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Training for Human Subjects Research

Virginia Tech’s Human Research Protection program uses industry standard training required at peer universities and federal research institutions. The Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) training is transferrable and meets requirements for collaborative or multi-site studies. If a researcher has previously taken CITI human protections training at Virginia Tech or at another institution, they can affiliate with Virginia Tech through their CITI account to transfer completed courses without retaking them.

The trainings that meet the Virginia Tech Human Research Protection Program training requirement are the Basic-Biomedical OR the Basic-Social and Behavioral course. These are the only courses that meet the initial training requirement.

The researcher should not complete the refresher option if previously taken the Basic course.

The following courses DO NOT meet the Human Research Protection Program training requirement:

  • Refresher courses without a previous Basic course
  • Responsible Conduct of Research (any variation)
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Good Clinical Practice

For questions or unsure which course to complete, email irb@vt.edu before completing any courses.

Details on human research protections training provided by CITI:

Getting Started with CITI

Effective January 21, 2019, Virginia Tech requires new investigators (including those formerly affiliated and now returning as an external collaborator) to complete the Virginia Tech-specific human subjects protection training via the CITI program. If the researcher has completed CITI training at another university, portions of that training may transfer.

When logging into the CITI account, the researcher will need to affiliate with Virginia Tech and sign up for the appropriate courses. Any current modules required by both Virginia Tech and the previous institution should automatically populate, and those modules will not need to be retaken. Researchers will need to complete only the remaining modules required by Virginia Tech (if any).

If a researcher has not previously used the CITI training program, they will need to register on the CITI website and affiliate with Virginia Tech. See the steps below:

  1. Navigate to the CITI website at: www.citiprogram.org
  2. Select “Register” at the top right side of the screen
  3. For “Select Your Organization Affiliation”, search for “Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University”.
  4. NOTE: Virginia Tech faculty, staff, or students should select the SSO option. Guests should not select the option that has “SSO” at the end.
  5. Create CITI Program Username/Password
  6. A number of questions regarding courses that may apply to each researcher will be presented.
  7. The first question, regarding Conflict of Interest, is required by all who will be completing federally funded research at Virginia Tech. Therefore, if this training is applicable and has not been completed then the researcher will need to select this option and complete this training.
  8. Next, in Question 2, there are two courses listed that are bold “Basic Biomedical Research” and “Basic Social and Behavioral Research”. The researcher will need to select one of the bold options in Question 2 to complete, depending on which one applies more to the research they will be conducting/participating in. These are the courses that meet the training requirement for Virginia Tech, therefore one of them will need to be completed. 
  9. Questions 3-7 can be answered based on the type of research being done and what is required from the department or study.
  10. Complete the Human Subjects Research Basic Course (either biomedical and/or social/behavioral/educational, depending on the focus of the research)
  11. Select the option to share completion information, as this allows the CITI program to automatically send the completion information to the Virginia Tech IRB Protocol Management system
  12. If the share option described above does not automatically update the researcher’s profile,  send a copy of the CITI completion report as an e-mail attachment to irb@vt.edu

If a researcher has previously used CITI, they will need to affiliate with Virginia Tech and select the appropriate courses. See steps below to affiliate and add course(s):

To add Virginia Tech affiliation:

  1. Log-in to the existing CITI account.
  2. At the top of the page, under "Welcome, [your name]", there is an option that states "Add Institutional Affiliation".
  3. Once "Add Institutional Affiliation" has been selected, begin typing "Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)"
  4. Agree to terms of service.
  5. Affirm affiliation.
  6. Continue

* Make sure that the email address used in CITI is the same email address used in the Virginia Tech Protocol Management account.

To add courses (the underlined portion shows which courses meet the requirements):

  1. Once logged-in to CITI, there is a tab at the top that says “Courses”. Select Virginia Tech from the drop down menu. Scroll down to the bottom and select “Add a course”.
  2. A number of questions regarding courses that may apply to each researcher will be presented.
  3. The first question, regarding Conflict of Interest, is required by all who will be completing federally funded research at Virginia Tech. Therefore, if this training is applicable and has not been completed then the researcher will need to select this option and complete this training.
  4. Next, in Question 2, there are two courses listed that are bold “Basic Biomedical Research” and “Basic Social and Behavioral Research”. The researcher will need to select one of the bold options in Question 2 to complete, depending on which one applies more to the research they will be conducting/participating in. These are the courses that meet the training requirement for Virginia Tech, therefore one of them will need to be completed. 
  5. Questions 3-7 can be answered based on the type of research being done and what is required from the department or study.

Course Completion

  • The minimum "passing" score for the quizzes has been set by Virginia Tech at 80%.
  • A running tally is compiled in the Grade Book. If a researcher wants to improve a score on a quiz, they may repeat any quiz that they didn't score 100% correct. Scores obtained after a completion report has been issued will not be reflected on the completion report.
  • Print or download a Completion Report for records as evidence that the Virginia Tech requirements have been met. A copy will be sent automatically to the Virginia Tech CITI administrator. In the future, to obtain a copy of the completion report, return to the course site. The My Reports page will allow the researcher to access any completion reports earned.
  • The researcher may submit an anonymous user satisfaction survey at the end of the course if they wish.

Questions

Technical issues should be addressed to support@citiprogram.org or to 888-529-5929.

For questions regarding requirements, contact Virginia Tech Human Research Protection Program at irb@vt.edu.