Skip to Content

Additional Content In This Section

Institutional Review Board (IRB)

Welcome to Institutional Review Board Main Page. The purpose of this web page is to provide resources and reference materials to Medical staff, nurse staff and students completing human subject research.

All Altru research involving human participants and conducted by medical personnel or students must be reviewed following Altru Health System IRB procedures, and must be approved prior to the initiation of research activity and contact with potential human participants. There are no exceptions to this policy.

If you have any questions regarding the IRB forms, you may contact Marie-Laure Reese, IRB Coordinator at 701.780.6161 or email mreese@altru.org.

What is an IRB?

All types of research involving the use of human subjects, which would include the studies mentioned previously, are regulated by a federally mandated mechanism called an Institutional Review Board (IRB). Federal law and regulations from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), as well as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), require that all research studies involving human subjects must have IRB approval before being conducted.

The responsibilities of the IRB fall into two main categories: initial review and continuing review of research involving human participants.

1- The IRBs review and approve the research plan before the research can be carried out. This review encompasses the research protocol, the informed consent document, any advertisements, and other relevant information. The IRBs seek to ensure that (a) any risks participants may incur are warranted in relation to the anticipated benefits; (b) informed consent documents and the consent process clearly conveys the risks and the research; (c) the rights and welfare of the subjects are maintained; (d) advertisements are not misleading; and (e) the selection of participants is equitable and justified.

2- The continuing review process occurs at least annually. In addition to the continuing review, protocol changes and reports of adverse events are reviewed to ensure that the risk-benefit ratio of the research has not changed and remains acceptable.

How are IRB's Organized?

Federal regulations require that IRBs have at least five members with varying backgrounds. At least one member must have primarily scientific interests, one must have primarily nonscientific interests, and one must be otherwise unaffiliated with the institution in which the IRB resides.

The 3 Types of Review

1- EXEMPT

Some research activities are exempt from annual review by the federal policy for the protection of human subjects when the involvement of human subjects falls within one or more certain categories such as research conducted in established or commonly accepted educational settings; involving normal educational practices; using educational tests, surveys, interviews, or observation of public behavior; research involving the collection or study of existing data, documents, records, or specimens; research designed to study public benefit or service programs, taste and food quality evaluation and consumer acceptance studies.

Requirements

Submit the original of the Human Subjects Review Form along with the consent form, questionnaire, and supporting documentation to IRB, Office 101, Altru Psychiatry Center, 860 S. Columbia Rd, Grand Forks, ND 58201.

2- EXPEDITED

Some research studies can receive IRB approval through expedited review. This means that certain categories of research do not require review before the entire Board. One or more designated members (often the chair) reviews the study proposal and approves or disapproves. The IRB may use an expedited review procedure only if the research involves no more than minimal risk, it fits one of the categories identified by federal regulations as appropriate for expedited review, or it involves a minor change in a previously approved study.

Requirements

Submit the original of the Human Subjects Review Form along with the consent form, questionnaire, and supporting documentation to IRB, Office 101, Altru Psychiatry Center, 860 S. Columbia Rd, Grand Forks, ND 58201.

3- FULL BOARD REVIEW:

Projects where there is a physical risk or potential for injury or harm to the subject’s dignity or well being require a FULL BOARD review before the entire Institutional Review Board.

The Altru IRB Board meets at least once a month, in the 3rd Friday of the month. The IRB deadline is always two weeks prior the meeting, in the 1st Friday of the month.

Requirements

Submit the original and (15) copies of the Human Subjects Review Form along with copies of the consent form, questionnaire, and supporting documentation to the IRB for distribution to the members. Send everything to: IRB, Office 101, Altru Psychiatry Center, 860 S. Columbia Rd, Grand Forks, ND 58201 by the deadline (1st Friday of the month).

Students must send their study to both Altru and UND IRB. The student, later on, will have to submit changes, continuing review or termination/completion, to both IRB's.

Forms

Trigger 1

Panel 1

This is the content area for Panel 1

Trigger 2

Panel 2

This is the content area for Panel 2

Trigger 3

Panel 3

This is the content area for Panel 3

Altru's Research Center