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  • Changes to the federal rule governing human research (Common Rule) were announced on January 18, 2017. Many of the Common Rule changes went into effect January 21, 2019. 
  • The changes to the Common Rule do not apply to FDA-regulated studies. 
  • UMCIRB SOPs, templates, and the ePIRATE electronic IRB submission system have been revised accordingly. 
  • Click on the tab labeled Common Rule Changes in the UMCIRB website for more information about the changes.  
  • Studies submitted on or after January 21, 2019 will be reviewed under the revised Common Rule. Studies approved prior to January 21, 2019 will continue to fall under the pre-2018 Common Rule requirements. 
The following UMCIRB informed consent templates have been revised:
Consent Letter Template for Expedited Survey Research v. 1.21.19
Consent for More than Minimal Risk Research v. 1.21.19
Consent for No More than Minimal Risk Research v. 1.21.19
Genetic Testing Consent Template v. 1.21.19
Language for Use in a Sponsor's Consent Template v. 10.1.18
Parent Permission Form Template: No More than Minimal Risk Research v. 1.21.19

Please begin using these templates immediately and discard any old templates you may have stored on your desktop. 

The revisions primarily involve changes to consent elements that will be required under the revised regulations, effective January 21, 2019. These revised templates can be found on our website as well as in ePIRATE. 

NIH Grant Recipients: A new NIH Human Subjects System (HSS) will replace the current NIH Inclusion Management System (IMS) for the reporting of data about human subjects and clinical trials. NIH will launch this new system on June 9, 2018 and it will be available within the eRA Commons site. More information can be found here.

Effective October 1, 2017, the NIH began automatically issuing CoCs to all ongoing or new research funded by the NIH as of December 13, 2016 that is collecting or using identifiable, sensitive information. NIH awardees no longer have to apply for a CoC. Language to include in consent documents have been added to the consent templates on the UMCIRB's website. More information about CoCs can be found on the NIH website.

 The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Policy on the use of a single Institutional Review Board (sIRB) of record for multi-site research became effective January 25, 2018. This policy establishes the expectation that all sites participating in multi-site studies involving non-exempt human subjects research funded by the NIH will use a single Institutional Review Board (sIRB) to conduct the ethical review required by the Department of Health and Human Services regulations for the Protection of Human Subjects. This policy applies to the domestic sites of NIH-funded multi-site studies where each site will conduct the same protocol involving non-exempt human subjects research, whether supported through grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, or the NIH Intramural Research Program. It does not apply to career development, research training or fellowship awards.

This policy applies to domestic awardees and participating domestic sites. Foreign sites participating in NIH-funded, multi-site studies will not be expected to follow this policy. 

Investigators are encouraged to consult with the Office of Research Integrity and Compliance (ORIC) prior to including an sIRB plan in their application if they have questions about whether or not ECU should cede IRB review to another IRB or assume the responsibility of being the IRB of record (Reviewing IRB).

You may review the NIH posting regarding sIRB review by clicking here

If you have additional questions about the sIRB review process or IRB reliance agreements, please call the ORIC at 252-744-2914, or email your question to umcirb@ecu.edu.

  • The revisions to the Common Rule go into effect January 21, 2019 and UMCIRB will begin reviewing new studies under the revised Common Rule on that date. 
  • New document templates will be posted on both the UMCIRB website and within ePIRATE. Be sure to use these new templates for any new research studies submitted on or after 01.21.19. 
  • Revised SOPs will be posted on the UMCIRB website. 
  • Existing expedited studies approved prior to January 21, 2019 will continue to follow pre-2018 requirements including required renewal at least annually. Upon request by the investigator and after discussion with ORIC, an existing study may be revised to meet the new federal requirements. An amendment would need to be submitted and approved within the electronic IRB submission system to document this transition.  
  • Keep our website and the ePIRATE homepage checked for continuing and updated information. 
  • Contact UMCIRB with any questions. You are welcome to email us at UMCIRB@ecu.edu.
  • Remember, the revised Common Rule does not apply to FDA-regulated studies. 

