Office of Research & Sponsored Programs

IRB Training

Information about Training in Protection of Human Research Participants

Training Requirements

All investigators and key personnel who are going to be involved in human subjects research at UNI must provide documentation that they have received training in human research participant protections.  The UNI IRB accepts documentation from any legitimate training program or organization for this purpose, including the training option described below.  The documentation, such as a training certificate, can be submitted with the first IRB application in which the individual is involved, or otherwise at any point before becoming involved in the research.

Training documentation is kept on file by the IRB for future reference as needed.  If the IRB office has already received your training certificate, you should check "on file" on the cover page of your IRB application.  Students, please note that providing your certificate to a professor does not mean your certificate is now on file in the IRB office.  Some professors forward them and some do not.  If you are not sure if we have your certificate, you can email and ask.

Key personnel are those who have authority or responsibility for the design or management of the project, as well as those involved in recruitment or data collection activities.  Individuals who typically do not require training (although they may benefit from it) are staff involved in de-identified data entry, data analysis only, individuals providing video services, or individuals in the community who distribute written materials or make announcements about the study according to written script(s) provided by the research team.  Any person who actually explains the study for recruitment purposes or attempts to answer questions about the research must receive training before doing so.

On Campus IRB Training

The IRB offers one or more annual training sessions on the ethical principles and regulations regarding research involving humans, including the UNI Institutional Review Board (IRB) review process and procedures.  This training meets the requirements noted above, and all UNI faculty, staff, and students are welcome to attend.  For further information, dates, and registration for the current year training sessions, please contact the IRB Administrator Anita Gordon at


Online Training - The CITI Program

One option for faculty, staff, and students is to take an online course in Human Subjects Protections hosted by the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI), based at the University of Miami.  This program offers online courses that can be accessed by anyone affiliated with UNI. (See the CITI Training Program link below).  The CITI tutorials are engaging and many are tailored to specific areas of research. The tutorial takes an average of 2-3 hours (although it may take longer for some depending on the course and numbers of elective modules you complete), and does not have to be completed in one sitting. The training certificate from CITI will automatically be sent to the IRB office.  Important Tip:  In order to meet IRB requirements, you must complete the "Human Subjects Course", not the course on Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). RCR is an important training resource as well, but that course will not be accepted by the IRB as training in human subjects protections.

CITI Instructions (DOC)

CITI Training Program

Training Video for Faculty Use

The Fall 2011 IRB training for graduate students, presented by Dr. Helen Harton, was videotaped as a resource for faculty in the classroom.  Faculty are welcome to make use of the video in any way they choose.  Some sample quiz questions are provided as an additional resource.  The power point for this presentation is also available for download. 

Also posted is a learning activity/quiz used by Dr. Harton in the training video.  This quiz is focused on helping researchers to know when they must seek IRB review and/or notify the IRB in various situations.  You may wish to pause the video while you have your students consider the questions and/or discuss them in class. 

Training Video (YouTube)

Powerpoint Presentation (PPT)

Sample Quiz Questions (email

Learning Activity/Quiz (DOC)

Faculty who show this training video in class may provide a list of students who were present to the IRB office as documentation those students received training in human subjects protections.  Please provide the student's full name, status (i.e. graduate, undergraduate, etc.) and major when sending their information.  Although anyone is welcome to view the video and should find it a useful and informative training video on its own, only those watching it under direct faculty supervision may be certified as having received the training.  If faculty would like to certify their students other than through actually showing the video in class, please contact the IRB office. 



If you have questions about UNI human subjects training requirements or about using the training video for class, you may contact the IRB Administrator Anita Gordon at

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