Research Ethics Education

Responsible Conduct in Research (RCR) Training

Effective January 4, 2010, the Authorized Organizational Representative of institutions that apply for financial assistance from the National Science Foundation (NSF) must certify that the institution has a plan 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. Section 7009 applies to Georgia Southern University and was implemented on January 4th, 2010.


As of January 4, 2010, all investigators, graduate students, undergraduate students, and postdoctoral researchers supported by NSF to conduct research at Georgia Southern must complete Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) education.

Exemptions: Travel grants, including conference, symposium and workshop travel are exempt from the RCR training requirement. All other individuals who work on or are paid from NSF funds must complete RCR training.

Responsibility for compliance with the NSF RCR mandate rests primarily with principal investigators.

Principal Investigators, Co-Investigators and Senior Research
  • Principal investigators, co-investigators and senior personnel submitting proposals on or after January 4, 2010 are encouraged to complete training through the CITI RCR training course at the time of new proposal submission to NSF. CITI RCR training must be completed at the time of award. NOTE: No new award accounts will be established without documentation of RCR training completion for all principal investigators, co-investigators and senior personnel included within an NSF proposal/award. No payments will be approved for researchers or students on an NSF award until the CITI RCR training is complete and certification provided.
  • Principal investigators, co-investigators and senior personnel on NSF projects awarded prior to January 4, 2010 are strongly encouraged to complete web based RCR training.
  • Principal investigator shall identify undergraduates, graduate students, and post-doctoral associates to be hired on NSF-funded projects and ensure completion of RCR training before a hiring proposal can be approved.
  • Principal investigators should engage in compacts with post‐doctoral appointees that outline the commitments of both the principal investigator and the post‐doctoral fellows relative to the post‐doctoral fellow/mentor relationship.

Note: CITI training completed at another institution may be transferred to Georgia Southern University by affiliating with both institutions. Do not remove your affiliation from past institutions as CITI will also delete training records acquired at that institution.

The Office of Research Compliance will:
  • Verify compliance with NSF RCR training requirements prior to award account setup;
  • Verify completion of RCR training for all undergraduates, graduate students, and post-doctoral associates prior to hiring;
  • Build collaborations with departments and promote faculty involvement in the RCR training program;
  • Provide methods for supplementing online CITI courses with additional in-person workshops, discipline specific training and individual mentoring, as applicable;
  • Recommend policies and procedures that will promote RCR awareness and education campus-wide.

Completing Training

The Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) at provides an on-line course that provides a comprehensive basic course in the responsible conduct of research for faculty, staff and students. Completion of the CITI RCR course will satisfy the America Competes requirement under the GS training plan.

CITI offers six discipline-specific RCR courses for you to choose from: Biomedical Research, Social and Behavioral Research, Physical Science, Humanities and Engineering; as well as a course specifically for administrators. Follow the directions and check the courses you wish to complete. You do not have to complete all of the modules at one sitting. You can log out, return, and complete them at own pace. Complete only one. Choose only the course that fits your regulatory need. Georgia Southern also offers other courses including Human Subjects Research and Health Information Privacy and Security training to fulfill other requirements.

CITI allows the Office of Research Compliance to access training records to verify completion of training, and a certificate is available for users to print/save upon completion.

If you have any questions about the CITI web site, or need assistance, please contact Ele Haynes in the Office of Research Compliance at 912-478-0843 or

Resources for Faculty and Students

Faculty are encouraged to include responsible conduct of research in research methods courses and to include ethics training in mentoring activities.

Georgia Southern University Scholarly Misconduct Policy
Online Resources:
Case studies and dramatized scenarios:
Books and Publications
Professional Associations with Professional Ethics Codes (Provided by Boston College)

Last updated: 10/24/2018

Office of Research Integrity • PO Box 8005, Statesboro, GA 30460 • General Inquiries: (912) 478-5465 •