Required Human Research Ethics Training

CITI (Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative) Course Information

Link to the CITI Online Course -  http://www.citiprogram.org/

Review the UMCIRB standard operating practice related to required ethics training by clicking on the following link: Requirements for Human Research Protections Training

All key research personnel must complete the required education. Key research personnel include principal investigators, sub-investigators, research coordinators, and any other research team members that have contact with research participants, and their research data or private information.

In order to access the CITI training modules you will be required to register as a user with the CITI site. When you register you will be asked to provide your name and contact information. Please note, the CITI site is NOT administered by ECU therefore is not linked to ePIRATE in any way. You will not be using your pirateID to log into the CITI site. During the registration process you will be asked to provide the username and password of your choice. Please keep this information handy as you will need it again when you take the refresher course in three years. When you register you will be asked to select an institution with which you are affiliated, please select East Carolina University.

 The modules are grouped by categories of research. For UMCIRB purposes, you only need to complete one of the two groups of modules listed below. You should select the group that best fits the type of research you normally conduct. If in doubt, contact ORIC for guidance.

  • Group 1. All Biomedical Investigators and Key Personnel: Medical, physiological or pharmacological studies that typically involve direct contact with participants. Includes, but is not limited to, research with drugs, devices or other interventions.
  • Group 2. Social/Behavioral Research Investigators and Key Personnel: Studies on sociological, psychological, anthropological or educational phenomena that typically involve direct contact with participants. Does NOT include drug or device studies.

 Education is vital to conducting ethical research studies. The UMCIRB recognizes that education is an ongoing process, not a one-time effort. Completing the CITI modules, reading the Belmont Report, 45CFR46, and other pertinent regulations provides a solid foundation for which continuing education can be accomplished. ECU requires this education based on Health and Human Services (HHS) recommendations.

 The required training modules must be completed by all research team members prior to the UMCIRB granting approval for any research study, regardless of the level of risk or category of review. The training is good for three years. After three years, the modules must be updated utilizing the refresher course available through CITI. The CITI site will send a notification approximately 90 days prior to the expiration of your training period. The notification will be sent to the email address you provide when you register for the training.

 This will depend on your experience with human research issues. Most modules will take about 10-20 minutes to complete. Researchers familiar with these topics may require three hours or less to complete all of the required modules. You do not have to complete all the modules at once. CITI is designed for you to work at your own pace, and allows you to exit and return at a later date to where you left off.

 The required passing score is 70%. The score is based on the overall score of the quizzes at the end of each of the required modules. You may check your grade by selecting the grade book link on the welcome page or at the end of the course. If you do not pass, you can return to the modules and re-take the quizzes.

 If you are a new faculty, staff or student at ECU and have completed the same CITI training modules at another institution, you may long into the CITI site with the CITI username and password you created when you registered to use CITI and you may choose to "affiliate with another institution". When you do this, select East Carolina University.

 Currently UMCIRB recognizes only the CITI training described above. You will need to log into the CITI site, register as a new user and complete the training modules required by ECU.

In order to verify successful completion of the required CITI training you must log the completion date in your ePIRATE profile. Click on the following link for instructions. How to Add Your IRB Training Completion Date to Your ePIRATE Profile (PPT).  Once a person's CITI training data is logged in their ePIRATE profile it will be automatically populated next to their name in any new study submission received by the IRB. Do not forget to update your ePIRATE profile when you complete the required refresher course every three years. 


The CITI program site and ePIRATE ARE NOT connected in any way. The CITI program is a software platform for web-based training purposes and is not administered by ECU. ePIRATE is a software platform administered by ECU for electronic IRB submission, review and approval.

 To make full use of the features of the CITI site, and to do so securely, use a current browser version when accessing the CITI Program. The vast majority of browsers made available within the last 3-4 years will support all CITI Program features. Older versions may not, as they are often less secure and provide less functionality.

 Individual users who are taking the training required by the UMCIRB to conduct human research are not assessed a fee for the CITI training.

 You may contact ORIC at 252-744-2914 or contact us via email at UMCIRB@ecu.edu