Proposal Guidance – RCR Requirements

NIH, NSF and USDA have specific requirements for some funding mechanisms to document RCR and/or data integrity activities. Please contact the RCR Coordinator if you have any questions.

  • Section 7008: Mentoring Plans for all postdoctoral fellows. (42 USC 1862o)
    • Each proposal that contains postdoctoral researchers must include, as a supplementary document, a description of the mentoring activities that will be provided for such individuals. The mentoring plan must not exceed one page.
    • Mentoring activities may include career counseling, training in preparing grant applications, guidance on ways to improve teaching skills, and training in research ethics.
    • In addition, all progress reports for research grants that include funding to support postdoctoral researchers must include a description of the mentoring activities provided to such researchers.
  • Section 7009: RCR Instruction (42 USC 1862o-1)
    • CSU PIs are currently in compliance with Section 7008 by virtue of the establishment of the CSU institutional RCR training program. According to the CSU policy, PIs must require RCR instruction for all undergraduates, graduates and postdoctoral fellows who are paid salary on the NSF/USDA NIFA grants. Additionally, CSU policy requires faculty, research scientists, and research associates funded by USDA NIFA to take RCR training. No additional actions are needed at the time of grant submission; nor are additional progress report actions needed.
  • FAQs about NSF RCR requirements

The responsible and ethical conduct of research (RCR) is critical for excellence, as well as public trust, in science and engineering. Consequently, education in RCR is considered essential in the preparation of future scientists. By accepting a NIFA award the grantee assures 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 and that documentation of such training will be maintained. Grantees are advised that the documentation of the training are subject to NIFA review upon request. Read more.