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Responsible & Ethical Conduct of Research for Federal Agencies

A page within Research & Sponsored Programs

This webpage is for faculty who have or will be submitting federal grants as well as undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and other senior personnel (e.g., co-investigators, faculty/staff collaborators) who will be participating iprojects funded by federal grants. If you are a student who has received a UWL Undergraduate Research & Creativity Grant or a Graduate Research, Service, & Educational Leadership (RSEL) grant, please refer to the RECR for Student Grants webpage for the related RECR training requirements. 

The following federal agencies have set forth RECR requirements for all institutions receiving agency funding:

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) (only some funding mechanisms, such as R25 and R36) 
  • National Science Foundation (NSF) 
  • United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) 

Each agency defines training expectations for undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, faculty, and other senior personnel participating in projects funded by the above agencies, whether they are paid or unpaid.

Faculty, staff, and students participating in such projects are required to complete online training modules in CITI according to the following time frames: 

RECR Training Requirements for NSF and USDA Sponsored Projects*

Must be completed within

Required Training Modules

First 2 weeks of project work

1. Research Misconduct (RCR-Basic) (ID 16604)

2. Conflicts of Interest and Commitment (RCR-Basic) (ID 16599)

3. Data Management (RCR-Basic) (ID 20896)

4. Mentoring and Healthy Research Environments (RCR-Basic) (ID 20983)

5. For USDA sponsored projects only: Authorship (RCR-Basic) (ID 16597)

First 6 weeks of project work

Additional modules (if defined by RECR Training Plan Form)


If you have questions, please see the policy and FAQs below. The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) is available to assist at 608.785.8007 or grants@uwlax.edu.

*PIs applying to NIH funding mechanisms subject to RECR training requirements must consult with ORSP to develop a compliant RECR training plan prior to application submission. UWL’s most common mechanism (R15) is not subject to the requirements, but other mechanisms are (e.g., R25, R36) (see NOT-OD-10-019, NOT-OD-22-055).

RECR Training Plan Form (Qualtrics Survey)

UW-La Crosse RCR Policy 

FAQs for Faculty, Staff, & Other Senior Personnel

What do I need to turn in related to RECR when submitting a federal grant?

All faculty, undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and other senior personnel who will be participating (paid or unpaid) in a NSF or USDA grant must complete RECR training. The Principal Investigator (PI) needs to complete the RECR Training Plan (via Qualtrics) prior to application submission to specify the CITI training modules that will be completed by faculty, staff, and students who will work on the project.

If you are preparing an NIH grant, and the funding mechanism is subject to RECR training requirements, consult early with ORSP to develop a compliant RECR training plan prior to application submission.

How do I register to have access to the CITI training?
  1. Go to the CITI Registration page. Under "Select Your Organization Affiliation", type "Wisconsin" in the box and then select University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Agree to the terms of service and confirm affiliation by checking the boxes indicated. Click on "Continue to Create your CITI Program Username/Password".
  2. Enter your first name, last name, and email address (use UWL email address). Enter your name as you would like it to appear on your completion report. Click on "Continue to Step 3".
  3. Choose a username, password, and security question. Click on "Continue to Step 4".
  4. Enter demographic information and click on "Continue to Step 5".
  5. Click "NO" when asked if you want to request Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits. The second question in this step asks your preference in participating in research surveys at a later date, participation is optional. Click on "Continue to Step 6".
  6. Complete the personal information requested.  For the role in research, choose a role that is most appropriate for your involvement with the project. Click on "Continue to Step 7".
  7. You will arrive on a page instructing you to select your curriculum. Under Question 1, "Responsible Conduct of Research", select the most appropriate category for the project on which you will be working. Do not make selections for questions 2-9.  Click the submit button at the bottom of the page to submit your curriculum selection. 
How do I login to complete the training?
  1. Go to the log-in page: https://www.citiprogram.org
  2. Enter the user name and password you established and click "Submit".
  3. On the main menu page, under "View Courses", select the course you would like to work on, and you will be taken to the gradebook for that course.
  4. The first time you log-in, complete Integrity Assurance Statement presented at the top of the course by checking the box agreeing to the terms. The system will allow you to start taking the elective modules after agreeing to the terms.
  5. There may be 1 or 2 short modules that will orient you to the training. There are no quizzes/tests associated with these modules, and they are required. Once these are complete, the actual training modules will become available.
Do I have to complete the CITI training modules?

If you are faculty, staff, or other senior personnel participating in a NSF, USDA, or designated NIH supported project, you must complete the specified CITI training modules along with any students (undergraduates, graduates, post docs) who participate in the project.

Which modules should I select on the RECR training plan form?

The minimum training requirements are listed in the table below. A Principal Investigator (PI) has the option to select additional modules in the form that would applicable to the project.

