Training

Ongoing education and training in protection of human subjects is a federal requirement for anyone engaged in research. Towson University has partnered with The University of Miami's Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) to provide online training for faculty, staff, students, and external investigators unaffiliated with another institution.

About CITI

CITI provides a comprehensive selection of educational modules appropriate for the nature of research with which an investigator is engaged. CITI’s mission is:

“. . . dedicated to promoting the public’s trust in the research enterprise by providing high quality, peer-reviewed, web-based educational courses in research, ethics, regulatory oversight, responsible conduct of research, research administration, and other topics pertinent to the interests of member organizations and individual learners.”

These materials are designed and regularly updated to:

  • Enhance the knowledge and professionalism of investigators, staff, and students conducting research in the United States and internationally
  • Educate members, administrators, and leadership of ethics committees that review and oversee research
  • Promote ethical research at organizations through the education of research administrators and organizational leadership

Learn more about the mission and history of the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative.

Available Training Modules

Individuals are only required to take the modules most related to the type of research in which they are engaged. The CITI training must be completed every three (3) years in order to continue conducting human participant research at Towson University.

  • New Users: If you are a new CITI Program user you will need to complete a Basic Course. 
  • Existing Users: If your existing CITI certification will soon expire, you will need to complete the corresponding Refresher Course. This will appear under your Main Menu/My Courses tab as “Due Now” 3 months prior to the expiration date. 

Available modules include:

  • Biomedical Research – Basic/Refresher
  • Social and Behavioral Research Basic/Refresher
  • IRB Members and Administrators (for IRB Committee and Administration only)
  • Students Class Projects/Conducting No More Than Minimal Risk Research
  • Conflicts of Interest (Required of all NIH funded research)
  • Responsible Conduct of Research (for NSF, NIH, or USDA funded research)
  • Export Controls

See below for more information on who needs to complete CITI, how to register for a course, which course to select, and more. 

CITI FAQ’s

Who is required to complete CITI training?

The Institutional Review Board requires ALL individuals (including IRB members and administrators) engaged in human participant research at Towson University to complete CITI’s human participant protections training. Any personnel interacting and/or intervening with human subjects or handles the personally identifiable data of a human subject (e.g. data collection/analysis) must complete CITI training. This includes any student investigator and co-investigator (internal or external). 

If you have previously completed CITI training under a different institution, please submit copies of your certification to the IRB office for record keeping.

Towson University’s IRB will accept certification from different human subjects research programs. If you have completed a training program similar to CITI  (e.g. Johns Hopkins Online Human Research Protection Program), please notify the IRB office and submit copies of your certification. 

How do I register for a course?

You can register online here for a new user account.

There are no fees for you to join. Towson has already subscribed as a member organization, so upon registration you will need to affiliate with Towson University to gain access to available CITI courses. If you join as an independent learner you will need to pay for your own courses. 

How do I select the correct course?

The courses you are required to take are based on the options you choose under the questions presented when you select “Add a Course” on the “Select Curriculum” page. The questions most important for IRB are questions (1) Responsible Conduct of Research and (3) Human Subjects Research. The type of research you are conducting will influence your choices for these questions.

  • Follow the CITI training selection guide (PDF) to help select the right course for your research. 
  • For more information on how to enroll in the correct course you may also refer to CITI's instructions page. 
 How long does it take to complete a course?
 

CITI Program courses consist of various modules that contain detailed content, images, supplemental materials (such as case studies), and a quiz. Each module varies in length, but is designed to take about 30 to 45 minutes to complete. The average learner spends approximately 4-6 hours to complete a “Basic Course.” To complete a “Refresher Course,” the average learner spends approximately 2 hours. 

You will want to plan your time accordingly to complete CITI training in time for the review of your IRB application.

Applications will not move forward to review until ALL necessary personnel have completed training. 

 Is there a passing score for each course?

Yes. You must score at least an 80% in order to pass each module and receive certification for that course. You may re-take a module as many times as needed to receiving a passing score. 

 How long are the certificates valid for?

CITI training is valid for a total of three (3) years. After that, investigators must complete the “Refresher” courses. Investigators need to be aware of when their expiration date is to complete the refresher course(s) in a timely manner. Failure to complete the renewal course before the expiration date may impact your study.