Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)

UW-L is committed to training our students to be the professional researchers of today and tomorrow. In that spirit, it is essential that student researchers are aware of the ethical considerations related to the responsible conduct of all research.

UW-L has chosen the Responsible Conduct of Research Program, created by the Center on Materials and Devices for Information Technology Research, as our ethical training tool for all students who receive a UW-L research grant. This training is housed on the NSF Ethics CORE website. Please see the first time registration instructions prior to registering.

This webpage is particularly for students who have received an Undergraduate Research and Creativity Grant or a Graduate Research, Services, and Educational Leadership (RSEL) grant.  If you are completing RCR training because you will be or are working on NSF funded research, the information below will be useful for completing the "Rights and Obligations" Module.  The remaining information you will need is located on the RCR for NSF webpage.




How do I register? (first time logging in only)

  1. Go to
  2. Complete the following sections on the "Create New Account" page
    • Login information - be sure to use the name with which you are registered at UW-L (no nicknames)
    • Contact information - be sure to use your UW-L email account
  3. You should receive an indication that your account has been created and that you need to activate your account by clicking on a link in an email that you receive.
  4. Follow the link provided and log into the ethics training. Now you are registered on the site. Log out.
  5. Click on this link
  6. Click on "User Registration" under "RCR Modules from CMDITR".
  7. Under "What Group are you affiliated with?" select "UW-La Crosse - Research & Sponsored Programs" from the drop down menu.
  8. Select register.
  9. You may complete your Module 1 training at this time, or return at any time by clicking on the link at the top of the page or the link in #5.

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What module(s) should I complete?

Module 1 is required for:

  1. Students receiving Undergraduate Research Grants
  2. Students receiving Graduate Research, Service and Educational Leadership (RSEL) Grants
  3. Students doing work (both paid and unpaid) on NSF funded research. Those students should click here for additional information and requirements.

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When should I complete the RCR module?

  • Students will have a limited time window from their award notification date to complete the training. Therefore, it is recommended that students complete the training before or shortly after submitting their grant. Please see "What happens if I don't complete the RCR module?"

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How long will it take to complete?

  • About an hour.

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What happens if I don't complete the RCR module?

  • Students awarded Undergraduate Research Grants or Graduate RSEL Grants will not receive any portion of their grant unless the training is completed by the deadline specified in their award letter.

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Do I still have to go through IRB?

  • YES. IRB is a legal requirement mandated by federal law if research involves human subjects. RCR is not a substitute for any other required compliance measure. (additional information on IRB)

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Do I still have to go through Biosafety (IBC), Animal Care (IACUC), and/or other compliances on campus?

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What should I do if I'm having difficulties with the NSF Ethics CORE or RCR site?

  1. Having problems finding the modules? If you can't find the modules, please go to the main page for our training
  2. Usernames cannot be changed. Password resets must be done through the regular online system. ORSP can no longer update these for you.
  3. Having problems viewing the topics within the modules? If so, please click on the "Support Tab" near the top of the screen. Click on "Report a Problem".
    • Please note that the help desk is staffed 8 am - 4 pm CST, Monday through Friday.  It is not staffed on weekends or holidays. During busy times, it may take 1 or 2 business days to get a response.  Do not wait until the last day to complete the training.

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How do I know if I have completed the required training?

  • When students have reached the end of the module, they will view a clear indication that they have completed that section.  It will be a starburst-shaped medallion indicating "Module 1 Complete" next to the module 1 topics list. You can see a screen shot of a completed RCR training here.
  • If you think you've finished, but are not seeing the module complete medallion, return to section 1.5 and go to the end. After the answer explanation for the final case study, click "next section". This should take you back to the Table of Contents menu, and the medallion should appear.
  • If students are not certain, the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs has access to completion records. Please email Chandra Hawkins at with "RCR completion?" in the subject line.

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Where can I find information about Undergraduate Research and Creativity Grants or Graduate Research, Service, and Educational Leadership (RSEL) grants?

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