RECR Training Requirements for NSF and USDA Sponsored Projects*

Must be completed within

Required Training Modules

First 2 weeks of project work

1.    Research Misconduct (RCR-Basic) (ID 16604)

2.    Conflicts of Interest (RCR-Basic) (ID 16599)

3.    Data Management (RCR-Basic) (ID 16600)

4.    Mentoring (RCR-Basic) (ID16602)

5.    For USDA sponsored projects only: Authorship (RCR-Basic) (ID 16597)

First 6 weeks of project work

Additional modules (if defined by RCR Training Plan Form)

*PIs applying to NIH funding mechanisms subject to RECR training requirements must consult with ORSP to develop a compliant RECR training plan prior to application submission. UWL’s most common mechanism (R15) is not subject to the requirements, but other mechanisms are (e.g., R25, R36) (see NOT-OD-10-019, NOT-OD-22-055).

Are faculty, staff, and/or students who aren't being paid by the grant still subject to these requirements?

Yes. UWL policy doesn't make any distinction between faculty, staff, and students who are being paid and those who are not for the purposes of complying with RECR training requirements.

What extra steps do I take when I hire/select a student or add faculty/staff to my project?
  • When a student is hired/selected to participate in, or a faculty/staff member is added to, a grant-funded project subject to RECR requirements, send the individual's name, email address, student/person ID number, and start date to ORSP at grants@uwlax.edu. If you are involved with more than one project subject to RECR requirements, also identify the grant(s) in which the individual will be participating.
  • If any information changes (individual elects not to work on the grant, start date is pushed back, etc.), update ORSP as soon as possible.
  • If you are hiring or adding multiple individuals, you may send one email for all of them so long as it is sent before any of them begin work.
  • Provide individuals with the training plan that they must follow to be compliant with your grant.
Can students complete the online training during work time?

No. To comply with federal agency requirements, UWL specifically forbids students to receive pay for time spent completing this training.

As a PI, how will I know that faculty, staff, and/or students are complying with the policy?
  1. Once RECR training modules are complete, individuals are able to download a completion report in CITI. They should email the Principal Investigator (PI) a copy of their report to verify they have completed all of the required modules. The PI should review the information to ensure it aligns with the RECR training plan on file with ORSP.
  2. The PI should forward each individual’s verification email and completion report to  ORSP (grants@uwlax.edu) to certify training has been completed.
  3. PIs are responsible for proactively communicating with ORSP all students, post docs, faculty, and staff participating in projects subject to RECR requirements. This includes communicating changes in student/faculty/staff participation, such as new hires or added collaborators that occur during the project.
What score is required to have successfully completed the training?

Individuals must score at least 80% on each required module.

What happens if an individual doesn't complete the required training?
  • If an individual fails to complete the required training within the specified timeframe, the PI and individual will receive an email. That individual must halt all work/participation (paid and unpaid) on that award until successfully completing the training. Consequently,  faculty, staff, and students are not eligible to earn any compensation for work/participation on a grant-funded project while they are not in compliance with RECR training requirements.
  • Once the award’s PI has forwarded ORSP verification of the individual’s RECR training completion, the PI and individual will receive an email from ORSP indicating that they are in compliance. Only then may the person return to work on the project.
When does training expire?

RECR training is valid for five years from the date of completion.

Do individuals still have to complete IRB training?

Yes. IRB requirements are mandated by federal law if research involves human subjects regardless of and in addition to any RECR training requirements. RECR is not a substitute for any other required compliance measure.

Additional information on IRB

Do individuals still have to complete Biosafety (IBC), Animal Care (IACUC), and/or other research compliance requirements on campus?

Yes. RECR is not a substitute for any other mandated research compliance measure.

Who should I contact on-campus with questions about RECR training requirements?

Please contact ORSP at grants@uwlax.edu or 608.785.8007.

Who should I contact for technical support for the CITI website?

Click on "Contact Us" at the bottom of the screen in CITI. This will bring up options for site FAQs, live chat, password recovery, and a technical support phone number.

FAQs for Students

Which modules should I complete, and when must they be completed?

The faculty member overseeing your project participation will tell you which modules you need to complete. The minimum requirements for all projects are outlined in the table below, but note there may be additional modules selected by your faculty mentor that you will need to complete:

RECR Training Requirements for NSF and USDA Sponsored Projects*

Must be completed within

Undergraduate Students

First 2 weeks of project work

1.    Research Misconduct (RCR-Basic) (ID 16604)

2.    Conflicts of Interest (RCR-Basic) (ID 16599)

3.    Data Management (RCR-Basic) (ID 16600)

4.    Mentoring (RCR-Basic) (ID 16602)

5.    For USDA sponsored projects only: Authorship (RCR-Basic) (ID 16597)

First 6 weeks of project work

Additional modules (if defined by RECR Training Plan Form – consult your faculty mentor)

*Consult with your faculty mentor for guidance on completing your RECR training requirements for NIH-funded project participation.

