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RCR Compliance Requirement

Both NSF and NIH require that all postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and undergraduates working in laboratories in the Department of Psychology complete training in Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). In addition, NIH requires that research assistants or other staff who work in our laboratories, but who do not fall into one of the aforementioned categories, also complete this training. This requirement holds for everyone working in laboratories in Wilson Hall, regardless of their area of research or mechanism of funding. This outlines procedures that should be followed and deadlines for the completion of this requirement for undergraduates, graduate students & post-doctoral personnel.

*Please note: RCR training in CITI is NOT THE SAME as HSR/IRB compliance [also completed within CITI].

This web site has useful information about RCR at Vanderbilt University:

Logging In

First Time Users

Part of this training involves completing an online course in RCR. The RCR course is administered by CITI, the same organization that supports IRB and IACUC courses that some of you may have taken before. If you have never used CITI, check out this page for detailed information on accessing the RCR course under "Initial Log-in":

Returning Users

If you have accessed CITI before, please login and follow the prompts below. Please visit:
"Add a course or update your learner groups for Vanderbilt University"

 "I would like to view courses available for the Responsible Conduct of Research",
 "RCR for Psychological Sciences ‐ VUPSY".
 "RCR for Psychological Sciences" should now appear under "My Courses" on the main CITI page.

The Course

The full course has 8 required modules with quizzes. You do not need to complete all 8 modules at once; however, all modules must be completed by the set deadline. The list of the modules is below. Human and Animal subjects are not included in the RCR course because of the additional training involved in those areas to receive IRB and IACUC certification.

RCR for Psychological Sciences Required Modules

  1. Plagiarism
  2. Authorship
  3. Collaborative Research
  4. Conflicts of Interest
  5. Data Management
  6. Mentoring
  7. Peer Review
  8. Research Misconduct

Each program includes the “CITI RCR Course Completion Page,” listed as the 9th required module.  

Passing Grade

The RCR program requires a passing grade of 75 percent for successful completion of the entire course.  When you have completed all 8 modules, you will get a certificate from "The CITI RCR Course Completion Page".

If you do not achieve a passing grade, the module(s) will have to be re-taken.  From the CITI homepage, select ‘Optional Modules’ and select the module you wish to re-take. In order to re-take modules, you must have completed the entire training course before re-taking any of the modules.

**NOTE to Mac Users:
You may want to install RealPlayer ( if you have trouble listening to some of the audio feeds in the course.

Please feel free to contact Erin Duran, if you require further assistance.


You must save a pdf or screenshot of your completion transcript in order to complete the requirement.

  • From the main menu, select 'Click here to see your previously completed coursework for Vanderbilt University'
  • In the 'Responsible Conduct of Research Curriculum RCR for Psychological Sciences - VUPSY > 1. RCR' module, select 'Print Completion Report'. 
  • Print or save to pdf so that you can email the report to the appropriate person below.

Undergraduate and graduate students

must send a pdf of this completion page to Britta Abbrescia at

Post-Doctoral Fellows

must send a pdf of this completion page to Erin Duran at All faculty Principal Investigators are responsible for ensuring that their staff complete the RCR modules and receive a certificate that they can access.



The deadline for completing the RCR online course is 30 days after you start work or 45 days after the start of the term, whichever is earlier.  After that date, any individual who has not completed the course will be prohibited from working in their laboratory until the course is completed and certified.

Directed/Independent Studies Students who do not complete the RCR course by the deadline will not receive credit.

Graduates and Post‐Doctoral Fellows

The deadline for completing the RCR online course is 30 days after your start date.
Post-Doctoral Fellows starting December 1st, will have until December 15th to complete the RCR online course.