NIH Requirement for Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research

In November of 2009, NIH released Notice NOT-OD-10-019 “Update on the Requirement for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research,” (RCR) which can be found at:

The Notice describes current guidelines for meeting RCR training requirements for NIH Institutional Research Training Grants, Individual Fellowship Awards, Career Development Awards (Institutional and Individual), Research Education Grants, Dissertation Research Grants and other grant programs associated with the following NIH funding mechanisms:

D43, D71, F05, F30, F31, F32, F33, F34, F37, F38, K01, K02, K05, K07, K08, K12, K18, K22, K23, K24, K25, K26, K30, K99/R00, KL1, KL2, R25, R36, T15, T32, T34, T35, T36, T37, T90/R90, TL1, TU2, and U2R.

NIH requirements for RCR training on these mechanisms must be met by completing an interactive experience that involves a minimum of 8 hours of face-to-face contact-based instruction and discussion.  Online courses are NOT sufficient to meet NIH RCR training requirements.

CU Boulder Plan for Meeting NIH Requirements

CU Boulder trainees supported by these NIH grant-funding mechanisms can meet RCR requirements either by completing an appropriate classroom-based course offered by various departments on the CU Boulder or Anschutz Medical campus. If a credit course is taken, a grade of a B or higher must be achieved to meet the RCR requirement. Postdocs may audit credit courses and request a certificate of completion letter from the instructor. See list of available courses.

Note: The CITI online course does not satisfy the NIH requirements.

If a credit course other than GRAD 5000 is used to meet the RCR requirement please complete the CU Boulder RCR Completion Form. Sign the original and submit it to the RCR Coordinator (campus mailbox: Dr. Mary Allen-596 UCB). Give a copy to your mentor/PI for the NIH-funded award, and keep a copy for your records. This is not required if you complete the non-credit course offered in the fall semester at CU Boulder.

Timeline for Completion of Training in RCR for NIH Grant Trainees

Training in RCR should be initiated at the earliest possible time at which an appropriate interactive course meeting NIH RCR requirements becomes available.  RCR training normally should be completed within 12 months of the appointment period on the NIH grant in question.

NIH RCR Refresher Course Requirements

Note that NIH requires a RCR refresher course be completed by trainees every 4 years or any time there is a change in career stauts (i.e., from undergraduate to graduate student or from graduate student to postdoc). To sign up for the next refresher click here.


For questions concerning NSF RCR requirements, please first check the FAQ link on the NSF RCR website described above and this Federal Office of Research Integrity RCR FAQ document. Remaining questions can be addressed to the CU Boulder RCR Coordinator at