Training

RCR Training for USDA NIFA Grants-FAQs

  1. What is the background behind this training requirement?

    For NIFA awards and all grants subject to the February 2013 NIFA Agency Specific Terms and Conditions or any revisions thereafter, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) issued the following RCR Training requirement;

    “By accepting a NIFA award the grantee assures that program directors, faculty, undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and any staff participating in the research project receive appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research and that documentation of such training will be maintained. Grantees are advised that the documentation of the training is subject to NIFA review upon request.”

    Full text can be found on page 5 of the NIFA’s February 2013 Agency-Specific Terms & Conditions (PDF).

    For any newer versions of the NIFA Agency Specific Terms and Conditions please visit the NSF host website at http://www.nsf.gov/awards/managing/rtc.jsp.

  2. When does this training requirement go into effect?

    NIFA’s RCR Training Requirement became effective for awards subject to the February 2013 Research Terms and Conditions (see page 5).

  3. Who must complete the RCR training?

    All Principal Investigators, faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, postdoctoral researchers and staff who are paid (salary and/or stipend) directly from a NIFA sponsored project.

  4. How will I know if I am required to take RCR Training?

    At the time of proposal submission, Principal Investigators and co-PIs will be notified by Sponsored Programs Administration and the Office of Research Compliance of the RCR requirements. At award processing, SPA will not release the award until the PI and co-PIs have completed the training.

  5. Where can I find instructions to complete RCR Training?

    Go to the Responsible Conduct of Research Training page on the ORC website.

  6. How many times do I need to take RCR Training at MSU?

    MSU’s current policy is that RCR training does not expire.

  7. What are the Principal Investigator’s Responsibilities?

    Compliance with the requirements for providing instruction in RCR is a responsibility of the PI. The PI should communicate to project personnel, the RCR requirement and how to complete it. The PI is responsible for monitoring compliance. The PI must take corrective action if individuals do not complete the RCR training within the specified timeframe.

  8. What are MSU’s Responsibilities?

    MSU must provide RCR Training and be able to verify that Principal Investigators, faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, postdoctoral researchers and staff who are paid (salary and/or stipend) directly from a NIFA sponsored project have completed RCR Training.

  9. How does MSU verify completion of RCR Training?

    The Office of Research Compliance tracks RCR training taken in myCourses, CITI, and ORC-sponsored live sessions. You can check your training records here.

  10. What are the Principal Investigator’s Responsibilities?

    Besides taking the RCR Training, Principal Investigators are encouraged to have RCR discussions with their students and postdocs.

    In addition, the Division of Sponsored Programs will call on Principal Investigator’s to help direct students and postdocs to Login, Register and complete the RCR Training.

  11. Will MSU accept RCR Training received from another Institution?

    MSU will accept the RCR training through CITI as long as the trainee adds an affiliation with MSU. MSU will not accept any other RCR training received from another Institution.

  12. When does RCR Training need to be completed?

    It is recommended that PIs and co-PIs complete training soon after a proposal is submitted to minimize delays in awarding. Other project personnel should complete the online CITI training within 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.

  13. What happens when a student or postdoc cannot or did not complete the RCR Training?

    The expectation is all PI’s, faculty, students, postdocs and staff will take the RCR Training.

    In those cases where completion appears to be delinquent the Office of Research Compliance will contact the individuals directly as well as contact the Principal Investigator for assistance.

    If there are circumstances that prevent completing the RCR Training, the student, postdoc or PI should notify Kacey Strickland, kstrickland@orc.msstate.edu, as soon as possible.

  14. Who at MSU can be contacted with questions about the NIFA RCR Training Requirement?

    Questions may be directed to Kacey Strickland, Director of Research Compliance.