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Research Policy and Compliance  /  Compliance  /  Responsible Conduct of Research

Research Integrity & Responsible Conduct of Research

Caltech researchers are expected to adhere to the highest professional standards in the conduct of research. As set out by the Faculty Handbook, faculty members are charged by the Institute with the responsibility to safeguard the basic principles of research integrity, academic freedom, and public interest. When government funds are involved in the support of research, the Institute's accountability to the government and the public requires that the investigators take particular care to obey all rules and regulations of the government and the sponsoring agencies.

To this end, all researchers, including faculty, research staff, postdocs and graduate students are required to complete research integrity training.

Faculty and Research Staff shall complete the Research Integrity for Faculty and Research Staff provided as an online course in our CITI account, accessible via

As part of their education, all graduate students and postdocs are required to take specialized training in research ethics and responsibility/Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training. RCR is provided as an online course from CITI and available through

NSF and NIH also require Research Integrity and/or RCR training as a condition of funding.

The specific requirements for postdocs and students are described in Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Training for Students and Postdoctoral Researchers Supported by NSF or as Trainees on NIH Training Grants.

NIH requires substantial face-to-face training for successful completion of the NIH RCR requirement. To fulfill this requirement, students or postdocs must successfully complete Bi252, Responsible Conduct of Research, which is offered in the fall term. Students should enroll in the class; postdocs please contact the instructor to arrange participation/attendance.

Instruction must be taken at least once during each career stage of the individual, and not less than once every four years. Participants' progress will be tracked and recorded with the intent that all participants complete the program by the end of the first spring term during which they are supported by NIH funds. Participants may take the course before the funding is awarded.

Beginning August 1, 2023, all faculty and research staff on proposals to NSF must complete Research Integrity Training for Faculty and Research Staff prior to submission of their proposal.

All students and postdocs participating in research on NSF projects at Caltech must take and pass the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) course in Responsible Conduct in Research, available at

Participants' progress will be tracked and recorded with the intent that all participants complete the program by the end of the first full academic term during which they are supported by NSF funds. If a student or postdoc can document having passed a similar, qualifying program at Caltech or another institution, Caltech may accept that in place of completing Caltech's program. Please contact the office of research compliance ( to request substitution. Completion of Bi252 can be substituted for the CITI training.

As part of the increasing research security requirements promulgated by the federal government, personnel at "all career levels" involved in research, including faculty, postdocs, staff, and students are required to take research integrity training.

To meet the research integrity training requirement for all faculty and research staff, Caltech has created a research integrity module which is accessible via an online platform which will record your completion of the course. Completion of the training should take you approximately 30 minutes. All faculty and staff engaged in research (regardless of funding) at Caltech must complete this Research Integrity Training as Caltech will be required to certify to the Federal Agencies when submitting proposals and accepting awards that this training has been completed.

Beginning August 1, 2023, all personnel on proposals to NSF must complete Research Integrity training prior to submission of their proposal. Other agencies will be issuing their detailed training requirements in the coming months.

Below you will find basic instructions as to how to access the training. You will find instructions with screen shots here

Faculty and Research Staff Research Integrity Training Detailed Instructions

Log into your CITI account from You will find the link under "Research Services," "Select Research Ethics Education (CITI)

If you already have a CITI account, please proceed to the next step. If you do not have a CITI account, you will need to create one before going to the next step. Simply, click on "I don't have a CITI Program account and I need to create one," and it will take you to the SSO screen so that you may proceed to the next step.

Use your Caltech credentials to log into CITI. Once in your CITI account, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on "Add a Course."

This will take you to Question 1 where you will select "I am Faculty or Research Staff and need to complete an online course in Research Integrity" and click "Next.

This will take you back to your CITI dashboard where you will see the course listed under "Courses Ready to Begin." Click on "Start Now" to begin the course.

Please read the Assurance Statement and ensure the "agree" box is selected before clicking "submit."

Please click Start to start the module.

The module will start to download onto your computer. Once it downloads, please open the file and review the presentation in its entirety. It is recommended that you keep a copy of the presentation as there are many useful hyperlinks in the presentation to resources available to researchers.

Once you complete the presentation, please return to the CITI page to take the quiz. You will need 70% (7/10 correct answers) to "complete" the course.