Updated Guidelines (8/11/20) from IRB Chair for Research with Human Subjects during COVID-19
In light of the president’s recent announcement regarding our return to campus for the fall 2020 semester, our IRB office wants to provide some updates about ongoing and new human subjects research protocols. As you know, our office, like most across
the US, paused all non-essential face-to-face (f2f) research with human subjects in March 2020. Our office has been monitoring reopening plans/trends along with federal/state/local guidance to determine how to proceed.
As of today, protocols that can recruit and collect data in a virtual manner should be submitted with recruitment and data collection methodologies that use non-f2f methods. The added risk of spread of COVID-19 outweighs the benefit of nearly
all research conducted at IUP. Therefore, the overwhelming number of research projects (ongoing and new) should be conducted using non-f2f methods. Additionally, if your approved face-to-face protocol was paused, you should consider that it is
We recognize that some faculty and students may not be able to complete their research in a non-f2f manner. The IRB will consider on a case-by-case basis new or previously paused f2f protocols for f2f interaction; but the IRB will review and/or approve
these requests only if there is a compelling scientific reason for f2f and only if the researcher submits a thorough safety plan.
As we are all busy, rather than complete a full protocol (or request for change) for f2f recruitment or data collection and then learn that the proposed approach is not viable in the current climate, we encourage these researchers to first reach out
to our office at email@example.com with a scientific rationale for their f2f project or request for change to use f2f during this pandemic. We will review the email and then provide
guidance on whether researchers should proceed and submit a formal protocol or request for change to their existing protocol to permit f2f recruitment or data collection. In this inquiry email, please consider and discuss the following:
If, after reviewing these emails, our office recommends that a researcher moves forward with a formal protocol or request for change to their existing protocol to permit f2f interactions, there are several things researchers should be aware of, including:
Please contact the IRB Office (IRBfirstname.lastname@example.org) anytime. The IRB Office is operating remotely during the fall semester and is very responsive to email.
We thank you for your commitment to ethical research and the protection of human subjects.
Sincerely, Jennifer Roberts, PhD
The Institutional Review Board for the Protection of the Human Subjects is the regulatory body of IUP that is responsible for the review of research that involves human participants. The purpose of IRBs nationally is to protect participants in research
as well as to protect researchers conducting research involving human participants.
The information below is designed to provide a comprehensive set of resources for investigators, so that they can conduct the best possible research that meets their academic goals while safeguarding the well-being of the people who participate in their
Feel free to use the contact information provided to find more information or clarification. You should also feel free to provide feedback about the usefulness of this web page. The IRB at IUP is engaged in ongoing efforts to collaborate with investigators
to enhance the responsiveness of IRB educational and consultative efforts.
IRBManager is IUP’s new electronic submission, routing, approval, and record-keeping tool for the Institutional Review Board. This system retains the same questions from the original paper forms, but presents them in an easy to use and easy to track electronic
For further details, tutorials, frequently asked questions, or to log in, visit our IRBManager page.
For additional information, contact the IRB by e-mail at email@example.com.