Chapter 6 - IRB Committees

Sufficient Number

The IRB is comprised of a sufficient number of standing IRB committees to permit the adequate, appropriate and timely review of human subject research activities that fall under its authority.

There will be a minimum of one IRB committee meeting each week of each month with the exception of those weeks that the University is closed due to a holiday or in other circumstances as determined by the HRP Leadership Team. IRB members and investigators are provided, in advance, with a schedule of the dates of IRB committee meetings for the calendar year.

Each IRB committee has delegated legal authority to function as a separate IRB under common administration and direction of the IRB Chair and Vice Chairs, and legal counsel to the IRB.

Should exigent circumstances arise, the IRB Chair may request the formation of a special IRB committee. The special IRB committee must be comprised of a minimum of 5 members or alternate members of the standing IRB committees and must meet all of the requirements for IRB committee membership as addressed under Chapter 7.

The IRB Executive Committee (Committee F)

The IRB Executive Committee (Committee F) is a fully constituted IRB comprised of the following voting members: the IRB Chair, the IRB Vice Chairs, HRP Director, Regulatory Affairs Specialist, and at least one nonscientific member and one non-affiliated member.  Consultants to the Committee include: Legal Counsel of the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC, representatives from Education and Compliance Support for Human Subject Research and the Deptuty Director of the Office of Research Protections.  

The IRB Executive Committee is responsible for decisions, directives and sanctions related to known or suspected problems in the conduct of human subject research.  This body is also responsible for the review and approval of appropriate policies, procedures and guidelines directed at human subject protections and the functions and activities of the IRB.

Subcommittees and Task Forces

HRP Leadership or an IRB Committee may form subcommittees/task forces on an ad hoc basis to address various specific issues related to the use of human subjects in research and human subject protections.

Social and Behavioral Advisory Committee

The Social and Behavioral Advisory Committee was formed to serve as a liaison between the HRP and investigators in the Provost-area schools, as well as others engaged in social and behavioral research. The Committee is comprised of at least five members selected jointly by the Vice Provost for Research  the Vice Chancellor for Research Protections. Members should be faculty or staff actively engaged in social and behavioral research and in good standing with the IRB and ORP. This Committee will meet at the discretion of the Committee chair.