IRB and the Office of Human Research Ethics

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  • April 18, 2017: A UNC guidance document for the Carolinas Collaborative has been added to the Resources page.  The Carolinas Collaborative is a dual state learning health community that is the first of its kind in the nation. It brings together research universities and healthcare systems across the Carolinas.  Click here to learn more…
  • April 3, 2017: We are pleased to announce three new OHRE Safety Information Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).  The SOPs will be effective June 2, 2017. Please click here to read more…
  • January 19, 2017: Section A.2 (Subjects) of the IRB application has been revised to collect additional information about the inclusion of vulnerable subjects in research. Read more…
  • December 14, 2016: Office of Minority Health announces the release of a new resource to aid researchers: The Compendium of Publicly Available Datasets and Other Data-Related Resources (Compendium). This is a free resource that compiles in one place descriptions of and links to 132 public datasets.
  • For older items, see News section

Introduction to Human Research Subject Protection at UNC

Last year, over one million people took part in research studies at UNC-Chapel Hill. Who are these participants, who is studying them and why? Read more…

Organizational Structure

The Office of Human Research Ethics (OHRE) is responsible for ethical and regulatory oversight of research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that involves human subjects. OHRE supports and oversees the work of the Institutional Review Boards (IRBs). The IRBs at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are organized by area of expertise.  The IRBs are:

Biomedical IRB (Committees A through D): Reviews research involving School of Medicine, School of Pharmacy, UNC Hospitals, and research in other units that involves biomedical interventions. Expertise is focused on medical, surgical, physiological or pharmacological studies. Includes research with drugs, devices, counseling, or other interventions. Studies that require dental or oncology expertise are reviewed by Biomedical Committee B or D.

Non-Biomedical IRB (Committee E):  A combination of the former Behavioral and Public Health-Nursing IRBs. Reviews research in psychology, child development, education, anthropology, information and library science, social work, journalism, and many other disciplines under Academic Affairs, as well as studies from the School of Public Health, School of Nursing, nursing-related studies at UNC Hospitals, non-medical research from the Injury Prevention Research Center, Carolina Population Center, Health Promotion Disease Prevention, and Sheps Center. Expertise is focused on research in behavioral and social sciences, the humanities, epidemiology and other research in a public health or nursing context.

IRB Safety Committee: This committee handles submissions that are atypical or otherwise outside the norm, as well as Unanticipated Problems Involving Risks to Subjects or Others (UPIRSO) and other compliance issues, Humanitarian Use Devices (HUDs), emergency research on single patients under a single subject treatment IND.  It meets monthly but can be convened rapidly should circumstances require.