The following email was sent to faculty, students, and staff by Professor of Social Work and Chair of IRB Leslie Alexander on Monday, Sept. 23.
Dear faculty, students, and staff:
We ask that you carefully review the procedures below so that IRB reviews can be done as expeditiously as possible. A hard copy is also attached.
Initial reviews of proposals dealing with human subjects, no matter what the level of review required
1) THE BMC IRB has four stated meetings during the academic year, two in the fall (end of October or early November and in December) and two in the spring ( late February and early May). The actual dates are announced at the beginning of each semester (IRB meetings for this fall are noted above). All proposals requiring a full review must be reviewed in a scheduled meeting of the IRB. All full reviews must be received electronically by the IRB chair one week before the scheduled IRB meeting. This means by Friday, October 25th for the November 1st meeting and by Tuesday, December 10, for the December 17 meeting. A full review is reserved for any proposal posing more than minimal risk to research respondents. (See Form B-4 on the IRB website for further explanation of the kinds of research that requires a full review.)
2) Proposals that have been confirmed by the Departmental Reviewer (DP), the researcher, and the researcher’s supervisor as exempt or expedited may be received by the IRB Chair at any time, not just at the time of one of the four annually scheduled IRB meetings.
3) No proposal can be reviewed without the signature of the Departmental Reviewer. The DP’s signature represents agreement with the proposed level of review and confirmation that the relevant supportive documentation is provided. The IRB accepts manual or facsimile signatures
4) If the IRB Chair agrees with the Departmental Reviewer’s assessment that the level of review is exempt, the IRB Chair confirms this with a short letter to the investigator. Unless changes are made in the protocol, this is the last contact that the IRB has with the investigator.
5) If the proposal requires an expedited review, the IRB Chair forwards the proposal to an anonymous member of the IRB for review. We hope to get a response back to the investigator within two weeks of the chair’s receipt of the proposal. The investigator may or may not be asked to make some further revisions. This decision will be relayed to the investigator by e-mail from the IRB Chair.
6) All IRB proposals, regardless of the level of review required, must be sent to the IRB Chair electronically as one continuous Word document. A complete proposal consists of the following:
Required forms, other materials
All proposals require a completed and signed Form B-1 [signed by researcher, researcher’s supervisor (if a student) and the DP].
For exempt proposals, Form B-2 should also be completed.
For expedited proposals, Form B-3 should also be completed.
For full reviews, Form B-4 should also be completed.
For all proposals (exempt, expedited, full) Recruitment procedures and scripts, consent and assent forms, and all instrumentation ( interview guides, questionnaires, experimental procedures and debriefing scripts, if appropriate), should be included for the proposal. Otherwise, the proposal is incomplete and cannot be reviewed until all documents are received.
Where are the relevant forms located?
Relevant websites –
The direct link to the IRB website is: http://www.brynmawr.edu/grants/irb/
The direct link to all necessary IRB forms, including consent and assent guidance is: http://www.brynmawr.edu/grants/irb/appendix.html
The direct link to the IRB policy and consent statement specific to web surveys is: http://www.brynmawr.edu/grants/irb/survey_consent.html
Please note that any changes to forms, to policies and to procedures will be posted on the IRB website.
What happens after the initial IRB review is completed?
1) If the investigator wants to make any changes to the approved protocol, s/he must send a request for administrative approval to the IRB Chair. No proposed changes can be made until the IRB chair provides approval. The turnaround on amendments should be no longer than two weeks, depending on the changes requested and whether or not the level of risk for participants is raised.
2) All protocols, except for those which were approved by investigator, the departmental reviewer, and the IRB Chair as exempt , require an annual review (Continuing Review). These reviews are conducted in one of the four standing meetings of the IRB. You will receive an email reminder that your continuing review is upcoming in the next IRB meeting from Nona Smith, Director of Sponsored Research at the College. The relevant materials should then be sent directly to the IRB Chair (firstname.lastname@example.org). Your reminder about continuing reviews will be sent to your Bryn Mawr College email address only.
3) Termination Forms: All research approved by the IRB, except for research which is approved as exempt from further review, must be terminated when the research is completed. Research where data collection is completed, but data analysis is not completed, must receive a continuing review.
Leslie Alexander – Chair –Social Work
Jim Baumohl – Social Work
David Consiglio – Head of Research Support and Educ. Technology
Gary McDonogh – Cities
Judy Porter – Sociology
Bethany Schneider – English
Jennifer Spohrer – Coordinator of Academic Technology Initiatives
Rob Wozniak – Psychology
Nona Smith, Ex Officio
Sam Magdovitz, Ex Officio