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When Do I Need IRB Approval?


The IRB (Institutional Review Board) has recently implemented a new journal surveillance program in order to better ensure that UTHSC complies with its responsibilities for implementing human subjects regulations as a condition of receiving federal research dollars. The program will involve verification that faculty, students, and staff have received prior IRB approval for any human research appearing in journals and other academic publications. We will also compare the research procedures in your IRB application to the research procedures outlined in the journal article to ensure consistency and therefore confirm that the appropriate category of IRB review for the project was utilized.

Even though some types of research projects may be “exempt” under the federal regulations, UTHSC faculty, students, and staff must receive an IRB determination of exempt status and approval before beginning these research projects. IRB approval is also needed before beginning any expedited and full board research. Note that the IRB does not provide “retrospective” approval for research that has already been initiated, completed, and/or submitted for publication.

If you have any questions about this issue or the IRB process, or you wish to request IRB policy and procedure training (including iMedRIS training), please contact Kimberly Prachniak, Associate Director of the IRB, at 448-5060. You may also consult our Authority policy at https://www.uthsc.edu/research/research_compliance/IRB/docs/policies/sop-irb-authority-membership-permanent-positions.pdf, our Exemption policy at https://www.uthsc.edu/research/research_compliance/IRB/docs/sops/sop-exempt-research.pdf, and our Noncompliance policy at https://www.uthsc.edu/research/research_compliance/IRB/docs/sops/SOP29.pdf.  In addition, an article on this topic will be included in the October issue of the Research Notebook.

Thank you,
IRB Administration