Education & Certification

For an application to be approved by the USC IRB, all study personnel must complete required training based on study specific factors. The online course used (unless otherwise stated) is provided by the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) at CITI Program. Please refer to the CITI FAQs for more information.

Refer to the Research Training Finder for course requirements by position.

Required Training

Conflict of Interest Training

  • COI training is required for all USC researchers who propose or conduct research sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services (NIH, CDC, HRSA). 
  • COI training certificates are valid for four years and can be renewed by completing a refresher course.
  • This requirement can be satisfied by completing the “HHS Conflict of Interest in Research” course in TrojanLearn
  • For instructions on how to complete the training, see HHS Required COI Training.

Environmental Health and Safety

  • EH&S safety training courses ensure that all participants are aware of potential hazards in their work area, knowledgeable of safety measures to protect themselves, and compliant with USC policies as well as state and federal regulations. Find out what courses you need to take, and how to register at EHS Training.

Export Controls Course

  • The Office of Culture, Ethics and Compliance (OCEC) provides guidance on export rules and regulations and oversight for activities covered by them, including certain types of research.
  • This requirement can be satisfied by completing the “Export Controls” course in TrojanLearn.

Generic Classroom Courses

  • Mandated at the discretion of the instructor, the “generic classroom” courses are sometimes used as an assignment for research methods courses.
  • There are two generic classroom courses: Generic Classroom in Human Subject and Generic Classroom in Responsible Conduct of Research.

Good Clinical Practice (GCP)

  • GCP is mandatory for Principal Investigators (PI)s and study staff working on FDA regulated studies or NIH funded studies that fit the NIH definition of a clinical trial.
  • GCP training certificates are valid for three years and can be renewed by completing a refresher course.
  • GCP course is offered in three versions (devices, drugs, social-behavioral research). 15 modules must be completed with a passing score of 80%.

Human Subjects Research Training

  • Mandatory for Principal Investigators (PI)s and all personnel listed on an IRB application.
  • The human subjects training certificate is valid for three years and can be renewed by completing a refresher course.
  • This course is offered in a social-behavioral version and a biomedical version. Both versions contain 6 modules with a passing score of 80%.

HIPAA Research Training

  • As Good Clinical Practice (GCP) and/or Human Subjects Research Protection Training (HSR) courses expire, researchers will be prompted to complete the Research HIPAA course
  • The Research HIPAA course is available at CITI and does not replace the USC HIPAA Privacy course offered through the Office of Culture, Ethics, and Compliance. The USC HIPAA Privacy course serves to address site specific guidance and issues related to medical records and practices in the USC Keck clinical settings.

Responsible Conduct of Research Training

Available Education Opportunities

CER Recordings and Materials
OPRS and IRB collaborates with the Center for Excellence in Research to provide workshops for USC researchers.

Clinical Research Glossary
A glossary list of research words and their meanings.

CTSI Training and Education
More training from CTSI.


Office of Research CER Workshops
More training from the Office of Research.

Research Coordinator Training
Clinical Research Coordinator training.

Single IRB (sIRB) Guide
A how-to guide and essential resources for sIRB.


Virtual Office Hours
Office hours to assist investigators preparing a protocol for first-time IRB review.