity & Security, 319-335-9687 or OVPR-RIO@uiowa.edu.

Questions on the formal course requirements may be directed to: Shelly Campo, Assistant Research Integrity Officer and Associate Dean for Administrative Affairs, 319-335-2136 or shelly-campo@uiowa.edu.