Throughout the past few years, the HRPP has been soliciting and gathering feedback from the research community on the IRB review process

In response to that feedback, in May 2020, the HRPP partnered with IRB experts at Huron Consulting to implement changes within the IRB review process, beginning the IRB Efficiency Project (IEP).

Major goals of the IEP:

  • Improve efficiency and effectiveness
  • Reduce administrative burden for research teams and IRB staff/members
  • Improve turnaround times

Key changes:

  • Adapting the Huron Toolkit documents (e.g., SOPs, checklists, worksheets) for use at the UW
  • Developing protocol and consent templates
  • Restructuring the IRBs

Project Progress

The IEP working groups have completed customization of the toolkit materials, developed protocol and consent templates, and created the new protocol-based application in ARROW as well as a comprehensive Investigator Manual.

Upcoming Changes

Work on implementing additional IEP projects will continue throughout 2021. Over the next few months, additional planned changes include:

  • Board and panel restructuring
    • Merging the Educational and Social/Behavioral IRB and Minimal Risk IRB into a single Minimal Risk Research (MRR) board
    • Adding ‘panels’ to each board to increase meeting frequency. The MRR board will have two panels, each meeting monthly, while the HS board will have six panels, also meeting monthly.
  • Streamlined IRB guidance and institutional policies
  • Phasing out content from the current Health Sciences and ED/SBS websites and combining all IRB information under one website.
  • A new application designed for studies likely to be minimal risk and without a standalone protocol, including exempt projects.
  • A new ancillary committee review matrix designed to help researchers identify which non-IRB approvals required for their study as well as when those should occur and who to contact.