Chair Announcement

It is with much appreciation and gratitude that we announce the departure of our long-time chair, Peter Rahko. Dr. Rahko was instrumental in setting up the Minimal Risk IRB (now the Minimal Risk Research or MRR IRB) and served as its chair since its inception in 2003 before moving to the Health Sciences IRB Chair role in the midst of the IEP transition in 2020. His leadership over these many years has been instrumental to the success of both boards; IRB members and office staff alike have come to rely on his steady presence and expert guidance in navigating complex and often ambiguous human research protection issues. While his departure is no doubt a loss for the IRB, we are excited for the additional time he will have to commit to his new role as Deputy Editor for the Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography.

With Dr. Rahko’s departure, we are very excited to announce that Dr. Sameer Mathur will be stepping into the role of Chair as of July 1. Dr. Mathur is an associate professor within the Division of Allergy, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine as well as a Fellow in the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and has received numerous awards for his contributions to research and education, including the Department of Medicine Puestow Research Award for Junior Faculty and the NIH Loan Repayment Program Award. Dr. Mathur is currently vice-chair of Panel B and will soon begin chairing a second panel. We look forward to working with Dr. Mathur in his new role!

CITI Training Requirements for New IRB Members

IRB Members who have been around since the first half of 2020 or earlier may remember taking an IRB Member training using the CITI website, which UW-Madison also uses to facilitate human subjects research and Good Clinical Practice training on campus. We will return to using the one-time IRB Member CITI course as part of the onboarding for new IRB Members.

If you were onboarded between June 2020 and now, you were not asked to take this training; instead, you watched videos that were recorded as part of our IRB Efficiency Project that addressed the federal regulations. Now that the transition is complete, we are returning to this form of training which is used by many of our peers.

Current board members DO NOT need to take this training. However, there are many supplemental modules that you may find valuable, and we wanted to make you aware of this resource. Some of the supplemental modules focus on the history of human subjects research in the United States, and others focus on single topics, such as “Avoiding Group Harms,” “Assessing Risk,” or “Genetic Research.”

Anyone can access the IRB Member training CITI by doing the following:

  1. Log in to CITI via the UW-Madison CITI portal using your UW-Madison netID and password.
  2. Click “View Courses” next to the “University of Wisconsin-Madison.”
  3. Click “Add a Course” at the bottom of the page.
  4. In question 4, check the box next to “IRB Member Training” and click “Submit” at the bottom of the page. The course will now appear in your course list.

Again, current IRB Members are NOT being asked to take (or re-take) this training. If you are delinquent in any training requirements, we will let you know!

Reminder on Non-Committee Review Items: Modifications Responses and Member Consults

In addition to reviewing items assigned to a meeting, members are routinely asked to review items outside of a meeting. These are typically study team responses to convened board modification requests, or consultations on items that are being reviewed under expedited procedures. With regard to the latter, these are items that IRB analysts assess as likely meeting expedited review criteria, outlined in HRP-313, but may require review by a board member with specific expertise to confirm. Non-committee reviews will be sent to you in ARROW and will be visible in your “Other Assigned Items” tab in ARROW. You will also get email notifications from ARROW. These items require timely responses so please be sure to review as soon as possible after receiving the notification.

Guidance on navigating non-committee reviews in ARROW can be found here and here.

IRB Member Office Hours

Your friendly (and knowledgeable!) IRB analysts will be holding remote IRB Office Hours on May 31st at 2pm. A zoom link will be sent out to all members ahead of time. Please plan to join to ask any questions you may have, such as:

  • How to access or use Toolkit materials
  • ARROW navigation tips and tricks
  • Questions on applying regulations
  • Anything else you may need help with!

We do not plan to present a formal training; rather, this is an informal Q&A so please join us to hear from staff and fellow IRB members.

Mini-Training Slides Available on IRB Website

Reminder that slide decks from all past mini-trainings presented during IRB meetings are available on our website. These are great resources so please refer to them often!