Responsible Conduct of Research

ABOUT THE Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) 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 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.

Additional CITI training may be required for human and animal subjects by the WMU Office of the Vice President for Research for some research areas.   

Watch an RCR Video 

Detailed Account Set-up Instructions

How to Access the RCR

  1. Log in to Elearning with your Bronco NetID and password.
  2.  Within Elearning click the "Rubik's Cube" icon at the top of the homepage to access a list of courses
  3. Click "RCR" to access the RCR class
  4. Click "Content" for instructions on how to create an account and enroll into the RCR. 

Detailed instructions are available here.

CITI Programs link

If you have questions, please email  

RCR Overview

  • Students are automatically enrolled during their first semester in the course in Elearning where further instructions are available.
  • Each module includes a short quiz, and students must earn a passing score of at least 70%
  • Upon completion, students will receive a digital certificate.
  • Holds will be placed on the student accounts for those who do not complete the RCR by the designated deadline, restricting them from registering for future classes. The hold will be lifted when the course is completed successfully. 

Who is required to complete the RCR?

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

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 1 to 2 hours in total to complete the RCR Course.
  • Carefully read course content and quiz questions– do not rush through. Taking your time and reading everything carefully is essential to your success. 
  • Take notes as you read course content and use your notes when taking the quizzes. 

RCR Deadlines

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

  • Fall 2022 admitted students: January 17, 2022
  • Spring 2023 admitted students: May 15, 2023
  • Summer I 2023 admitted students: July 7, 2023
  • Summer II 2023 admitted students: September 8, 2023

Required Modules

  1. Introduction to RCR
  2. Authorship
  3. Collaborative Research
  4. Conflicts of Interest
  5. Data Management
  6. Mentoring
  7. Peer Review
  8. Plagiarism 
  9. Research Misconduct

Optional modules include: Research Involving Human Subjects, Research, Ethics, and Society, Using Animal Subjects in Research.