Any in-person research activities with participants or others (whether on or off campus, local or international) must be reviewed and approved through a Research Resumption Plan (RRP). Please note that at this time, anything that can be done remotely should still be done remotely. For more information, please see the University’s Guidance for Resuming Research Involving Human Subjects. Questions about RRPs should be directed to your Division. RRPs will be facilitated by Departments/Divisions, just as non-human subjects research resumption activities have been—see https://goforward.uchicago.edu/research-planning/ for information.
While the IRB/IRB Office is not specifically determining whether projects can resume, we will ask that research teams who propose in-person activities to confirm in their new/revised submissions that they either have, or are in the process of obtaining, approval for their research resumption. Investigators submitting new applications should clearly state whether they have an approved RRP, are in process, or will seek one at a later date. Please remember that no in-person research activities can occur until the university has issued guidance that such activities are appropriate to resume, resumption would not violate any local requirements, and the research team has an approved RRP.
For projects approved prior to COVID restrictions: research that requires behavioral data collection using procedures different than in the approved protocol may likely need to be amended and reviewed by the IRB (e.g., switching from in-person to online; new use of recording devices; no longer being able to use a specified secure location for interviews because they now need to occur in a different location, etc.). Note, however, that the simple use of COVID screening and basic mitigation techniques (distance, PPE, etc.) do not need to be reviewed by the IRBs as a change in protocol unless the changes materially affect the approved conduct of the study. Also, COVID should not be added as a risk of the research or added to consent materials. Any questions about required amendments should be directed to the SBS IRB office: firstname.lastname@example.org.