Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research (RECR)

MIT expects that all researchers at MIT carry out their work according to the highest ethical and professional standards. The responsible and ethical conduct of research (RECR) is critical for excellence in science and engineering, as well as maintaining the public's trust. 

Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research Training is a framework for imparting these standards, and a critical component of scholarly and career development. We encourage everyone in the MIT community to take this training through the CITI program (Touchstone required).

NSF Policy

All Principal Investigators, Co-PIs and senior personnel named on NSF proposals submitted on or after July 31, 2023, and undergraduate students, graduate students and postdoctoral associates and fellows supported on NSF awards must complete RECR training.

Faculty and senior personnel should complete training within 60 days of the receipt of funding. Undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate researchers should complete training within 60 days of salaries being charged to an account.

In July 2023, NSF expanded the required training topics to include data management and mentorship. For proposals submitted on or after July 31, 2023, PIs, Co-PIs, and senior personnel named on resulting award, and postdocs, undergraduates, and graduates charging salary to the resulting award must complete a refresher course with the updated modules.

Any questions about the applicability of this requirement should be directed to

RECR Course Information

There are two RECR courses available. If you are required to take RECR training, take the appropriate course based on your previous training:

  • Take the RECR Basic Course if you have not completed RECR training before.
  • Take the RECR Refresher Course if you previously completed RECR (or RCR) training before July 1, 2023. The refresher course includes modules on mentorship and data management, which were not available prior to July 2023. 

The RECR Basic course contains modules customized to the researcher's discipline. Check with your PI about which discipline you should select. 

RECR training is available through CITI:

Oversight and Mentoring

Principal Investigators are responsible for ensuring that all students and postdocs supported on their research awards complete the required training. PIs will be made aware of the applicability of the training requirement through the standard Notice of Award Process, and can review reports of individuals still needing to complete training.  
Departmental Administrators play a key role in ensuring compliance with this requirement, consistent with all compliance activities. 
The Office of the Vice President for Research, in collaboration with the assistant deans of the schools, are responsible for oversight and monitoring of compliance.

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