In September 2014, University at Buffalo restructured its four
IRB committees into committees that can review all types of
protocols. This structure allows for more frequent meetings and is
aimed at increasing efficiency and standardizing practices across
the HRPP program. These changes are necessary,
particularly with the increase in the number of protocol
submissions we are experiencing.
We are committed to improving your experience with the IRB and
are initiating the following to address the issues voiced:
- To reduce the current backlog of protocols awaiting approval,
we have contracted with an outside firm to assist our IRB. This
engagement begins on Monday, April 20, 2015, with two staff on site
full time for a two week period; those staff will primarily focus
on processing all protocols currently backlogged. In
addition, four additional IRB staff were hired in January
2015. This increase in IRB staff, coupled with the effort of
the engaged outside firm, should help us become current on all
protocols. Staff we have in place now (and planned new hires)
should then be able to achieve acceptable turnaround time for
future IRB reviews.
- The IRB Meeting Coordinators are endeavoring to assign deferred
protocols back to the original committee that provided the initial
review (or at minimum, to the original committee chair) in an
effort to address inter-committee inconsistencies. Deferred
protocols going back to committee, any committee, are viewed as new
submissions and are reviewed in that manner which may uncover
additional items that require attention.
- Currently the IRB is recruiting an administrative point of
contact person in order to direct inquiries appropriately, and we
hope to have that position filled within the next month. The main
number for the IRB is 829-2752; please address all queries to this
- The administrative point of contact (when hired) will strive to
answer questions immediately. In cases where questions
require feedback from another IRB member, every effort will be made
to respond to the inquiry within 24 hours.
- The University at Buffalo has established the University-wide
Research Office in order to assist Investigators with protocol
pre-submission, questions or difficulties. Information on the
CRO can be found here.
- The CRO and IRB are working together to develop a template to
streamline the submission protocols for expedited review, as well
as to better accommodate social and behavioral studies.
We appreciate your patience and support as we continue working
to implement these improvements in the IRB process.