SARI Requirements

**See the SARI Workshop Schedule for upcoming events. All trainings and workshops are offered via Zoom; attend at the scheduled time using this Zoom meeting link. **

For graduate students, attendance at an ORP-sponsored SARI event is automatically recorded as a “Comment” in the In-Person level in LionPath. Please note: in order to receive SARI credit, video cameras must remain on for the presentation.


SARI (Scholarship and Research Integrity) is a responsible conduct of research (RCR) education program for students, postdocs, and faculty at Penn State. The SARI program is designed to create an awareness of ethical principles and established professional norms in the performance of all activities related to scholarship and research. Ultimately, our goal is to further foster trust among scholars and researchers and to increase the public’s support for research.

All scholars confront ethical issues in their professions. Training is critical to prepare students and researchers to address ethical challenges that may arise in their work. Penn State requires SARI for all graduate students, postdocs, and new faculty to ensure the ethical conduct of research and scholarship at the University.  In addition, funding agencies including NIHNSF, and NIFA have requirements for RCR training for students, postdoctoral researchers, and other trainees.

Graduate Students

The SARI program has two components:

  1. Online Training: Completion of at least one online course in CITI (Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative): Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR), Human Subjects Research (IRB),or Animal Research (IACUC). The RCR course in CITI is recommended for most students; check with your graduate program adviser to determine which CITI course is appropriate. It is recommended that students fufill the CITI requirement in their first year. Researchers funded by NIFA must take the RCR course in CITI, as outlined in the terms and conditions of all NIFA grantsNote: The online CITI training is different from the CATS submission trainings, which do not count toward SARI credit. 

  2. Discussion-based Education: Participation in a minimum of 5 hours of in-person, discussion-based educational activities that address topics related to the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) before graduation. This is a one-time requirement that does not need to be fulfilled each year. It is up to the departments or programs within each college to determine how the discussion-based education requirement should be met. Many programs require their students to take a course that covers all of the recommended topics for responsible conduct of research. Other programs offer their own workshops or seminars that count for SARI credit. Certain Rock Ethics events can also count for SARI credit. The ORP also offers workshops for SARI credit in the Fall and Spring Semesters. Only two of the five hours required can be obtained from workshops outside of the departments. 

  • Graduate students must complete both the online AND discussion-based SARI components. 
  • SARI is tracked in LionPath by a graduate program administrator. LionPath tracking is not the responsibility of the ORP.
  • Doctoral students who completed SARI requirements for a masters degree do not have to complete additional SARI requirements.  However, CITI training for human subjects or animal research protocols must be renewed every three years.

Postdoctoral Researchers

  • Postdoctoral researchers must complete the online CITI course requirement.  
  • Consult with your mentor/adviser or program director to determine the appropriate CITI course; the RCR course is strongly recommended.
  • The ORP will notify new postdocs of their SARI requirement and track completion. 

New Full-time Faculty

  • All new University full-time faculty have 12 months from date of hire to complete two hours of RCR educational activities, either through the completion of CITI courses or discussion-based activities.
  • Eligible discussion-based activities include participation in workshops focusing on the responsible conduct of research or equivalent professional ethics-related content. 
  • Continuing education requirement: Every three years (by the 48th month of employment at PSU, and every three years after that), faculty must report one hour of  SARI  continuing education activity. These requirements can be met by any of the SARI activities described above, or by completing an online “refresher course” offered by CITI.
  • The ORP will notify new faculty of their SARI requirement and track completion. SARI participation can also be self-reported to ORP via the SARI@PSU Faculty Portal. Completion of any CITI course will be automatically recorded in the faculty member’s profile. 

Undergraduate Students

  • Undergraduate students performing research sponsored by the NSF, NIFA, or an NIH training grant, as well as those performing research that may be included in or lead to a publication or other research report, must complete the online CITI course requirement in RCR.

Missing SARI Requirements

Fulfilling your SARI requirement at PSU is serious and the responsibility of each individual. For graduate students, the consequence for failing to meet SARI requirements by graduation are determined by each department and/or program. If you have concerns about your ability to fulfill SARI requirements prior to graduation, speak with your graduate program advisor or program head.  For postdocs and new faculty members, failure to fulfill SARI will result in notification to the supervisor, department head, and/or dean.

For additional information, review our page on SARI Tracking & Plan Development or contact us at

RISE: Research Integrity & Scholarly Ethics

In partnership with the Graduate School, the ORP is pleased to offer RISE 500L - Research Integrity & Scholarly Ethics (Health and Life Sciences) for interested departments. This one-credit course fulfills all SARI requirements for gradaute students in departments that have opted in to RISE. If your department is interested in adopting RISE, please contact for additional information. Class registration is limited to students from participating departments.

The ORP also provides access to evaluation of exisiting SARI courses through the Ethical Decision Making pre- and post-survey, developed by the University of Oklahoma. Interested departments should contact