Research Integrity

This page provides a guide to the required Responsible Conduct of Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities education program required for all graduate students. The basic education plan consists of (i) 4 on-line CITI (Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative) training modules, (ii) a minimum of 6 hours of face-to-face, discussion-based workshops (4 workshops, 1.5 h each), and (iii) 3 additional on-line CITI modules. The additional CITI modules could be on new topics or the refresher modules for the topics covered in (i). All basic RCRSA education requirements are to be completed by the end of the spring semester of Year Two.

Completion of all CITI modules and workshops will be documented by the Office of Regulatory Affairs at MSU (ABILITY). To complete the CITI modules, click on the “CITI lessons in ORA” button below and log-in using your MSU NetID and password. Alternately, you can link to the CITI Program website, CITI Program,  and “log-in through my institution”. Your NET ID and password will be needed to access the modules. 

In addition to the basic education requirements, all doctoral and graduate professional students much also complete 3 h per year of supplemental education. This requirement could be met by (i) completing additional CITI modules (new or refresher modules, each module counts 45 min), (ii) attending additional face-to-face workshops, (iii)  specific unit RCRSCA activities, (iv) one-on-one discussions with the Ph.D. preceptor and or (v) other activities. Completion of the annual supplemental education  will be verified by the Graduate Program Director and documented by the student in GradPlan (or the new student information system coming on-line in 2020).

The current basic RCRSCA education took effect January 1, 2017. All graduate and graduate professional students enrolling for the first time in spring 2017, or after, will follow the current RCRSCA education program. Departments and programs may have more specific requirements to meet the discussion-based and annual training. Students who entered in fall 2016, or before, have the option of following the academic unit’s previous plan or the new requirements. Students should consult with their departments about which option works best with their program of study.


RCRSCA Basic Education Program Requirements


Master’s plan B and grad professional

CITI Modules Year 1

  • Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research
  • Authorship
  • Plagiarism
  • Research Misconduct

6 hours discussion-based training (complete by the end of the spring semester, Year Two)


Master’s Plan A students

CITI Modules Year 1

  • Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research
  • Authorship
  • Plagiarism
  • Research Misconduct

6 hours discussion-based training (complete by the end of the spring semester, Year Two)

CITI Modules Year 2
Complete 3 additional from specific list


Doctoral students

CITI Modules Year 1

  • Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research
  • Authorship
  • Plagiarism
  • Research Misconduct

6 hours discussion-based training (complete by the end of the spring semester, Year Two)

CITI Modules Year 2
Complete 3 additional from specific list

Year 3 forward
3 hours of annual refresher training

Tracked automatically in Ability =  
Tracked by department in GradInfo =  

RCR memo - 8/29/16 (PDF)

MSU Responsible Conduct of Research Plans template 2016 (PDF)

RCRSCA Syllabus 2019-2020 (PDF)

MSU Office of Regulatory Affairs Responsible Conduct of Research page with links to the Ability system and the RCR Core courses for graduate students

MSU Policy on NSF Funded Research 2009 (PDF)

MSU RCR Plans (Click on your department)

THE LAB video

The long awaited release of "The Lab: Avoiding Research Misconduct" is now available for viewing on the ORI web site. The video simulation allows users to assume the role of a graduate student, post-doc, research administrator, or PI and make decisions that affect the integrity of research.