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CIRTification is a training program in human research protections that is tailored to the unique roles of community research partners.

Program Overview Heading link

a diverse group of men and women walking hand in hand with their backs to the camera

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.

I was glad for the background information and training that the [CIRTification] training program provided.  I recently began a health clinic employment as a data analyst. And, although I currently do not participate in the collection of data for research studies, I do run reports on patient data and it is important to protect patient data when report data needs to be aggregated for its use.  At the clinic, it is important to maintain a culture that keeps a patient feeling safe, valued, and informed. The human subjects protections training served to reinforce the importance of protecting patients and society and furthering research for understanding health concerns. It was beneficial to learn about the research study process by learning how many groups of individuals work as a collective from beginning to end in these studies: medical professionals, research leaders and staff, and the patients and volunteers all work together cohesively for the goal to better understand our current health conditions and hopefully create interventions and changes in the medical and public health areas in our communities.

Maribel A.  |  Participant, UIC Citizen Scientist Program