Human Subjects Research Training

For human subjects research (HSR) training, UC Santa Cruz uses modules within the CITI Program. The training addresses a broad range of human subjects issues, from logistical to ethical, and promotes compliance with federal guidelines. The modules required will vary based on the activities being conducted. Completing the training before completing an Initial Submission will help ensure timely processing of your submission.

Who must complete training

Individuals involved in any of these activities are considered “engaged” in human subjects research and must be listed in the Human Ethics submission as study personnel and must complete training:

  • Recruiting subjects (beyond just distributing a recruitment message for the UC Santa Cruz study investigators).
  • Obtaining subject consent.
  • Interacting or intervening with subjects for research purposes.
  • Accessing private identifiable information about subjects for research purposes.
  • Using UC Santa Cruz facilities for conducting research (beyond just posting a recruitment message or conducting observations).
  • Faculty advisors who supervise students engaged in human subjects research.
Course requirement information

Each CITI Program course consists of modules with passages to review and related quiz questions. You need an aggregate score of 80% or higher on all modules to complete a course. You may repeat courses to improve your quiz scores.

All required CITI training must be completed before a study receives a determination, and before any HSR activities begin. CITI refresher courses must be completed every five years to ensure investigators maintain knowledge of ethical considerations and regulations regarding HSR protections. Refresher courses become available 60 days prior to course expiration and CITI automatically sends reminders both before and after a course expires. 

Required HSR training
WhoRequired course
Most study investigators involved in social, behavioral and Economic Research (SBER) studiesGroup 1: Human Subjects Researchers-Social, Behavioral, and Economic (ID: 96465)
Most study investigators involved in biomedical proceduresGroup 2: Human Subjects Researchers – Biomedical (ID: 96466)
All faculty advisors who are not engaged in HSR, but supervise UC Santa Cruz students who are engaged in HSR on behalf of UC Santa CruzGroup 3: Faculty Advisors Not Engaged in Human Subjects Research Activities (ID: 207497)
All student-interns engaged in human subjects research activities on a UC Santa Cruz studyStudents in Research (ID: 1321)
Research activity – all investigators who:Required course
Access or receive Protected Health Information (PHI) from a HIPAA covered entityHealth Privacy Issues for Researchers (ID: 215959)
Are involved in research related to subjects’ illegal activities or documentation statusIllegal Activities or Undocumented Status in Human Research (ID: 16656)
Conduct international researchInternational Research – SBE (ID: 509)
Are involved in internet-based researchInternet-Based Research – SBE (ID: 510)
Are involved in research with decisionally impaired subjectsResearch with Decisionally Impaired Subjects (ID: 16610)
Are involved in research in which pregnant women, fetuses, or neonates are subjects or in which placental or fetal materials are involvedResearch Involving Pregnant Women, Fetuses, and Neonates (ID: 10)
Are involved in research in which prisoners are subjects– Research with Prisoners – SBE (ID: 506) or
– Research Involving Prisoners (ID: 8)
Will handle, as part of study activities, subject education records where FERPA appliesResearch involving Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which includes the following modules:
– FERPA: An Introduction (ID: 17407)
– FERPA for Researchers (ID: 17410)
Conduct research in a public elementary or secondary schoolResearch in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools – SBE (ID: 508)
Are involved in research with child subjects– Research with Children – SBE (ID: 507) or
– Research Involving Children (ID: 9)
Conduct a NIH-sponsored clinical trial or FDA-regulated clinical trialOne of the following Good Clinical Practices (GCP) courses, corresponding to the type of research being conducted, is required:
– GCP – Social and Behavioral Research Best Practices for Clinical Research (ID: 146855)
– Good Clinical Practice Course (US FDA focus) (ID: 75054)
– GCP Course for Clinical Trials Involving Investigational Medical Devices (international focus) (ID: 75053)
– GCP Course for Clinical Trials Involving Investigational Drugs (international / ICH focus) (ID: 75052)
Conduct, review, approve, oversee, support, or manage Department of Defense (DOD) human subject researchDOD requirements for research ethics training, as outlined in the UCSC IRB Policy on Department of Defense Funded Research
Training language options
  • Spanish language equivalents to the Group 1 and Group 2 courses are offered by CITI. 
  • ORCA offers two options for foreign engaged investigators for whom CITI training is not available in their language. Both forms can be found on Human Subjects Research Forms and Templates, but investigators should discuss use of either form with ORCA in advance.
  • If the investigators are affiliated with an institution that has its own HSR training, the Human Subjects Research Ethics Training Equivalency Letter may be used to fulfill the training requirement. 
  • If the investigators are not affiliated with an institution, or are affiliated with an institution that does not have its own HSR training, the Local Community Research Assistant Field Training Pamphlet may be used to fulfill the training requirement.  
Completing CITI Program courses
  • Log in to the CITI Program. Detailed instructions can be found on CITI Program Training.
  • Select “View Courses” next to “University of California, Santa Cruz.”
CITI view courses screenshot
  • Select “Add a Course.”
CITI add a course screenshot
  • Please note that questions are displayed based on the answers provided to previous questions (e.g., not everyone gets Question 4, 5, or 6).
  • Click Start Now for any course in your personal list of courses to begin.
  • You must complete the Assurance Statement before beginning the course. Check the I agree… checkbox and select Submit to proceed.
  • Complete the required course modules and associated quizzes. 
  • Once completed, a copy of the report is automatically available to ORCA. To print a completion report or certificate for your own records, first click on “My Records” at the top of the page, then click the “View-Print-Share” link in the “Completion Report” column for the appropriate course and a printable PDF will open.

If you have questions, contact

Completion reports/certificates

ORCA automatically receives CITI Program HSR training completion reports for study investigators affiliated with UC Santa Cruz. Study investigators affiliated with another institution that uses the CITI Program can “affiliate” with UC Santa Cruz in CITI and, once affiliated, ORCA will receive their course completion reports. It is not necessary to submit a completion report unless you are instructed to do so.

Last modified: May 01, 2024