Responsible Conduct of Research

Texas A&M is committed to supporting responsible and ethical conduct of research and scholarship among its faculty, staff, and students. As such, the university follows federal, state, and university guidelines regarding Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). A campus-wide environment pertaining to responsible conduct of research requires researchers to have the knowledge, skills and tools to allow them to be responsible for their research conduct. Knowledge areas depending on research focus may include topics such as authorship, plagiarism, peer review, human subjects protections, animal welfare, clinical practice, data acquisition, management, sharing and ownership, conflict of interest, collaborative research, export controls, research expenditures, and research misconduct, among others.

Federal Requirements

Recipients of awards from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are required to comply with specific requirements to ensure appropriate training in the responsible conduct of research.  

National Science Foundation (NSF)

The 2007 America COMPETES Act directed the National Science Foundation (NSF) to require that all funded students and postdoctoral researchers undergo training in the responsible conduct of research. This requirement became effective with all NSF awards (including continuations) received on or after January 4, 2010. All undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers who will be supported by NSF to conduct research must complete the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) RCR training.  

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) mandates 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. The requirement may be met by completing the CITI RCR training. 

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

RCR training is required by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for all trainees, participants, and scholars receiving support through the following grants and awards:

  • NIH Institutional Research Training Grants;
  • Individual Fellowship Awards;
  • Career Development Awards (Institutional and Individual);
  • Research Education Grants;
  • Dissertation Research Grants; or
  • Other grant programs with a training component as noted in the Funding Opportunity Announcement.

NIH requires substantial face-to-face discussions; a combination of didactic and small-group discussions; and participation of research training faculty members in instruction for any trainee, participant, and scholar. (please see NOT-OD-10-019) While the online CITI training is encouraged, it is not sufficient to meet NIH’s RCR training requirements.

University Requirements

University SAP 15.99.99.M0.04 went into effect August 6, 2020. The requirements outlined in this procedure apply to all postdoctoral researchers and any undergraduate or graduate student participating in research funded internally or externally (e.g., sponsored research or research gift). Please see the FAQs for specifics regarding what training you may be required to complete. The requirements will depend on whether you are an undergraduate student, graduate student, or postdoctoral research and the type of funding supporting the research in which you are involved.


Workshops will be scheduled each semester. Click here for the latest workshop information, schedule, and enrollment instructions.


 Click here to view the FAQs



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