Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Training Requirements

The following includes information on Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training requirements for graduate students and postdoctoral research associates in the College of Education, as well as information on academic advisor responsibilities, and documenting training.

Who is required to be trained in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)?

Masters and doctoral students. Michigan State University requires that all graduate students be trained in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) as part of their Research I University experience.

Postdoctoral research associates. In addition, as part of compliance with Section 7009 of the American Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science (COMPETES) as implemented by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the NIH Responsible Conduct of Research Notice (NOT-OD-10-019), all postdoctoral research associates, research specialists, and undergraduate students working on research projects will also be required to complete RCR training. The College of Education (COED) agrees that RCR training is critical for researchers at all levels and will implement the university policy in the following ways.

Academic Advisor/PI Responsibilities

The responsibility for ensuring that each individual has completed the required training rests with the Graduate Academic Advisor during the annual review and/or the Principal Investigator (PI) of the research projects employing that individual.

  • For individuals who do not have a Graduate Academic Advisor, the responsibility for RCR training and monitoring defaults to the Principal Investigator(s) of the research project employing the individual.
  • In the case where a graduate student is not working on a specific research project, the Graduate Advisor will be responsible for having discussions on the required RCR topics, determining any additional topics, and monitoring requirement completion.
  • In the case where an individual has both an Academic Advisor and a PI, the PI will determine the training modules and monitor completion but the final record of RCR training will remain with the Academic Advisor.

Documenting Training

The Advisor and/or the PI will use the College of Engineering’s Research Training Tracking System (RTTS) to monitor progress toward completion of the RCR requirements.

For the purposes of RCR training compliance, the year runs from August 16 to August 15 of the following year.

The intent of the Research Training Tracking System is to enable those needing non-credit training to record classes and other training events in electronic form which can be accessed by administrators for tracking and reporting purposes. Access is controlled by MSUNetID and password. When trainees first login, they are asked to select their Primary college and department. This should be for the department for which they are required to take the courses. They are also ask to enter the MSUNetID of their adviser. This can be changed to the NetId of a PI if they are working on a specific grant or project.