RCR FAQ

About RCR

Who is required to complete the RCR training?

The National Institute of Health requires all NIH-funded trainees, fellows, participants, and scholars to complete the training no less than once every four years. The NIH recognizes that on-line RCR courses can be a valuable supplement but does not consider it adequate as a sole means of instruction.

The National Science Foundation requires all NSF-funded undergraduate students, graduate students, and post-doctoral researchers to complete the training at least once.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) requires RCR training. All program directors, faculty, undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and any staff participating in research and research-related activities (i.e., research, education, and extension) supported by a NIFA award (grant, cooperative agreement, or special project) must participate in RCR training. Exceptions include individuals supported by: 1) Formula Funded Programs; 2) the 1890 Facilities Program; 3) the Small Business Innovation Research Program; and 4) awards to individuals (http://www.nifa.usda.gov/business/awards/awardterms.html).

How will I know if I am required to complete the RCR training?

Research Compliance Services (RCS) administers the RCR training requirement on a semester basis. At the beginning of the semester, RCS staff will determine who is subject to the requirement and notify those individuals of the requirement, the steps for enrollment, and the deadline for that semester.

RCS sends notifications via email to individuals who must complete the training. In the case of NIH and NSF-supported students and postdoctoral researchers, the faculty member responsible for them will also be notified of the requirement. Individuals will receive email reminders directly halfway through the semester as well as the day before the deadline.

What are the consequences of noncompliance with the training requirement?

The NIH, NSF and USDA/NIFA are requiring all mentored researchers to complete RCR training; therefore, non-compliant institutions may become ineligible for NIH, NSF and USDA/NIFA funding. Your department may lose some financial support and you may not be able to renew your assistantship or other research employment.

RCR Process

I need to (or would like to) complete the training but I don’t know what to do?

Please reference our education & training page for information on how to enroll and complete the training.

I’m an undergraduate working in a Biological Sciences lab, but I’m a History (or Art, or English, etc.) major. Do I need to take the training?

Although the regulation requires RCR training for undergraduate students, graduate students and postdoctoral researchers receiving NIH, NSF or USDA NIFA funds, we believe that this is a useful tool for all students and postdoctoral researchers on UNL’s campus. Therefore, the self-enrolled training is available to the entire campus.

Can the training be completed in pieces throughout the semester or does it all need to be done at one time? Is there a completion deadline?

CITI and Blackboard save your progress so you can split the course into sessions as you see fit, keeping in mind that you’ll need to complete the course by the deadline indicated in your notification email. If you don’t complete the course, you may not be able to renew your assistantship or other research employment. The online CITI or Blackboard training courses should be completed prior to starting work on your research project.

What course materials will I need to purchase? Is there a reading packet or book for the course?

The RCR training is completely self-contained on the CITI website or Blackboard. No outside materials are required.

Will I be charged more class fees or tuition hours because I registered for this training?

No. The training course is offered at no cost to you, there are no fees or tuition. GRDC 98 will not appear on your class schedule or transcript.

I’ve previously completed RCR training courses; however, they were not taken through CITI or Blackboard at UNL. Do I really need to take this training?

We commend you for completing other training and apologize for any inconvenience, but UNL Research Compliance Services (RCS) needs to track compliance with the NIH, NSF, USDA NIFA requirements. If you can provide documentation of RCR CITI training and in-person training, we may be able to waive the need for further training.

Does this new training replace the IRB and IACUC training programs offered through CITI?

No. The new course doesn’t replace IRB, IACUC and other training programs. The new training course covers only topics of RCR applicable to students and researchers of all disciplines.

How is completion of the RCR training tracked?

Upon completing the RCR course you will receive a completion certificate. You should keep this certificate for your records. You may also want to provide a copy of the certificate to your department office or your advisor. A list of individuals who have completed the RCR training is also maintained by Research Compliance Services.