RCR Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


I am an undergraduate funded by the NIH/NSF/USDA-NIFA. What RCR training do I need?

Undergraduates are only required to take the online RCR training.

Why do I have to retake the Face-to-face (f2f) RCR training?

The NIH stipulates that f2f training must be taken once every 4 years, or upon a “change of status” (i.e. graduate student to postdoctoral fellow). CSU requires that all trainees funded by NIH, NSF, or USDA-NIFA retake the f2f training every 4 years or upon a change of status.

Does the online RCR training expire? Do I need a “refresher” course?

No, the online training does not expire and there is no required refresher course. However, the online RCR training can be repeated an unlimited number of times.

I am a graduating master’s student entering a PhD program at CSU, and I have already taken the online and f2f RCR training. Do I need to retake the RCR training (i.e. is this considered a “change of status”)?

No, changing from a master’s student to a doctoral student is not considered a “change of status” as the student is still considered a mentored trainee. However, there is a good chance that the f2f training will need to be repeated during your doctoral program if 4 years elapses from the time the f2f course was taken.

I took the online and f2f training during my doctoral program, and I am now entering a postdoctoral fellowship at CSU. Why do I have to retake the f2f training?

This transition is considered a “change of status”, and CSU policy requires that the f2f training be repeated. The rationale is that you have significantly progressed in thought and experience during your doctoral program, and you are now in a position to meaningfully expand your RCR knowledge base as it applies to your new role.

I have heard that USDA-NIFA grantees have additional requirements. What are they?

The training is the same for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows funded by NIH/NSF/USDA-NIFA; you are required to take the online and f2f training. Undergraduates are required to take the online RCR training only. However, unlike NIH/NSF funding that does not require this training for research scientists/associates and faculty, funding from USDA-NIFA requires all personnel including research scientists/associates and faculty to take the online RCR training.

I am a Professional DVM student funded by NIH/NSF/USDA-NIFA. What RCR training do I need to take?

The training is the same as for traditional doctoral students; you are required to take the online and f2f training.

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