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Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)

Conducting research responsibly and ethically is critical in any discipline, especially chemistry. Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training is a framework for imparting these standards and a critical component of scholarly work and career development. 

Graduate Students, Postdocs, and Visiting Scholars 

The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have instituted federal requirements regarding the training of undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers who are involved in NSF- and NIH-funded research. As a best practice, the Department of Chemistry requires that all PhD students, postdocs and visiting scholars, regardless of funding, complete Responsible Conduct of Research training. The training includes two components: web-based (WBT) CITI training and instructor-led training (ILT), CHEM 519.

CITI Training

Northwestern uses the CITI program for web-based training, which all PhD students, postdocs and visiting scholars are required to complete within their first quarter in the Chemistry Department.

Graduate students, postdocs and visiting scholars should complete the CITI course, “RCR course for graduate students and postdocs”; undergraduate students should complete the CITI course, “RCR course for undergraduate students”.

View registration instructions for the CITI program. 

CHEM 519

To fulfill the instructor-led component of training, students, postdocs and visiting scholars all Chemistry PhD students, postdocs and visiting scholars are required to complete CHEM 519 within their first year in Chemistry. The department offers this course once a year, during the spring quarter. PhD students register for the course through Caesar; postdocs and visiting scholars register through myHR Learn.

MS Students and Other Researchers

Chemistry masters students and other researchers with salaries funded by the NSF are required to complete both CITI training and CHEM 519 within timeframes published in the Chemistry RCR Training Policy.

View the Chemistry Department RCR Training Policy.

Undergraduate Students

The Chemistry Department complies with Northwestern University requirements that undergraduate students with salaries funded by the NSF must complete CITI training within 60 days of being added to the award payroll.

View the letter from Jay Walsh, Vice President for Research, regarding undergraduate RCR requirements.

Additional Information

View information, links, and documents for Responsible Conduct of Research:

Please direct questions regarding RCR to Sophie Tidd, Associate Director of Administration, Department of Chemistry.

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