Responsible Conduct of Research

To comply with Federal regulations Western Washington University requires that all researchers who seek NIH or NSF grant funding must obtain training in the responsible conduct of research (RCR).  As discussed below, this training includes an on-line course and test and face-to-face training.  The on-line training can be taken at

The four subjects of Responsible Conduct of Research covered in the CITI program course include:

  • Research misconduct
  • Data acquisition, management, sharing, and ownership
  • Publication practices and responsible authorship
  • Mentor and trainee responsibilities

In response to the mandates of the America COMPETES Act, both the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Health revised their grant policies and guidelines to require that persons supported by grant funds must be trained in the responsible conduct of research (RCR).  All NIH or NSF grant proposals must include a section on the plan to offer instruction in the RCR.  Applications lacking a plan for instruction in responsible conduct of research will be considered incomplete and may be delayed in the review process or not reviewed.

While the on-line training from is sufficient to meet the training component prior to the NIH or NSF grant submission, the grant application must formulate a plan to include at least eight (8) hours of live RCR training. This training should include a combination of lecture, small group discussion, and case studies. Participation of research training faculty members in instruction of RCR is highly encouraged.  Research Compliance Officer, Janai Symons, can also provide lectures, case studies, and additional training materials for anyone on the WWU campus.  Please feel free to contact her at for assistance in implementing an RCR training program.  

In addition to offering training of researchers on NIH or NSF grants, Janai Symons is also available to teach classes regarding responsible conduct of research, Human Subjects, or Animal Research ethics requirements in research methods or lab classes.

Page Updated 12.12.2011