How do I register for CITI training?
  1. Go to the CITI Registration page. Under "Select Your Organization Affiliation", type "Wisconsin" in the box, and then select University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Click on "Continue to Step 2". Under "Select Your Organization Affiliation", type "Wisconsin" in the box and then select University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Agree to the terms of service and affirm your affiliation by checking the boxes indicated. Click on "Continue To Create Your CITI Program Username/Password".
  2. Enter your first name, last name, and UWL email address. Enter your name here as you would like it to appear on your completion reports. Click on "Continue to Step 3".
  3. Choose a user name, password, and security question. Click on "Continue to Step 4".
  4. Enter demographic information and click on "Continue to Step 5".
  5. Click "NO" when asked if you want to request Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits. The second question in this step asks your preference in participating in research surveys at a later date. Click on "Continue to Step 6".
  6. Complete the personal information requested. For your department, students can use their major (Biology, Microbiology, etc.). For the role in research, choose a role that is most appropriate for your involvement in a project, most likely, “Student Researcher - Undergraduate” or “Student Researcher – Graduate level”. Click on "Continue to Step 7". You will be asked to select your curriculum under Question 1, "Responsible Conduct of Research". Select the most appropriate category for the project on which you will be working. If you are uncertain as to which one to select, please check with your faculty mentor.
  7. You will arrive on a page instructing you to select your curriculum. Under Question 1, "Responsible Conduct of Research", select the most appropriate category for the project on which you will be working. Do not make selections for questions 2-9.  Click the submit button at the bottom of the page to submit your curriculum selection.  If you are unsure of which selection to make, please contact Research & Sponsored Programs at grants@uwlax.edu or check with your faculty mentor.
How do I log-in to complete the training?
  1. Go to the log-in page: https://www.citiprogram.org.
  2. Enter the user name and password you established and click "Submit".
  3. On the main menu page, under "View Courses", select the course you would like to work on, and you will be taken to the gradebook for that course.
  4. The first time you log-in, complete Integrity Assurance Statement presented at the top of the course by checking the box agreeing to the terms. The system will allow you to start taking the elective modules after agreeing to the terms.
  5. There may be 1 or 2 short modules that will orient you to the training. There are no quizzes/tests associated with these modules, and they are required. Once these are complete, the actual training modules will become available.
I’m not being paid for the work I’m doing on the federal grant. Do I still have to complete this training?

Yes. UWL policy requires all students, faculty, and staff working on federal grants subject to RECR requirements to complete the training.

I completed the Research Misconduct, Conflicts of Interest, and Data Management training modules when I received my own grant. Do I have to repeat that training?

No. You only need to complete training modules once. However, you will also need to complete the modules for Mentoring, Authorship (if the project is supported by the USDA), and any other modules that may have been designated by the Principal Investigator (PI). If you are unsure whether you have completed certain training modules, please Research & Sponsored Programs at grants@uwlax.edu, who can check for you.

How long will it take to complete the training?

You should plan for each module to take approximately 30-60 minutes.

 

What score is required to successfully complete the training?

You must score at least 80% on each required module.

What do I need to turn in to verify I am in compliance with RECR and able to work on a federally funded project?
  1. Once RECR training modules are complete, you need to download a completion report in CITI.
  2. Email a copy of your report to your faculty mentor to verify you have completed all of the required modules.
  3. The faculty member will forward this information to ORSP to verify your training completion. If you have a question about whether your training completion has been verified, please contact ORSP (grants@uwlax.edu  or 608-785-8007).
What happens if I don't complete the training?
  • If you do not complete the training by the deadline, you will receive an email from the Office of Research & Sponsored Programs (ORSP) indicating that you are not in compliance.
  • You must stop all work (paid and unpaid) on the grant.
  • You may only return to work once you are in compliance and have received an email from ORSP indicating that you may do so.
When does training expire?

RECR training is valid for five years from the date of completion.

Do I still have to complete IRB training?
  • IRB is a requirement mandated by federal law if research involves human subjects. RECR is not a substitute for any other required compliance measure. Check with your mentor to see if you are required to complete IRB training.
  • If you are required to complete IRB (human subjects) training as part of your RECR Training Plan, and you have a completion certificate from CITI for completing the module at an earlier date, you do not need to repeat the training.
  • Additional information on IRB
Do I still have to complete Biosafety (IBC), Animal Care (IACUC), and/or other research compliance requirements on campus?

Yes.  RECR is not a substitute for any other mandated compliance measure.  Check with your mentor to see if you are required to complete any additional trainings.

Additional information on research compliance requirements

How do I know if I have completed the required training?

Please contact the Office of Research & Sponsored Programs (ORSP) at grants@uwlax.edu or 608-785-8007.

What should I do if I'm having difficulties with the CITI training site?

Click on "Contact Us" at the bottom of the screen. This will bring up options for site FAQs, live chat, password recovery, and a technical support phone number.