At time of proposal, the following items are normally identified and remain in pending approval status until a sponsor requests JIT information or an award arrives in SPA.
- (IRB) Human Subjects
- (IACUC) Vertebrate Animals
- (IBC) Biohazardous Materials, Infectious Agents, Dual Use, R-DNA
- (EHS) Radiation, Lasers, Chemical, Biological Safety, Visiting Researchers and Minors in the Lab
At time of award, IRB, IACUC or any Conflict of Interest approvals must be in place prior to the release funds into the accounting system. On occasion and with Research Protections Office approval funds may be released without an approved IRB or IACUC. If this is the case, please contact your RPO Research Analyst for an exemption letter that can be delivered to SPA.
When Do You Need Approvals Completed?
Principal Investigators are advised to make contact with the appropriate office early in the process to understand the review requirements and time frames.
Sponsored Project award accounts cannot be set up until all required IRB, IACUC, or IBC protocol approvals are in place. The review and approval of a project / protocol typically begins after the proposal has been submitted to the sponsor, but each situation and circumstance can differ.
We strongly encourage you to make contacts early and make sure you understand the process, requirements and timing to avoid any delay in establishing your award account.
Human Subjects in Research
All research using human subjects must be reviewed and approved by the UVM Institutional Review Boards (IRBs). UVM's IRBs serve both UVM and the UVM Health Network.
The two IRB committees designated to perform the reviews are the Committee on Human Subjects for Behavioral Sciences (CHRBS) and the Committee on Human Subject Research for Medical Science (CHRMS).
Animals in Research
There are two separate organizational components at UVM designated to ensure appropriate implementation of all aspects of the animal care and use program.
Researchers intending to use vertebrate animals in their research must gain approval from both before beginning research:
- IACUC - The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee is UVM's central review body for matters relating to the care, use and treatment of animals in these areas and is located in the Research Protections Office.
- OACM - The Office of Animal Care Management, with the University Veterinarian as its director, is responsible for the oversight of all animal care and use and for ensuring compliance with federal, state and local regulations.
Investigators working with micro-organisms that have the potential to cause disease as well as with biologically derived toxins must submit a protocol to the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), which is responsible for ensuring that the use of biohazardous materials in research is done safely.
UVM's IBC operates in compliance with the NIH Guidelinesfor Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules .
Environmental Health and Safety
For assistance with training or scheduling a risk assessment, in any of these safety areas please contact Environmental Health and Safety.
Investigators are responsible to assess, reduce, communicate and mitigate hazards associated with any hazardous chemical with which they work. Investigators are also responsible for ensuring that lab personnel are trained to recognize the hazards of their chemicals and effects of over-exposure, as well as proper use of hazard controls, emergency procedures and waste disposal.
Biological safety or biosafety is the application of knowledge, techniques and equipment to prevent personal, laboratory and environmental exposure to potentially infectious agents or biohazards. Investigators running research laboratories working with biological materials must maintain compliance with UVM’s Biological Safety Programs.
The Radiation Safety Office oversees the use of ionizing radiation sources and class 3B and 4 lasers and lasers systems on campus and ensures compliance with state and federal regulations, to protect UVM employees, students, the public, and the environment.
Faculty who need to procure radiation sources must be formally approved by the Radiation Safety Committee (RSC). No radiation sources can be used until approval is granted.
UVM often hosts visiting researchers and students within our labs, especially during the summertime months. There are a few actions required of lab supervisors to accommodate this:
- MOU: All personnel working within UVM’s labs must be affiliated with UVM, either as employees, students enrolled in a class and/or degree program, or through a “Memorandum of Understanding.” See UVM's Lab Safety site for the “Visiting Worker MOU” (bottom of page under Forms/Guidelines).
- Minors: If the researcher is less than 18 years of age, then UVM’s policy for “Minors in Laboratories” applies. A link to this policy, as well as the “Minors in Labs Permission Form” are also on UVM's Lab Safety site.
- Training: UVM’s compliance with OSHA and EPA regulations is detailed within our Chemical Hygiene Plan, Environmental Management Plan and related trainings, even visiting lab workers must complete the trainings detailed on UVM's Laboratory Safety Training site.