Education Requirement

All investigators, research personnel, and faculty advisors conducting research with human participants sponsored by the University of St. Thomas are required to complete the online CITI Program course to verify knowledge of human subjects protections. The IRB has elected to use CITI Program to meet federal regulations requiring proof of human subjects competency among individuals in contact with private, identifiable information. This course must be completed prior to Institutional Review Board approval of new or continuing projects. Some investigators with funding sources (e.g. NSF, NIH, etc.) may be required to do additional training required by their award.

Detailed instructions for completing the CITI program training and account registration instructions can be found here. The course consists of six (6) modules that can be completed at any time. You may stop and come back to the course whenever you want. The IRB recommends spending 20 minutes over lunch each day for one week to complete the course in a time-sensitive manner. 

The following individuals are required to complete the online CITI Program training to fulfill federal requirements prior to approval: 

  • All members of the research team, including the principal investigator (PI), co-investigator(s), and all other individuals that have contact with participants or their private, identifiable information;   
  • Faculty and instructor advisors of student research projects;
  • Investigators who are not affiliated with the University of St. Thomas but will be conducting research in connection with the institution.

External members of any research team may elect to take the CITI Program course through their own institution (if offered) and present their certificate of completion to the Institutional Review Board office at the University of St. Thomas, which will honor comparable certifications completed within the last four years. If external research team members do not have access to CITI Program training, they are welcome to create an account in CITI Program and affiliate with the University of St. Thomas to access the course. 

The Institutional Review Board office estimates that it will take investigators two to four hours to complete the training. The IRB recommends spending 20 minutes per day, such as over lunch, to complete the course in a time-efficient manner. The course does not need to be completed in one sitting. 

No. The online course is comprised of six (6) training modules that investigators will be asked to read through before taking a short quiz at the end of each module. You may elect to complete each module at one time or over a time period that is convenient for you. The course must be completed before the IRB approves any project.

Once you have successfully completed the CITI Program course, the certification will be honored for four (4) years. Once it expires, investigators must take a "refresher" course to maintain their certification. A refresher of human subjects protections is important even for experienced IRB members since policies, regulations, and best practices are subject to change quickly.

Once you have completed all required elements of the CITI Program course, CITI will send the Institutional Review Board office an email stating that you have done so within 24 hours of the course completion. You will also be able to access a completion report and certificate through your CITI account. You may print this report for your records. On occassion, other institutions may ask for your CITI Program certificate. The IRB office will not maintain certificates for investigators; we will only keep track of completion reports. Reports and certificates can be accessed through your CITI account at any time.