Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) - Overview

Page Updated: May 10th, 2019


Awards affected: All USA NIFA awards may be subject to the RCR requirement.

Location of Requirement: The notice of award face page will indicate the requirement, regardless of award type (new, existing, direct, flow through). The requirement may not affect all awards.

Outgoing Subawards: This term will be flown down to all sub-recipients on USDA NIFA awards. Sub-recipients will be required to comply by either maintaing a compliant training program or by participating in our training.


Individuals affected: USDA NIFA participants correspond to UW PI's, UW Col's and any UW individuals paid from the research award. This also includes non-UW subrecipient individuals who are paid from UW's prime award, such as undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and any staff participating in the research project.


Award Review & Setup: RSP Award Setup will continue to review USDA NIFA awards (new or modifications) and store the notice of award. RSP will electronically establish if there are USDA NIFA RCR requirements in SFS by adding in the appropriate RCR term.

  • The RCR term is titled, "RCR-USDA NIFA"

Training: VCRGE will establish participants subject to the training requirement, notify participants, provide tools to comply with the requirement (Cayuse) and will track who is completed (with follow-ups to those that are not completed).

  • Principal Investigators, co-investigators and participants from USDA NIFA awards must take the "Responsible Conduct of Research" course in Learn@UW. This includes, but is not limited to, undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and sub-recipients. Prime recipients are obligated by USDA NIFA to flow down this term to sub-recipients. Training expires every three years.
  • Steps for registering and completing the training are provided in the FAQs.

Flow Chart

Outgoing Subawards: Any subrecipient participant (individual paid from NIFA funds) is subject to the same rules as UW to comply with the USDA NIFA RCR requirement. It is expected that the subrecipient will comply with this requirement, as well as all other terms and conditions in the subaward. Subrecipient individuals can take their own institution's RCR training, CITI RCR training, or elect to take UW's.

If a subrecipient individual elects to take the UW's training, they will be required to obtain a guest netID and password to access the Canvas system. Non-UW personnel can obtain the credentials by first contacting Heather McFadden at