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Institutional Review Board (IRB)

Saint Louis University (SLU) strives to conduct research of the highest quality and integrity. The Institutional Review Board (IRB) supports this goal by ensuring that all SLU research involving humans is conducted in accordance with the regulations, laws and policies in place to protect the rights and welfare of human research volunteers.

SLU has established three IRB committees, supported by an administrative team in the Research Integrity and Safety Group within the Office of the Vice President for Research, to review and oversee human research studies conducted at SLU or by SLU researchers.

Researchers are assumed to need SLU IRB approval if they are conducting human research unless the use of a Central or External IRB has been approved. The IRB team supports SLU researchers with the IRB process requirements, and through our education and quality assurance programs. If you need the IRB team’s help, call 314-977-7744, email irb@slu.edu or go to the Contact Us page to identify your academic unit’s IRB contact person.

Email irb@slu.edu to join the IRB listserv and receive updates about training opportunities, policy changes and other notifications. 

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News and Updates

Check here for the latest news and updates from the Institutional Review Board.

Further 'Common Rule' Delays Expected

The Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) has announced another notice of proposed rulemaking related to human research regulations referred to as the Common Rule. This latest proposal seeks to move the effective date of the new Common Rule to Jan. 21, 2019 (original dates were January 2018, then July 2018) and is out for public comment until May 21. This delay is being proposed to allow more time for institutions to come into compliance, and for federal agencies to release promised guidelines to assist with interpretation of the revised rule.

With this latest notice, there is a potential for three components of the new rule to be implemented sooner. They are:

  1. Apply the new definition of “research"
  2. Drop the requirement for IRB’s to do reviews of related grants, and
  3. Drop the requirement for annual (continuing) review of Expedited Category research studies.

SLU will likely implement all three if the option becomes available.

As a reminder, the SLU IRB created a Google website with key information related to the new Common Rule. It can be accessed with your SLU account.

New Website for Common Rule Changes

The IRB has created a Common Rule Changes Site, an internal Google Site with information and updates regarding the forthcoming changes to the Common Rule (federal regulations for human subjects research). While we wait to hear whether the current implementation date of Jan. 19 will be delayed by a year, the IRB is moving forward planning for the changes and will continue to provide the research community with updated information.

The site is located at sites.google.com/slu.edu/common-rule-changes/home. You will need to log into Google Applications to gain access. 

Introducing the IRB Sample Protocols Archive

 New to the IRB? The new IRB Sample Protocols Archive, an internal Google site containing examples of approved applications, can be used as a reference when drafting your IRB application. 

NIH Policy Update: Certificates of Confidentiality

 As of October 1, 2017, NIH-funded human subjects research that began or was ongoing on or after December 13, 2016 is now covered by a Certificate of Confidentiality, which requires specific language to be present in the study consent form. Contact the IRB for assistance if your study needs to comply with this new policy (NOT-OD-17-109).

Human Subject Research Regulations Undergo Significant Revision

Final revisions to the federal regulations covering human subjects research (“the common rule”) were issued by the Department of Health and Human Services on January 18, 2017. The majority of changes take effect on January 19, 2018; single IRB use provisions take effect in 2020. The IRB team will provide additional information, training and policy/procedural change information to the SLU research community throughout the year in preparation for the new rule. Importantly, while numerous federal agencies have agreed to adopt the new rule, the Food and Drug Administration has not.