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
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
- 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. Please refer to the above CITI Training Selection Guide
for guidance on selecting the most appropriate course for your research.
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 Frequently Asked Questions
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?
TU faculty, staff, and students can log in directly with their NetID and password.
If you already have a pre-existing account through CITI, your account should now be
linked to your TU NetID login information. All existing certificates and account information
should have transferred over and remain the same.
If you encounter any issues when logging in with your NetID or have missing account
information, please contact the IRB at irb AT_TOWSON.
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
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.
Do I have to pay a fee to access the CITI training modules?
There are no fees for you to join; TU is a member organization. Upon login you will
need to affiliate with TU and register for the most suitable courses for your research.
If you join as an independent learner you will need to pay for your own courses.