The goal of any community-academic research collaboration is equitable partnership. CIRTification teaches community research partners about the importance of protecting research participants while enhancing the overall contribution they are able to make to their respective research teams.
In community-engaged research, academic researchers collaborate with different partners from non-academic settings including community agencies, health care delivery organizations, public health departments and schools.
Due to federal and institutional policies, community research partners are often required to complete “human subjects protection training” (sometimes called “IRB training” or “research ethics training”). Training is usually required when individuals interact with research participants and/or handle research data.
However, most research ethics training programs are geared towards those who already have and understanding of research methods and some research experience; they do not address the unique context of community-engaged research. As such, these programs and materials may not be well-received by community partners.
CIRTification provides human research protection training that shares relevant, meaningful information to help community partners translate their unique knowledge and skills to research collaborations.
There are two versions of the CIRTification Training Program:
CIRTification Online - a free, web-based human research protections training program tailored specifically to the needs and roles of community research partners.
In-Person Training - a "train the trainer" model resource that includes a facilitator manual, participant workbook, presentations, and handouts.
The online version of CIRTification introduces learners to the basics of the research – the terminology, people, and methods. It also reviews the history of research abuses that has informed current ethical principles, rules, and regulations.
The training program also:
- Covers standards and best practices for
- Recruitment and informed consent
- Collecting and protecting data
- Handling challenges that may arise during participant interactions
- Reviews the role of the institutional review board in protecting the right and safety of research participants
- Includes a dictionary of research terms and a toolbox with resources related to human research protections
Learners complete a knowledge quiz at the end of the program and receive a date- stamped certificate of completion. The program takes about 4 hours and can be completed in multiple sessions.
Please note that Human Research Participant Programs outside of UIC will need to approve CIRTification as an accepted training program in order for learners to receive credit for course completion.
In-person CIRTification was developed for a variety of facilitators and can be tailored to meet your specific needs. These may include:
- Research ethics or responsible conduct of research (RCR) educators, who may not have expertise in community-engaged research
- Principal investigators of community-engaged research projects, who may not have experience teaching RCR or research ethics
- Experienced community research partners
- Trainers with a variety of backgrounds
The background reading materials provided in the curriculum should be sufficient for supporting the implementation of all activities and lectures. Resources that can provide more in-depth information are referenced throughout the manual.
Following the recommended 3-hour lesson plan format ensures fidelity to the curriculum learning objectives. The content is comparable to that covered in standard training programs.