The Boston College Institutional Review Board's (IRB) mission is to protect the rights and welfare of people who take part in research at Boston College. Federal regulations and University Policy require prospective review and approval of all human subject research conducted by faculty, staff, or students. As with Boston College's Jesuit tradition of excellence, service and beneficence, the goal of the IRB is to ensure the safe and ethical treatment of research participants.
Where do I find application forms?
Where do I find sample consent forms?
Who is on the IRB?
How do I get help and information on the status of my application?
Call the Office for Research Protections (ORP). ORP staff will help you navigate your way through the IRB process.
Office for Research Protections (ORP)
Waul House, 3rd Floor
Office Phone: 617-552-4778
Office Fax: 617-552-0498
Director - Dr. Stephen Erickson: firstname.lastname@example.org
Assistant Director - Carolyn O'Connor: email@example.com
IRB/IACUC Analyst - Rashika Evans:
IRB Analyst - Meghan Zugibe:
Graduate Assistant - Mikayla Wynter:
NEWS & INFORMATION
Effective May 20, 2015, the BC IRB has implement a new policy whereby PI's are no longer required to submit amendments to increase participant enrollment if they meet certain criteria. For example, if more participants complete an online survey than expected, a PI only needs to report that in a CR as opposed to submitting an amendment. However, if a PI wishes to include a new population (e.g. males when it has only been females, or minors when it has only been adults), that PI will still need to submit an amendment. This is only one example. Details can be found in section IV part M of the SOPs for Researchers.
BC IRB MOVES TO ONLINE SUBMISSION SYSTEM IN 2015!
The BC IRB protocol submission process will change in 2015. An announcement will be made to signal the exact date that PIs should begin to use the new system, called Cyber IRB.
Once the new system is up and running IRB applications should only be submitted online through CyberIRB from that point forward.
There will be two live webinar's that will offer training on CyberIRB. A previously recorded CyberIRB training video can be viewed here.
INSTRUCTIONS are forthcoming. Investigators are encouraged to bookmark the below link.
MORE INFORMATION TO FOLLOW VIA this website, our newsletter and our twitter account
Please note in March 2015 CITI will be enhancing their website and as a result they will block Internet Explorer version 7. Users will need IE version 8 or later or a current version of Chrome, Firefox or Safari.
July 24, 2013
All IRB protocols should be closed when a project is complete. ORP has created a Project Closure Form for PI's to use when their research has concluded. The form is one page and should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. ORP appreciates your cooperation with completing this form.
July 18 2013
The CITI website for human subjects training will be unavailable for 2-3 days beginning on Monday July 29th while they are undergoing a significant software upgrade.
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Online Ethics Training Courses:
The BC IRB Training Policy requires all research personnel to complete an online ethics training program either through CITI (Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative) or NIH (National Institutes of Health) and attach copies of the training certificates to all IRB applications. Please review the BC IRB Training Policy for more details. Below you will find instructions for completing the CITI and NIH training courses.
Instructions for CITI:
Enter the site. Create a user name and password. Main Menu. Add a course. Basic Courses in the Protection of Human Research Subjects. Social and Behavioral Focus. NOTE: we do not accept the responsible conduct of research course.
Refresher course: Log-in. Add a course. Social and Behavioral Research Investigators. Refresher course.
Instructions for NIH:
Changes to Application Forms:
Enter the site. Create a user name and password. Complete the Protecting Human Research Participants modules and print a copy of your training certificate. NIH does not offer a refresher course at this time.
Readability of Consent Forms. It is the researcher’s responsibility to ensure that consent documents are understandable to the participants. To facilitate this, the protocol application forms have been amended to include a section in which the researcher will indicate how the readability level of the consent form has been verified. In addition, a document can be found on our Sample Forms page that provides researchers with guidance on how to reduce the readability/comprehension level of consent documents.
The ORP staff cannot send protocols for IRB review until they are complete, i.e. that the protocol application form is completely filled out, that all required and associated documents are included, and the signature page has been sent either by email or fax (2-0498) to ORP for inclusion in the protocol application.
Please remember to submit training certificates for all research staff with your application. Please note that the only training certificates that are accepted from the CITI program are the Biomedical or Social/Behavioral CITI modules.
Protocols are approved for one year and must be renewed prior to the expiration date. PIs are sent a reminder notice 60 Days in advance of the IRB expiration date. All protocols expire automatically if a Continuing Review Report is not submitted to the IRB.
IRB Review Timeline
IRB Meeting Dates & Deadlines
Academic Year 2013-2014
September 18, 2013
October 16, 2013
November 20, 2013
December 18, 2013
January 15, 2014
February 19, 2014
March 19, 2014
April 16, 2014
May 21, 2014
June 18, 2014
July 16 , 2014
August 20, 2014
* Only greater than minimal risk research is reviewed at a convened meeting.