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Institutional Review Board
Teachers College, Columbia University
Teachers College
Columbia University

Training and Certification

Training In Human Subjects Protections

New IRB Human Subjects Research training requirements

As of April 1st, 2011, the Teachers College Institutional Review Board (IRB) implemented a new free online training program in Human Subjects Research - CITI - provided by the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative.  This is now required for the following researchers: 

  • All students and all first-time faculty/staff applicants seeking IRB approval as a Principal Investigator (PI)
  • All team members on a study

Faculty and staff who have previously received approval on a study as the Principal Investigator [PI] from the TC IRB are exempt from the new training requirement.  Applicants who've taken CITI training through another institution or organization should update their membership by adding their affiliation with Teachers College, Columbia University on the CITI website, and make sure their training includes the modules listed below.

All that must take the CITI training will be required to take the IRB Social and Behavioral Researchers, Basic Course.  You do not need to take the RCR or Conflict of Interest courses for IRB purposes. The Basic course contains a total of nine (9) modules:  seven (7) basic modules from within the CITI program's Social & Behavioral Researchers Group of course offerings, plus two (2) electives, based on researchers' individual needs or interests.  In addition, there are several optional modules that may be taken once the required modules have been completed.  All required and optional courses are listed below:

Required:  7 Basic + 2 Elective

Basic Modules

Students in Research -- SBR

History and Ethical Principles -- SBR

Defining Research with Human Subjects -- SBR

The Regulations and The Social and Behavioral Sciences -- SBR

Assessing Risk in Social and Behavioral Sciences - SBR

Informed Consent -- SBR

Privacy and Confidentiality -- SBR

Elective Modules

Research with Children -- SBR

Research in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools -- SBR

International Research -- SBR

Research and HIPAA Privacy Protections

Optional Modules

Belmont Report and CITI Course Introduction

Records-Based Research

Internet Research -- SBR

In order to register for the training, go to the CITI website:  Click on New Users Register Here, then from the Participating Institutions drop-down menu, select Teachers College, Columbia University.  Create your username and password, security question and answer, complete the rest of the form and click Submit

The CITI program is becoming the standard online training program and is widely accepted at institutions, organizations and research programs around the world.  This training program is more comprehensive and provides more practical information than the previous TC online training available through ClassWeb.  The CITI training will take more time, but you will not need to take the course all at once.  A passing aggregate score of 80% is required, but you may repeat any quiz in which you did not score 100%.  You will be able to print or download your Course Completion Report once you've successfully completed the 9 required 9 modules, and you may return to the website in the future to obtain a copy of the completion report.  You will not need to submit a copy of your Course Completion Report with your IRB application, since the IRB office will be able to access your report and scores. 

Registration for the Teachers College Tutorial and Assessment on the TC ClassWeb Portal will no longer be available after March 31st, 2011.    

If you have any questions about the training, please contact Lois Levy at 

Effective March 28, 2002, Teachers College entered into a new agreement with the federal government that regulates our ability to conduct research involving human subjects. This agreement, known as Federal Wide Assurance (FWA), requires all institutions that receive federal research funds to provide a comprehensive, ongoing training program in basic human subjects protections and that it verify that all applicants for IRB approval have undergone this training. Your signature, as well as the signature of your faculty advisor and any additional investigators listed on any of the three main IRB forms, certifies that you have satisfied the training requirement. The IRB office will verify all incoming applications against its records to ensure the requirement has been satisfied. Effective April 30, 2002, the IRB will not review any protocol whose principal investigator or faculty advisor has not satisfied the training requirement.

Note: The in-person human subjects training workshops are no longer given, effective 9/1/07.