• What is RCR?

    RCR stands for Responsible Conduct of Research. The responsible and ethical conduct of research is critical for excellence, as well as maintaining the public trust in research, both for individual students, professors, and staff and for UAB as an institution.

  • Why do I need to complete RCR training?

    As part of the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science (COMPETES) Act, some federal awarding agencies like the NIH and the NSF, introduced RCR training requirements for students, postdoctoral researchers, faculty and personnel participating in certain awards.

  • Who keeps the training records to document RCR training?

    The PI/department is responsible for maintaining RCR training records to document that all supported trainees, fellows, and scholars received the required instruction.

  • Who needs to complete RCR training, and what are the requirements?

    National Institutes of Health (NIH) awards: All trainees, fellows, participants, and scholars receiving support through any NIH training award, career development award (individual or institutional), research education grant, or dissertation research grant must receive RCR training. This policy applies to the following programs and other NIH-funded programs that specify an RCR training requirement: 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.

    For NIH training awards, online RCR training alone is not sufficient to meet NIH regulatory requirements. Trainees should contact their Training Grant Directors for guidance on what supplemental activities are required.

    National Science Foundation (NSF) awards:
    All trainees (undergraduates, graduate students, or postdoctoral fellows) who receive salaries or stipend support for conducting research under an NSF award for any amount of time must receive training in RCR (more details can be found on the NSF website and the UAB RCR Training Requirements page). Faculty or staff working on NSF grants need not complete RCR training. This requirement does not apply to conference, symposium, workshop or travel awards.

    United States Department of Agriculture - National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) awards:
    All program directors, faculty, undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and staff participating in a USDA-NIFA research project must receive RCR training (more details can be found on the UAB RCR Training Requirements page).

    PCORI Sponsored Research:
    The responsible and ethical conduct of research is critical for excellence, as well as for public trust. Recipient is responsible for ensuring that the research team for the Research Project, including undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers supported by funds under the Research Project budget to conduct the Research Project, have received training in the responsible and ethical conduct of research.

    Other funding agencies:
    At this time, no other sponsors require RCR training as a condition of all awards, but training may be required in some specific funding announcements or Notices of Awards. The Principal Investigator and Department Administrators should review the terms of each award to determine if RCR training is required.

    Incoming Graduate Students:
    To meet these expectations and requirements, all doctoral (PhD) graduate students engaged in any mentored research activities at UAB are required to complete the RCR training plan described below either in their first year of mentored research (PD) or prior to admission to candidacy (PhD).

    This training plan is a blended approach that combines on-line instruction and in-person training components. It was drafted in consultation with faculty and staff from UAB professional schools, including but not limited to the UAB Heersink School of Medicine and the UAB Graduate School.

  • What is CITI?

    UAB has contracted with a third party, Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI), to provide an online training in RCR.

  • How do I log into the CITI Training?
    • Click here to Log In to the CITI Program using your Blazer ID
    • Note - the first time you log in to the CITI Program using your Blazer ID, you will be asked if you already have a CITI Program account.
    • Click the appropriate answer to either link your Blazer ID to your existing CITI Program account or create a new account with the CITI Program.
    • Be sure to complete training for UAB under "University of Alabama, Birmingham Courses."
    • Click "Add a Course" under My Learner Tools for University of Alabama, Birmingham.
    • Choose the Question 3 - Responsible Conduct of Research
    • Choose RCR Basic Course (unless you are an undergraduate student – then choose, RCR Abbreviated Course for Undergraduate Students)
    • Click Submit to be taken back to the Main Menu where you can complete your selected course(s) by clicking the course name to begin.
  • Which RCR course should I take?

    Please review the requirements shown on the website: https://www.uab.edu/research/home/uab-rcr-training

  • How long does it take to complete the online course in RCR?

    It can take 1-3 hours generally. These online courses can be taken at any time of the day, and you also do not need complete the entire course in one sitting. Once you complete any of the modules, you may take the test and exit the program. When you log in the next time, CITI will allow you to start from where you left off.

  • What should I do if I did not earn 80% or greater passing marks in the CITI RCR course?

    At the end of each module, your test score for that module is displayed. If you have scored less than 80%, you should review the material and re-take the test. If you must re-take any test, do so before completing all modules and generating a completion certificate. Once the certificate is generated, your grade is fixed.

  • Will the online CITI course satisfy my RCR training requirement?
    The online course meets the RCR training requirement for NSF and USDA-NIFA awards, but for NIH awards, the online training is only one component of the required RCR program. Trainees funded on NIH awards should contact their Training Grant Directors for guidance on what supplemental activities are required.
  • What do I do if I am told to complete RCR training that I don't think I am required to take?
    If you believe you have received an email about RCR CITI training in error, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Are faculty or staff working on sponsored grants required to take RCR training?
    Some sponsors require evidence of RCR training for faculty and other individuals participating in the research. This is generally stipulated in the funding opportunity announcement or in the terms and conditions of the award. Sponsors that currently require faculty training include the American Cancer Society, the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, USDA NIFA, and NIH for certain types of awards. In some cases, such as USDA NIFA, the requirement may be met with the successful completion of the CITI RCR training module, which is included in UAB’s CITI subscription. If you are unsure of the RCR training requirement for your award please contact the UAB Office of Sponsored Programs.
  • How will PIs and Department Administrators be notified of RCR requirements on an award?
    The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) notifies PIs and Department Administrators of special terms and conditions, including RCR when an award is received.