IRB and Office of Human Research Ethics

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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).

current announcements  (for older items, see News section)

    1.  Do not wait to submit a reportable event to the IRB until you have all the information about the event. Report the event promptly and follow-up with additional information as it becomes available.
    2.  A UPIRSO (Unanticipated Problem Involving Risks to Subjects or Others) that is also a Serious Adverse Event must be reported ASAP, but no later than one (1) week from the time you become aware of the event.
    3.  All other UPIRSOs must be reported ASAP, but no later than two (2) weeks from the time you become aware of the event.
    4.  Protocol violations must be reported ASAP, but no later than one (1) week from the time you identify the issue.
    5.  Other events that are reportable to the IRB include subject complaints and breach of confidentiality.
    For more information, please review UNC SOP 19.0 and 23.0
  • July 15, 2014: CITI Good Clinical Practice (GCP) training (link to CITI site) is now required of all UNC-CH investigators and research staff who are involved in the design, conduct, or reporting of clinical trials involving human subjects and a drug, device or biologic is included in the study.  Deadline for completion is October 1, 2014.  A refresher course will be required every two years.
  • January 28, 2014: Recent changes in our computer system (IRBIS) have led to a delay in processing time.  This is impacting the time it takes to review and approve submissions.  We appreciate your patience while we get through this transition.

Organizational Structure

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 expertise are reviewed by Biomedical Committee B.
  • 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.

For questions or comments