Responsible Conduct of Research

COVID-19 Responsible Conduct of Research Update

The Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) requirement deadline is extended during the COVID-19 pandemic

Graduate students who were admitted in one of the following semesters have an extended deadline of December 14, 2020 to complete the RCR Course:

  • Spring 2020
  • Summer I  and Summer II 2020

No new registration holds will be placed for non-compliance with the requirement at least until the end of the summer II session. The RCR course is still required, but we are relaxing the spring and summer deadlines to remove additional pressure from new students. Updates will be posted in their e-learning RCR course home page. Students who currently have a hold on their account for not completing the RCR course from a previous semester should contact and attach proof of course completion. The hold will be removed manually within two days.

New students admitted for the Fall 2020 semester have a deadline of December 14, 2020. 

ABOUT THE Responsible Conduct of Research COURSE REQUIREMENT

All new graduate students are required to complete the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Course in Elearning. Students are automatically enrolled, based on their admission term. Graduate students will receive an introductory email, sent to their WMU email address, notifying them about this requirement. There is no fee for the course, and no credit hours are earned. This requirement is a university-wide requirement and is not directly associated with any specific graduate program.

The course can be accessed directly through Elearning or through the link at the top of the page in GoWMU. Within Elearning use the "rubik's cube" like icon near the top middle portion of the home page to access your list of enrolled courses.

The Responsible Conduct of Research Course is required to comply with requirements from national funding agencies and ensures that all graduate students at WMU are working to the highest possible standards of integrity. The RCR course provides real-life scenarios and guidance on how to deal with issues involving planning, conducting, and reporting research. This course aligns our students with national expectations for higher education and post-graduate careers, and assists students in becoming accomplished as ethical scholars, researchers, and professionals.

This course is not an alternative to the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) training required for human and animal subjects by the WMU Office of the Vice President for Research for some research areas. You may be required to complete this training separately.


  • Completion consists of 4 quizzes and a cumulative exam.
  • Students who earn 70-79% will earn a digital badge, and those who pass at 80% or higher will receive a digital certificate signed by the Graduate Dean.

  • Students who do not pass the course will be contacted by the course facilitator for an alternative assignment.
  • Holds will be placed on the accounts of students who do not complete the RCR Basic Course (cumulative exam or alternative assignment) by the designated deadline(s) and will be unable to register for future classes. The hold will be lifted only when the course is completed successfully.

Required if:

  • New to Western Michigan University as a graduate student.
  • Enrolled in a new graduate program/degree.
  • Have never completed the RCR Course before.

Not required if:

  • The student is enrolled in a graduate certificate program .
  • Graduate student that was “non-active” prior to Fall 2016 and has “re-activated” in the same program/degree since.

If you believe you have been enrolled in this course in error, have already completed this course, have changed your term of admission, or want more clarification of the requirements please contact the Course Facilitator, email at  or by phone at (269) 387-8267.


Tips for Success

  • Start the RCR Course as soon as possible so that you have adequate time to complete it before the deadline approaches.
  • Expect to spend 4-10 hours in TOTAL to progress through and complete the RCR Course (modules, quizzes, and exam).
  • Review the course modules BEFORE you take the quizzes and cumulative exam.
  • Carefully read course content, quiz questions, and the cumulative exam questions – do not rush through. Taking your time and reading everything carefully is essential to your success. This includes watching the embedded videos and utilizing the interactive activities in the modules.
  • Take notes as you read course content and use your notes when taking the quizzes and cumulative exam.
  • Take the quizzes and cumulative exam shortly after reviewing the course modules while content is fresh in your memory. 
  • There will be times when multiple answers seem correct, remember to always choose the BEST ANSWER out of the options provided for the multiple choice questions. 
  • The wording on the questions can be tricky at times, so be sure you fully understand the question and re-read the question before submitting an answer. 
  • Be sure to utilize the search function for pages when searching for specific material on any given page of the module (Ctrl+F (PC) or Command+F (Mac)). For pages with videos, be sure to click the button to see the transcript, and you can also search the dialogue in the videos!



The deadlines (last day to complete RCR course requirements before a hold is placed on student account) are:

  • December 14 for Fall admits
  • April 26 for Spring admits 
  • June 28 for Summer I admits 
  • August 17 for Summer II admits



If you have technical issues with Elearning, the Help Desk is located on the second floor of the University Computing Center and may be reached at (269) 387-4357 (HELP), option 1 or by email to Help Desk hours and links to resources available at

If content/activities do not load properly, you are only seeing EPIGIUM on the screen, etc.

  1. Use a different browser (e.g. google chrome, Firefox, safari).
  2. Check your internet/security/pop up settings.
  3. Run/update java, adobe, flash player, etc. 
  4. Use an on-campus computer available in campus computer labs.
  5. There is always an “Accessible Version” near the top right corner of each module page. This will translate all content, activities, and videos into writing. All the information will be in a readable form and that way you can obtain all the information that way.