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Human Subjects Research Training

Training Requirement

Davidson College requires all  investigators (faculty, students, staff–anyone named as personnel on a new or existing non-exempt research project), and faculty serving as faculty sponsors for student research projects, to complete human subjects training using the National Institutes of Health (NIH) tutorial on Protecting Human Subjects Participants. A copy of the certification of completion must be submitted to as part of the application for IRB approval of a research project. 

The course takes approximately three hours to complete (can be taken nonconsecutively) and the certification is good for three years.

  • Non-exempt Research: Training is mandatory.
  • Exempt Research: Training recommended but not mandatory. Note that if a protocol submitted for exemption is subsequently determined to be non-exempt, training must be completed prior to approval.
  • Course-related Research: Professor must complete training. Students should complete training following non-exempt and exempt research guidelines above.
  • Faculty Sponsors for Student Research Projects: Professors must complete training in line with their student's research, i.e., if reviewing non-exempt research, training must be completed; if reviewing exempt research, training recommended but becomes mandatory if research is determined to be non-exempt after IRB review.

The IRB may accept alternate training in lieu of NIH training if the researcher can produce documentation indicating completion of a comparable training course, the training mechanism and the date of completion. Such documentation should accompany the application submission or be sent to the IRB office upon request.

Federal Compliance

Davidson College's access to federal research funding depends on compliance with federal regulations for the protection of human subjects in research as governed by the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. OHRP requires that all members of the college's Human Subjects Institutional Review Board (IRB) and any individual conducting and/or supervising federally-funded research involving human subjects complete a program of instruction on the responsible treatment of human subjects.  Further, OHRP recommends that all research investigators complete appropriate institutional educational training before conducting human subjects research.