Research & Economic Development

Office of the Vice Chancellor

Responsible Conduct in Research

Responsible Conduct in Research

Why is this important?

UMKC, like virtually every other research institution in the nation that conducts research, has assurances with the federal government. In this assurance, UMKC has certified that all of its activities related to research will be guided by the same ethical principles, policies, and procedures regardless of the funding source, if any. Thus, all research involving subjects is subject to these same principles, policies and procedures.

Regulations require the institution to have policies and procedures in place that cover the various aspects of the overall research program. The institution must have the following procedures in place for:

  • Investigating and reporting Research Misconduct
  • Investigating and reporting Conflicts of Interest
  • Approval and management of all Research Budgets
  • Ensure that Laboratory Safety Rules are followed
  • Follow established practices for the responsible use of Hazardous Substances in research
  • Provide Training for researchers using human or animal subjects

NSF requirement for RCR Certification per January 4, 2010:   (UMKC Implementation information)


ALL students and postdocs who are, or will be funded by NSF, directly and indirectly, must be RCR certified.
This means that any graduate student, undergraduate student and any postdoc who uses a machine in another lab that was purchased with NSF funding, cannot use such equipment unless a RCR Certificate is on-file.

UMKC has arranged for RCR Training and Certification with CITI (see below).

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Training Requirement

The 2007 America COMPETES Act directed NSF to require that all funded students and postdocs undergo training in the responsible conduct of research (RCR). The implementation of this requirement becomes effective January 4, 2010, when all institutions submitting proposals to NSF must certify that they have a training plan in place for undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral scholars who will be supported by NSF to conduct research. This certification must be in place at the time of proposal submission. Training plans need not be submitted with the proposal, however, they must be provided for review upon request. Institutions are responsible for verifying that their undergraduate students, graduate students and postdoctoral scholars receive training.

These guidelines are enumerated in detail in the January 2010 NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide, specifically in Part I - Grant Proposal Guide, Chapter II. C.1e and in Part II - Award and Administration Guide, Chapter IV.B. Additional details on the implementation, including responses to the concerns submitted by the community during the open comment period, are included in the Federal Register Notice of August 20, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 160).

Developing an RCR Training Plan

The NSF has stated that it does not intend to release guidance or standards on what should be included in a training plan. In the Federal Register Notice of August 20, 2009, the agency emphasized the need for institutions to tailor their training to the needs, diversity and intended careers of their students and postdocs. It encouraged institutions to determine their own plan for both content and delivery, although this might include newly developed resources as well as use of existing materials.
This differs somewhat from the required RCR training of biomedical trainees supported by National Institutes of Health (NIH) training grants, which has long adopted the nine core content areas recommended by the federal Office of Research Integrity at the Department of Health and Human Services:

  1. Data Acquisition, Management, Sharing and Ownership;
  2. Conflict of Interest and Commitment;
  3. Human Subjects;
  4. Animal Welfare;
  5. Research Misconduct;
  6. Publication Practices and Responsible Authorship;
  7. Mentor / Trainee Responsibilities;
  8. Peer Review; and
  9. Collaborative Science.

All applications, grants and grant supplements made subsequent to January 4, 2010 will be subject to this requirement. Please note that this requirement is being interpreted broadly by NSF, e.g. a student from another lab using an instrument purchased with NSF funding will be subject to this requirement.

Online training has been arranged by the University to meet this requirement.

INFORMATION FOR ONLINE Training     Detailed information (pdf file).

The University of Missouri has registered with the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) for access to its website for Responsible Conduct of Research Tutorial for the research community.
The Research Office is subject to review by NSF and must verify that all persons supported by NSF to conduct research have received RCR training.
The CITI website will provide the NSF mandated training and testing for all persons affiliated with UMKC who are working on NSF funded research projects.
Upon succcessful completion of the course, a certificate is issued which can be used as evidence that the required training has been completed.

To register, please

  1. visit CITI homepage (,
  2. select "Register Here" to get to the new user registration page and
  3. complete the new user registration Form.

You must create an account under an existing registered group so please select University of Missouri - Kansas City as your affiliated group.
You must complete the RCR modules and accompanying testing before you engage in any research activities funded by NSF.

Once you have created an account,

  1. select the modules appropriate for your discipline and research activivites.

If you have any questions, please contact Chris Winders by phone (816-235-5370) or email (


Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)

  1. Background

The responsible and ethical conduct of research (RCR) is critical for excellence, as well as public trust, in science and engineering. Consequently, education in RCR is considered essential in the preparation of future scientists and engineers.
Section 7009 of the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science (COMPETES) Act (42 U.S.C. 18620�1 requires that each institution that applies for financial assistance from the Foundation for science and engineering research or education describe in its grant proposal a plan to provide appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research to undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers participating in the proposed research project.
The section below provides NSF�s implementation of Section 7009.

  1. Institutional Responsibilities
  • An institution must have a plan in place to provide appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research to undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers who will be supported by NSF to conduct research. As noted in GPG Chapter II.C.1e, institutional certification to this effect is required for each proposal.
  • While training plans are not required to be included in proposals submitted to NSF, institutions are advised that they are subject to review, upon request.
  • An institution must designate one or more persons to oversee compliance with the RCR training requirement.
  • Institutions are responsible for verifying that undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers supported by NSF to conduct research have received training in the responsible and ethical conduct of research.