The Graduate School

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Training and Certification Requirement

Effective October 1, 2009, the National Science Foundation (NSF) mandated that all students supported by NSF funding must receive training in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR).
In addition, MSU must certify that the institution in its entirety is familiar with applying the procedures for the responsible conduct of research. Faculty who are supervising students working on research grants must be familiar with these procedures in order to ensure that students are applying them. This is the rationale for encouraging faculty to participate in RCR training.

For NIFA awards and all grants subject to the February 2013 NIFA Agency Specific Terms and Conditions or any revisions thereafter, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) issued the following RCR Training requirement:

“By accepting a NIFA award the grantee assures that program directors, faculty, undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and any staff participating in the research project receive appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research and that documentation of such training will be maintained. Grantees are advised that the documentation of the training is subject to NIFA review upon request.”

Montclair State University has licensed with the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) to make available its Responsible Conduct of Research Course.
To access CITI, please follow these steps:

  • Access the CITI Courses by going to and registering as a new user.
  • Select Montclair State University in the Participating Institutions box.
  • You will be asked to fill out forms with your identifying information.
  • You will be asked to choose the course (Question 4 Responsible Conduct of Research) and enroll in a Learner Group that is compatible with your training requirements. The program will automatically select the modules you are required to complete.
  • Follow the instructions and links on the Learner’s Menu to begin the course you selected.
  • You must check off the Integrity Assurance Statement every time you want to enter the course page. *You do not have to complete the course in one sitting and may return to the course at any time. CITI keeps track of your progress.
  • After completing the training modules, you may view your course completion history and obtain a completion certificate, follow the link to the CITI Course Completion Report.‌