The Undergraduate Scholars Program is committed to integrating research ethics education into the program experience.  All students funded by USP are required to complete a Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training course in their field of research.  This training can be accessed through the CITI program.  

How to Register for CITI Training

  1. Navigate to the CITI website:

  2. From the CITI homepage, you can either log-in (if you have a CITI account) or create a new account.  Be sure to register as an MSU student. MSU subscribes to this training service - if you register with your university affiliation the training will come at no cost to you!

  3. Once you have created an account, select the RCR course.  You will have a number of course options to choose from, including:
    • Biomedical Sciences
    • Engineering
    • Humanities
    • Physical Sciences
    • Social Sciences & EducationRCR Screenshot

4.  Select the option that BEST represents the field you are researching* 

*Please do NOT select the basic student projects training course – students funded by USP are expected to complete a full course tailored specifically to their field of study. Also, you do NOT have to register for CME/CEU credits –these are continuing education courses for professional affiliations and are not necessary for the purposes of your USP project.

5.  RCR completion will be audited by the campus Office of Research Compliance.  Students are encouraged to save a copy of their          certificate of completion for their records.   




Is RCR training required for USP funding?

Yes – all students must complete RCR training prior to the release of their final payment.

Do I have to take any other CITI courses for my funding? 

No – RCR is the only CITI course required by USP.  We recommend that you consult with your mentor to determine whether any other training courses (for example, animal safety, bio safety, etc.) would be beneficial for your project. 

Does the RCR course cost anything?

No – as long as you register as an MSU student, your training will be covered under our institutional subscription and the course will come at no cost to you. 

Which RCR module should I select?

Please select the area that BEST represents the area of study for your USP project.  Options include biomedical science, engineering, humanities, physical science, and social science/education.  If you are not certain which option best fits your project, we recommend that you consult with your mentor.  Please DO NOT select the student projects course – this is an abbreviated course option, and USP requires a full course tailored to your area of study. 

Do I have to register for the CME/CEU credits when prompted? 

No – CME/CEU credits are geared toward professional endorsements and continuing education.  These are not necessary for the purposes of your USP project. 

How long does the training course take?

Approximately 4-6 hours, but the course is divided up into a number of smaller modules that you can work on over time.  Each time you complete a module, you can save your results and come back to it later.

What if I have completed RCR training previously – do I have to re-take the course?

If you have completed an RCR training course in your field of study previously, then no – you do not have to re-take the course.  You can present your previous certificate of completion to confirm that you have met the requirement. 

If you are switching to a new area of study (for example, from a science to humanities or social sciences), then we would recommend taking a new course – particularly if your research involves human subjects and you have not completed a module that addresses human subjects research previously. 

What if I have attended an RCR workshop with my mentor or lab group – does that count toward the training requirement?

As long as you can provide proof-of-completion documentation, then yes.  If the training was organized by the campus Office of Sponsored Programs, then you can request a certificate of completion through their office (406- 994-2381).  If it was organized by your PI or department, then you should contact the person who facilitated the training to obtain a statement of completion. 

How and when must I submit my certificate of completion to the USP office?

Unless notified otherwise, you will be asked to upload an electronic copy of your certificate of completion when you submit your end of term report through the USP dashboard.  You can either save the certificate as a PDF, copy it into a word document, or scan and upload it as a JPG file.  

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