#IRBRCR – It’s time to be sure that you have your CITI Responsible Conduct of Research and IRB certifications

Every graduate student needs to know the guidelines for responsible conduct of research.  Depending on the discipline, students need to have additional training regarding rules and regulations for conducting research using animals or humans (including surveys) and details related to ownership of work. All doctoral students and all master’s students should be prepared to learn about “Responsible Conduct of Research” training.

On October 21, 2015, UMBC will hold a session to assist with completing certifications. This is not a “regular” lecture. This session includes an introduction to both IRB training and RCR training. It is a work session that will include 30 minutes of overview, but the rest of the time will be set aside for you to work through your protocols for IRB Human Subjects, Responsible Conduct of Research, HIPAA, etc.  UMBC’s Office of Research Protections and Compliance utilizes the world-wide Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) certification modules for both the IRB and the RCR training: https://www.citiprogram.org/
The course structure involves online modules, that allow you to receive certification. The online courses include the following:

PLEASE NOTE: At UMBC, RCR certification is REQUIRED for all  graduate students who are engaged in research and working on either a master’s thesis or a doctoral dissertation, regardless of funding source. All students should check with their thesis or dissertation advisors, academic departments, and respective graduate schools to learn about which certifications are needed for your research. 


Do I have to complete IRB training for a survey? 
–> *IRB Certification* (separate from RCR) is required for all researchers who use human subject data (including surveys), regardless of funding source.
Do I have to answer all of the questions? 
–> If you take the CITI Certification, you must pass the test at the 80% level. These modules can take 1.5 hours or more. This session provides you with time, a space, food, coffee, and snacks, to facilitate completion of the modules.

What do I do if my department doesn’t require the certification? 

–> For students at UMBC: If you have already taken a course in Responsible Conduct of Research,and if acknowledgement of course completion can be referenced on your transcript, or through another certification process, then you do not have to have additional training. Otherwise, CITI is UMBC’s recommended mechanism for certification.
For students at other schools: Your department probably has a course, set of workshops or modules that are required, because government agencies mandate certification for anyone who is working on research that is funded by a federal grant. In some departments, and in some schools, some form of RCR training is required regardless of funding source, and you will have to complete some kind of training and certification, even if you are paying for tuition out of pocket, or if a third party is paying, e.g., fellowships, employer, family member.


On October 21, 2015, UMBC will hold a seminar to cover the basics of:
1) IRB Training

2) Responsible Conduct of Research Training

This seminar includes a  “Work” session where graduate students and postdocs can work on their training modules so that they will be certified for responsible conduct of research  in all disciplines.
  • Wednesday, October 21, 2015. 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM.
  • Lunch will be served. Coffee will be available throughout the session.
  • UMBC – Commons 331
  • Faculty and Postdocs who need to work on their certifications are also welcome to join in Commons 329. 
  • PLEASE BRING YOUR LAPTOPS TO THIS SESSION. Make sure that your laptops are fully charged. Be sure that you can see and complete  quizzes and videos on your mobile device. Do not rely on a cell phone; the form factor is too small.
  • BRING HEADPHONES. The modules have videos that accompany the quizzes.
  • Talk with your advisor before you come to the session so that you’ll know how to best spend your time, e.g., RCR + Human Subjects Research (HSR) module, RCR + Animal Care and Use (ACU).
  • If you’ve taken the RCR quizzes in the past, you can take a refresher course. Contact your Office of Research Protections and Compliance to see if they have a completed certification for you. The Offices of Research Protections and Compliance for all universities have lists of people who have completed certifications for their respective institutions. UMBC’s information is here: compliance@umbc.edu or 410-455-2737. Check for your respective office on your campus.
  • This training is *DIFFERENT* and *SEPARATE* from the UMBC Academic Integrity Tutorial that all graduate students take when they register for classes. Even though you took the tutorial when you registered for graduate school, you still must have RCR training.

Note that the courses are online, and the modules are online. The certifications are generated after you pass the online quizzes and courses. You may work on the modules from any location: home, school, etc. The session at UMBC provides students with a dedicated, compartmentalized space and time to complete the certifications. This session was developed to assist with busy schedules by developing a space that can be carved out to facilitate completion. In the interest of accommodating basic needs, food and coffee will be provided for the seminar.


Attendees from UMBC: Please register at http://my.umbc.edu/groups/promise/events/36089

Attendees from other universities: Please register by indicating your interest in coming to the event in the comments below.


Workshop Facilitator:  Timothy Sparklin, MSW, CIM, CIP, Campus Compliance Officer


About Tim Sparklin:

Tim is UMBC’s Campus Compliance Officer.  He has been at UMBC since 1992 and, since 1996, been responsible for many areas of  research compliance at the university, including human participant protections, animal care and use, and the education and training of investigators. His responsibilites in the Human and Animal Research Protections Office include human and animal use education and training, CITI consultation, IRB and IACUC protocol consultation & pre-review, IRB and IACUC post-approval, PAPM ( IRB protocol audits), and Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) education assistance. He holds a Master’s of Social Work from the University of Maryland, Baltimore and has professional certifications in the field of human research protections from the National Association of IRB Managers (CIM) and the Council for Certification of IRB Professionals (CIP).

For background, watch the videos on this topic: 
UMBC will post and remind you about getting your RCR and IRB certifications during the week of October 19-23, 2015

Published by Renetta Garrison Tull

Dr. Renetta Garrison Tull is the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at the University of California Davis. She previously served as Associate Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives at The Graduate School at UMBC, and was Professor of the Practice in the College of Engineering & IT. She was Special Assistant to the Sr. Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs & Director of Graduate and Professional Pipeline Development for the University System of Maryland (12 institutions). She is the Founding Director of PROMISE: Maryland’s Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) – http://www.umbc.edu/promise, and Co-PI for the USM LSAMP. Her research on global diversity in STEM continues, and she is an international speaker, covering nearly all continents, for groups and conferences such as the World Engineering Education Forum, the International Federation of Engineering Education Societies, and the Pacific Sciences Congress. Her personal website is: http://renettatull.wordpress.com. Connect with her on Twitter: @Renetta_Tull; https://twitter.com/Renetta_Tull

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