Minimal risk research is changing- many UW investigators engage in research that does not strictly fall into a minimal risk biomedical vs education/social/behavioral research bucket. Additionally, due to the changes in the federal regulations governing human subjects research in 2018, there has been a significant decrease in the number of studies reviewed by the full board of either of the UW minimal risk IRBs (the MR IRB and the ED/SBS IRB). Therefore, in June, the ED/SBS and the MR IRB will merge into a new Minimal Risk Research IRB (MRR IRB). This committee will review all minimal risk research, including educational studies (k-12, college and medical school), social and behavioral studies, and most minimal risk biomedical studies. Any study that requires FDA oversight or is done at the VA or with VA funding will be reviewed by the HSIRB, regardless of risk level. The membership of the committee will be drawn from the current ED/SBS and MR IRB committees. The committee will meet twice a month to ensure timely review of protocols.


During April and May, the MR IRB and ED/SBS IRBs will meet per their usual schedule. Beginning in June, all studies previously assigned to the ED/SBS IRB and most studies previously assigned to the MR IRB will be reviewed by the MRR IRB.

MRR IRB Leadership

Mark Copelovitch, Professor in Political Science and Public Affairs and the current chair of the ED/SBS IRB will become chair of the new MRR until September 1, 2021, when he was scheduled to transition from this leadership position. Ed Hubbard, Associate Professor of Educational Psychology, the current ED/SBS Vice Chair will transition to the role of chair of the MRR.

We are pleased to announce, that Kristina Matkowskyj, Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, a current member of the MR IRB will be appointed as Vice Chair for the MR and then new MRR IRB beginning in April 2021.