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Office of Research Compliance

Responsible Conduct of Research Training


Federal regulations require that institutions receiving funds from the National Science Foundation (NSF)  and other agencies ("covered sponsors") provide appropriate training and oversight in the responsible conduct of research (RCR) for students (undergraduate and graduate) and postdoctoral researchers who are supported with federal funds. USC must certify on all covered proposals that it has a plan to provide appropriate RCR training. To comply with this requirement, USC is requiring that all students and post doctoral researchers paid by salary or stipend from a covered sponsored project must complete an approved RCR training program. Generally, this training consists of nine topic areas covering: Data Acquisition and Management, Conflict of Interest and Commitment, Human Subject Research, Laboratory Animal Welfare, Research Misconduct, Publication Practices and Authorship, Mentor/Trainee Responsibilities, Peer Review, and Collaborative Science. 



Students and postdoctoral researchers supported on covered projects are required to complete the on-line RCR training program provided by the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI). 

The required training must be completed within the first three months of employment/support on the covered project or earlier if circumstances dictate (e.g. summer employment).
Documentation of completion of this requirement will be maintained by the ORC via the CITI database. Additionally, a certificate of completion may be printed from the CITI site. A copy of the certificate should be kept by the trainee and the PI.



Resources available through the Office of Research Compliance include:

  • Training opportunities for faculty wishing to become engaged in teaching RCR
  • ORC sponsored workshops to complement CITI training and other departmental offerings
  • Individual consultation and advisement
  • Access to the CITI program and other on-line resources

Office of Research Compliance