Difference between revisions of "IRB Approval"

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== Timeline ==
 
== Timeline ==
In general, '''IRBs''' can take between 1 day to 4 months to approve a study.  When submitting a project for review, the [[Impact Evaluation|research team]] should allow enough time to ensure that the study is not interrupted. Further, the '''research team''' may need to obtain new approvals from the '''IRB''' at various stages of a study, so it is important to allocate sufficient time for this in the [[Timeline of Survey Pilot|study timeline]].  
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'''Institutional review boards (IRBs)''' can take between 1 day to 4 months to approve a study.  When submitting a project for review, the [[Impact Evaluation Team|research team]] should allow enough time to ensure that the study is not interrupted. Further, the '''research team''' may need to obtain new approvals from the '''IRB''' at various stages of a study, so it is important to allocate sufficient time for this in the [[Timeline of Survey Pilot|study timeline]].  
  
* '''Initial protocol review''': The first review occurs at the beginning of the study, before any research activity begins. Ideally, the research team should seek '''IRB approval''' after conducting the [[Survey Pilot#Stages of a Survey Pilot|pre-pilot] and finalizing [[Survey Protocols|survey protocols]]. Since the '''pre-pilot''' is conducted before obtaining '''IRB approval''', it should not collect or store [[Personally Identifiable Information(PII)|personally identifying information]]. The pre-pilot should only be used to assess the feasibility of the survey protocols, and to make sure all members of the research team have clearly understood the purpose of the study.
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* '''Initial protocol review''': The first review occurs at the beginning of the study, before any research activity begins. Ideally, the research team should seek '''IRB approval''' after conducting the [[Survey Pilot#Stages of a Survey Pilot|pre-pilot] and finalizing [[Survey Protocols|survey protocols]]. Since the '''pre-pilot''' is conducted before obtaining '''IRB approval''', it should not collect or store [[Personally Identifiable Information (PII)|personally identifying information]]. The pre-pilot should only be used to assess the feasibility of the survey protocols, and to make sure all members of the research team have clearly understood the purpose of the study.
  
 
* '''Amendment review''': This review occurs before making any changes in the study. The research team must submit an amendment application whenever it alters any study design, informed consent procedure, or investigation team within an IRB-approved research protocol. IRBs will typically review amendments involving minor changes that pose no more than minimal risk to subjects on an expedited basis. Other changes may need to be reviewed by the full Committee at the next available IRB meeting. As a principle, the IRB must prospectively review all proposed changes to approved research, except when the research team must make necessary changes to eliminate apparent immediate hazards to subjects.
 
* '''Amendment review''': This review occurs before making any changes in the study. The research team must submit an amendment application whenever it alters any study design, informed consent procedure, or investigation team within an IRB-approved research protocol. IRBs will typically review amendments involving minor changes that pose no more than minimal risk to subjects on an expedited basis. Other changes may need to be reviewed by the full Committee at the next available IRB meeting. As a principle, the IRB must prospectively review all proposed changes to approved research, except when the research team must make necessary changes to eliminate apparent immediate hazards to subjects.

Revision as of 19:57, 18 May 2020

An institutional review board (IRB) is an organization that reviews and approves (or disapproves) any research study involving human subjects. A human subject is any individual about whom the research team collects data through an intervention, or interaction with the individual. Institutional review boards (or IRBs) can recommend changes in all aspects of an impact evaluation, including protocols, content, and data security. The research team must seek IRB approval to ensure that they are protecting the rights and welfare of human subjects. The Federal Policy for Protection of Human Subjects (or 'Common Rule') outlines the basic ethical principles for IRB review.

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Overview

Institutional review boards (IRBs) review and monitor research studies to protect the rights of human subjects. The IRB can also request the research team for information on additional measures to protect the interests of vulnerable populations, such as pregnant women, prisoners, children, or economically or educationally disadvantaged people. In general, the research team must seek an IRB approval for all studies that interact with human subjects, and collect (or use) personally identifiable information about individuals.

The research team must prepare the applications for IRB approval in advance, since it can be a time-consuming process. Further, the research team must set aside enough time for obtaining all necessary approvals in the timeline for the entire study. The entire process of obtaining approvals also involves applying for the following:

  • Local approvals. The research team will often need to obtain permissions from relevant government agencies and ministries in the area of the study.
  • Budgetary approval. The research team must also seek approval for the study budget from the organization funding the study.

Timeline

Institutional review boards (IRBs) can take between 1 day to 4 months to approve a study. When submitting a project for review, the research team should allow enough time to ensure that the study is not interrupted. Further, the research team may need to obtain new approvals from the IRB at various stages of a study, so it is important to allocate sufficient time for this in the study timeline.

  • Initial protocol review: The first review occurs at the beginning of the study, before any research activity begins. Ideally, the research team should seek IRB approval after conducting the [[Survey Pilot#Stages of a Survey Pilot|pre-pilot] and finalizing survey protocols. Since the pre-pilot is conducted before obtaining IRB approval, it should not collect or store personally identifying information. The pre-pilot should only be used to assess the feasibility of the survey protocols, and to make sure all members of the research team have clearly understood the purpose of the study.
  • Amendment review: This review occurs before making any changes in the study. The research team must submit an amendment application whenever it alters any study design, informed consent procedure, or investigation team within an IRB-approved research protocol. IRBs will typically review amendments involving minor changes that pose no more than minimal risk to subjects on an expedited basis. Other changes may need to be reviewed by the full Committee at the next available IRB meeting. As a principle, the IRB must prospectively review all proposed changes to approved research, except when the research team must make necessary changes to eliminate apparent immediate hazards to subjects.
  • Continuing review: as risks to participants may evolve through time, the research team must submit a continuing review every year, even if no study protocol has changed. In the submitted material, the research team reports on the progress of the approved research in the format prescribed by the IRB.

Content

When the research team submits an application for approval of a study that involves human subjects, they must include the following information:

  • section labeled "Protection of Human Subjects" which describes the proposed involvement of human subjects, including an assessment of risk, the steps taken to protect the subjects from risk, potential benefits from the study to the subjects and others and the importance of the knowledge to be gained from these studes.
  • A plan must be provided describing the inclusion of women, children and minorities in the research project or adequate justification for why a particular category might be excluded (e.g., a study might propose to exclude children, given adequate justification).
  • A Table indicating anticipated enrollment figures for the above categories (women, children and minorities) must be included. See [sample table from NIMH.

IRB applications can be quite demanding, especially those from institutions based in the countries where research is taking place. IRBs require submission of study design, study instruments, interview guides, data collection protocols, recruitment materials, and informed consent documents, among others. Note that retrieving this information and submitting it in the required format can consume substantial time and energy.

Informed Consent

Procedure

As the World Bank does not have an IRB, World Bank projects typically seek IRB approval from partner academic or research organizations (i.e. principal investigators’ universities, Innovations for Poverty Action, etc.). It is not uncommon to need more than one IRB approval, especially when researchers work in different institutions. Additional IRB approvals may be required based on the local regulations.

Exemptions

Very few circumstances exempt a research team from needing IRB approval for a study that interacts with human subjects. In practice, for IRB approval only apply to continuing review, as an initial review must be submitted to obtain exemption.

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This article is part of the topic Research Ethics

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