Training Requirements

About Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI)

The College subscribes to the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI), a self-paced, online program offering courses in many curricular areas. Each course is made up of several modules and provides content and quizzes relevant to the primary types of research conducted at Swarthmore. Specific courses within CITI may be used to satisfy training requirements for particular grants and/or institutional policies. Please visit the "Frequently Asked Questions" tab to the right for more information on specific training requirements (e.g., Social & Behavioral Research, Financial Conflict of Interest disclosure/training, Responsible Conduct of Research).

Human Subject Research Training

The Swarthmore “Social & Behavioral Research” course is made up of 14 modules and satisfies the training requirement for human subject researchers at Swarthmore College. The course is comprised of the following modules:

  • Belmont Report and CITI Course Introduction
  • Students in Research
  • History and Ethical Principles – SBE
  • Defining Research with Human Subjects – SBE
  • The Regulations - SBE
  • Assessing Risk – SBE
  • Informed Consent – SBE
  • Privacy and Confidentiality – SBE
  • Research with Prisoners – SBE
  • Research with Children – SBE
  • Research in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools – SBE
  • International Research – SBE
  • Internet Research – SBE
  • Conflicts of Interest in Research Involving Human Subjects

Once all modules within a course are finished, a completion report is generated and is saved under the user’s CITI account.

The IRB is charged with maintaining a copy of this report for all human subject research reviewed by the Swarthmore IRB. As a result, any human subject researcher submitting to the IRB will be prompted to submit a valid completion report for all investigators who intend to engage in the proposed human subject research activities (i.e., anyone who will interact or intervene with human subjects for the purpose of the research or who will be working with or analyzing identifiable human subject data). Once an investigator completes the Social & Behavioral Research” course, the training is valid for 4 years from the date a majority of the 14 modules are completed (e.g., If 8 of the 14 modules were completed on 8/12/13, but 7 of the 14 modules were completed on 8/7/14, the training will remain valid until 8/12/17.). Investigators nearing their training expiration date are required to complete the Swarthmore “Social and Behavioral Research- Refresher” course and submit a completion report to the IRB.

Note: Any submission received by the IRB without a valid report(s) will be considered incomplete and will be sent back to the submitter without being reviewed.

Swarthmore Investigators

All investigators (i.e., Principal Investigators (PI), faculty advisors, and other key research personnel) engaging in human subject research are required by the College to complete and maintain training requirements relevant to the type of research being conducted. The Swarthmore Social & Behavioral Research” course satisfies the training requirement for human subject researchers at Swarthmore College. If you are a Swarthmore investigator, log on to CITI with your Swarthmore User ID and password by following these instructions:

  1. Go to Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI).
  2. Click on “Log In via SSO”.
  3. Scroll Down and click “Swarthmore College” (a screen will appear with the Swarthmore College logo).
  4. Type in your Swarthmore ID and password.
  5. Click on “Swarthmore College Courses” for courses to appear or to access “My Learner tools for Swarthmore College” in a drop down menu.
  6. If no courses appear or if an incorrect course appears, click “Add a Course or Update Learner Group” to select the appropriate course(s) you are required to complete (e.g., checking learner group “Social & Behavioral Research Investigators” in question 1 will add the minimal required Basic Human Subjects- Social & Behavioral Focus” training to your course list).
  7. Click the blue link for the course you intend to complete.

If you are a new Swarthmore College researcher and have a CITI account registered under another institution but need to change your institution affiliation to Swarthmore College, follow the instructions below.  By switching your affiliation to Swarthmore College, you will be able to carry over any training previously completed and manage your existing account by logging in with your Swarthmore ID and password. Once the affiliation instructions are completed, you will then be able to follow the above instructions when accessing CITI in the future.

Note: consider providing a second [personal] email address in case you need to recover your password. To do so, click on “My Profiles” then “Change my email address” (only change the secondary address).

Non-Swarthmore Investigators

Much like our Swarthmore investigators, all external investigators (e.g., key research personnel) including Co-Investigators, research assistants) engaging in human subject research are required by the College to complete and maintain training requirements relevant to the type of research being conducted. To satisfy this requirement, Swarthmore College offers the “Social & Behavioral Research” course at no cost to external investigators collaborating with Swarthmore investigators. While the IRB encourages these external investigators to complete the Swarthmore “Social & Behavioral Research” course, the IRB will accept any CITI training course which is equivalent to the Swarthmore module content (note: the IRB will make the final determination as to which training will be accepted; consult with the IRB before submitting).  However, if an external researcher wishes to complete the Swarthmore Social & Behavioral Research” course, they may do so by either: creating a new CITI account (only do this if you do not already have an account) or by affiliating an existing CITI account with Swarthmore College in order to access the Swarthmore courses.

Note: the College recognizes that in some cases the formal CITI training may not be a reasonable expectation for some external investigators to complete (e.g., CITI is not available in a language the investigator is fluent in or the internet is not available in the location of the researcher). In the event the formal CITI training is not a reasonable expectation, an alternative training may be possible. To determine if such an alternative is appropriate email the IRB, irb@swarthmore.edu, a brief summary of the research, the role the investigator will serve in the research, the reason(s) why the formal CITI training is not a reasonable expectation to pursue, and parameters of what may be reasonable training for the investigator (e.g., informal training presented by the PI to the external investigator).

If you are an external investigator who does not have a CITI account and would like to affiliate with the Swarthmore College courses, follow these instructions:

  1. Go to Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI).
  2. Click on "Register", under "Create and Account".
  3. Under “Participating Institutions”, select “Swarthmore College” and continue to step 2
  4. Follow through the registration process, by answering all the required questions, but consider the following notes:
    • Provide a second email address in case recovery is necessary.
    • Users may choose to receive Continuing Education or to receive CITI research surveys (this is not required).
    • When selecting the curriculum, the course you are required to complete may vary; however, by checking learner group “Social & Behavioral Research Investigators” in Question 1, the minimal required Basic Human Subjects-Social & Behavioral Focus” training course will be added to your course list.  Click here for more information about other training requirements.
    • Be sure to validate your account by accessing the link sent to the registered email account and logging in with your user name and password.
  5. After the registration process is complete.  Click on the blue link to access the course.

If you are an external investigator who already has a CITI account, but would like to affiliate with the Swarthmore College courses, follow these instructions:

  1. Go to Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI).
  2. Log in as you would at your other institution.
  3. Select "Click here to affiliate with another institution".
  4. Type in "Swarthmore College".
  5. Follow through the registration process, by answering all the required questions, but consider the following notes:
    • Provide a second email address in case recovery is necessary.
    • Users may choose to receive Continuing Education or to receive CITI research surveys (this is not required).
    • When selecting the curriculum, the course you are required to complete may vary; however, by checking learner group “Social & Behavioral Research Investigators” in Question 1, the minimal required Basic Human Subjects-Social & Behavioral Focus” training course will be added to your course list.  Click here for more information about other training requirements.
  6. Select the course you intend to complete and complete any modules, if any, which were not yet completed at your prior institution and are required by Swarthmore College.