IRB Certification training

Education on the Protection of Human Research Participants

On August 1, 2001, in accordance with the latest requirements from the National Institutes of Health, the Murray State University Institutional Review Board began requiring education on the protection of human research participants for all investigators submitting protocols for review. Before the board will review any proposed research involving human subjects, faculty, staff, student investigators, faculty sponsors of student investigators, and other key personnel involved in the proposed research must provide written evidence of education or training in the protection of human subjects completed within the last three (3) years. “Key personnel” are all individuals responsible for the design and conduct of the study – including, but not limited to principal investigators, faculty sponsors, and anyone (faculty, staff, students) who assist with data collection. On October 1, 2000, the National Institutes of Health began requiring education on the protection of human research participants for all investigators submitting NIH applications for grants, or proposals for contracts, or receiving new or non-competing awards for research involving human subjects. As of August 1, 2001, MSU now requires such education for all investigators regardless of funding source.

Murray State University provides this education by referring Principal Investigators and key personnel to the resources listed below. We have reviewed these materials and have determined that they provide satisfactory coverage of the ethical principals and procedures for conducting human subjects research. Researchers and key personnel also have the option of describing and providing evidence of an alternate means by which they have completed education or training in the protection of human subjects. This education/training must have been specific to the protections of human subjects and must have occurred within the last three (3) years in order to satisfy the requirement for “current training.”

To respond to this new policy and provide a means for documentation of the required education/training, investigators submitting a protocol for IRB review (and faculty sponsors signing off on student protocols) may complete the following Internet-based training program and attach a copy of the certification received at the completion of the training to their protocol application. Once the initial documentation has been filed with the IRB, that documentation will be kept on file and considered “current” until renewal is required three (3) years after the initial filing.

Resource for Training in Human Subjects Protection and in Responsible Conduct of Research

Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI). Click on the link below to go to the CITI training site:


To sign up for the appropriate learning modules, follow these steps:

  1. Go to and click the “Register” link at the top of the page.
  2. Select Murray State University as your organizational affiliation and create your CITI account.
  3. At the course selection screen, select Research with Live Humans, RCR, and Conflict of Interest.
  4. Select whether or not you have completed the course before.
  5. Select your learner group.
  6. Select the RCR group closest to your academic field.

Federally-funded Projects

For projects funded by a federal source, investigators must also fill out a separate documentation form and submit that form along with the certification received at the completion of their protections training:

Certification of Training in Human Subjects Protection form