Support for Rapid IRB Approval

Prior to performing studies on animals or people, it is essential to first get permission from your Institutional Review Board (IRB). It is essential that all experiments comply with the specific protocols in the IRB application, and that all experiments have prior approval, even if it is a seemingly small change.

The purpose of the IRB for Human Subjects is to protect human subjects from harm. The review process ensures that prospective subjects fully understand the purpose of the experiment and their role in the experiment. IRBs are needed both for biomedical research and also for studies of psychology and other interactive research.

A key barrier to responsiveness in the case of a disaster is the need for IRB approval to perform human studies. In order for a faculty member to apply their technology, they need permission within days to carry out appropriate research. A new system is under development to enable rapid IRB approval. This new approach involves having researchers develop a general IRB for human studies and to have this on file. Should an occasion arise where a researcher can contribute to response, an addendum can be filed and can be processed rapidly, on the order of a few days. This makes possible for researches to contribute to the recover process following a disaster.

Resources for obtaining IRB approval in disaster research: