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Training in Ethics of Research


The Principal Investigator and co-PIs on covered NSF, NIH, and NIFA proposals shall complete the requirement for RCR training before the Office of Sponsored Projects will release an award. Training is accomplished through:

  1. Completion of an online course delivered through the myCourses system; and
  2. Completion of an online RCR course through the CITI website .

It is highly recommended that training is completed soon after a proposal is submitted to minimize delays in awarding. The Principal Investigator will receive notification from the Office of Sponsored Projects and the Office of Research Compliance regarding this training requirement upon the submission of a proposal.

  • To enroll in RCR training in myCourses:

    1. Log into myCourses using your netID and password
    2. Click on the 'Self Enrollment' tab at the top of the page
    3. Click 'Enroll' next to the course that you would like to be enrolled in (Responsible Conduct of Research)
    4. Click 'OK' to confirm
    5. Click 'myCourses' in the top right corner
    6. You should see the course in your course list

    The myCouses training takes approximately 15 minutes to complete and is intended to give PIs and co-PIs an overview of their responsibilities.

  • CITI:
  • Additional information and instructions for enrolling in the CITI course can be found at


Other project personnel should complete the RCR training requirement via one of two options:

  1. CITI online certification in RCR plus attendance at 4 one-hour seminars covering ethical issues (8 sessions for NIH projects); or
  2. Enrollment in an approved 1-hour or 3-hour credit course in Research Ethics. The course must be face-to-face; it cannot be online.

A current schedule of face-to-face sessions can be found at These sessions are discussions of ethical issues associated with one of the nine core competencies recognized by the Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research. These sessions will be facilitated by ethics professionals at MSU.

A listing of all approved 1-hour and 3-hour credit courses can be found here. The courses have been determined satisfactory to meet the requirement of a program of study designed to contribute to the knowledge and respect of high ethical standards. A passing grade is required for the course to be counted as RCR training. Anyone wishing to enroll in credit courses should contact the MSU Registrar's Office.

Other project personnel should complete the on-line CITI training component within the first 90 days of appointment to a covered project. The face-to-face training component should be completed within the first 12 months of appointment to a covered project.

Refresher Training:

Refresher training is required only for covered NIH projects. NIH states that "[a]cceptable programs generally involve at least 8 contact hours and be undertaken at least once during each career stage, and at a frequency of no less than once every four years".