IRB Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Institutional Review Board (IRB)?

An institutional review board consists of persons federally designated and appointed by the university’s chief research officer to review and monitor research activities involving humans or private, identifiable information about humans. The purpose of the IRB is to protect the rights and welfare of individuals who are participating in the research. The IRB has the authority to approve, disapprove and require modifications to research projects involving humans. Once approved, the IRB is required by federal regulation to monitor the progress of the ongoing research, prospectively approve modifications, and, if necessary, to protect participant(s), or suspend a research project.

Where is the IRB office located?

The UMCIRB office supports ECU’s IRBs and is located at 4N-70 Brody Medical Sciences Building, Mailstop 682, 600 Moye Blvd., Greenville, N.C., 27834.

What are the IRB office hours?

The UMCIRB office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Friday.

How do I contact the IRB?

What is the turnaround time for IRB review and approval?

Studies that qualify for exempt certification or expedited review may be addressed in four to five business days. However, given the workload of the reviewers, we ask that you allow up to 10 business days. Studies that require full board review are dependent upon when the next IRB meeting is being held and whether the agenda has been filled. This turnaround time does not include the time it may take a study to be reviewed and approved by department chairs and ancillary reviewers. Review and approval by these people is required before the study submission arrives in the IRB queue. The turnaround time described above also does not include the time that is required for submission, by the study team, of IRB requested modifications. IRB turnaround time is measured from the time the submission arrives in the IRB queue fully and properly prepared for review and approval to the date the IRB processes the approval.

How often does the IRB meet?

The Behavioral and Social Science IRB meets every first and third Wednesday of each month during spring and fall semesters with ad-hoc meetings convened as needed during the summer. The Biomedical IRB meets the second and fourth Wednesday of each month.

Who serves on the IRB?

Federal regulations mandate that an IRB have at least five members who come from varied backgrounds. The IRB may have as many members as necessary to perform a complete and adequate review of research activities. The IRB should have at least one member whose primary concerns are in scientific areas and one member whose primary concerns are in nonscientific areas. The IRB should include at least one member not affiliated with the institution. No IRB may have a member participate in the IRB’s review of any project in which that member has a conflicting interest, except to provide information requested by the IRB.