UM RCR Policy and Curriculum

All members of the University of Mississippi strive to exemplify the highest standards of integrity and ethical conduct. To support that goal, the University Research Board unanimously endorsed mandatory education in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) for all Principal Investigators (PIs) and key personnel participating in sponsored projects, including staff, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate and undergraduate students. Those personnel must complete the CITI component of the RCR curriculum below prior to receipt of sponsored program funding.  In addition, PIs and their sponsored project administrators must also complete the Regulatory Compliance Education component.

Beyond promoting research integrity, the RCR curriculum is designed to help comply with the November 2009 National Institutes of Health (NIH) update on its requirement for instruction in the responsible conduct of research and the National Science Foundation (NSF) Implementation of the America COMPETES Act requirements as well as to meet national ethics education norms.

Specific NIH Requirements

The NIH requirement applies to all NIH Institutional Research Training Grants, Individual Fellowship Awards, Career Development Awards, Research Education Grants, Dissertation Research Grants, or other NIH programs with a training component that includes such instruction. In addition to completing the University’s RCR program, NIH applicants must seek opportunities for formal and informal training that is ongoing, relevant to their own disciplines, and appropriate to their career stage. NIH applicants must provide detailed descriptions of these activities in applications for funding and reports. Consult requirements specified in the Funding Opportunity Announcement or see the NIH Guidelines for additional instructions in the 2009 NIH Update.

RCR Curriculum

1. CITI Online Education — FAQ

The RCR curriculum covers basic principles that are based on best practices of research integrity. It employs the online RCR program at the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) developed by national experts, funded in part by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Research Integrity, and hosted by the University of Miami. Content is modular with brief online tests following each module. Completion of all modules takes about 4-6 hours, and CITI notifies the UM Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) upon completion.

To enroll in the CITI course, see the CITI RCR Instructions.

The CITI program provides RCR core modules that address the following discipline categories:

  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Humanities
  • Physical Sciences
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences

The core modules are:

  • Research Misconduct
  • Data Acquisition and Management
  • Publication Practices and Responsible Authorship
  • Peer Review
  • Mentor and Trainee Responsibilities
  • Conflict of Interest and Commitment
  • Collaborative Research

Education for human research subjects protections, research animal care and use, export control, and biological, chemical and radiation safety is provided where applicable by the ORSP and the Health and Safety office. See the Research Integrity and Compliance section of the ORSP website.


Ancillary RCR Education

GRAD 600. The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and the Graduate School have partnered to offer a 1-credit hour course in RCR topics. The course is offered at least once a year.

Grass Roots RCR Education. The optimal way to increase awareness of ethics and good practices in research and scholarship is in the classroom and via mentoring. The ORSP’s Fall 2009 institutional survey revealed considerable coverage of RCR across campus using these means, ranging from narrow topical coverage in undergraduate and graduate classes and lab groups to entire RCR courses in a few departments. All UM faculty, staff, and students have a crucial role to play in “creating an environment that promotes responsible conduct” (Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Science).

Endorsed by University Research Board March 8, 2010.  Approved as policy by Executive Management Council April 23, 2010.


For information on signing up for RCR Courses on CITI, click here.


Training Plan for RCR for NSF-funded Awards