Research Compliance

Research Compliancephoto

Institutional Review Board

Where do I get the forms? Where do I send my completed forms?

Effective July 1, 2015, all submissions for human subjects research must be made on the new online IRB management system ("IRBIS") found at

Studies requiring annual review will be allowed to renew on the usual paper renewal form one more time, if the study is anticipated to end by May 2016. All other continuing studies must be resubmitted on IRBIS in lieu of being renewed.

Some of the fillable Word forms will continue to be available until we have fully transitioned to IRBIS. PIs continuing to use paper forms may submit them to Amy Evans, IRB coordinator, either by email to or by hard copy to Hoggard Hall, Room 180.

The fillable Word protocol form will be removed from the Forms/Templates website effective July 1, 2015.

Please contact Amy Evans, IRB coordinator, at 962-3194 or with any questions.

What are the different levels of IRB Review?

There are three types of IRB review depending on the level of risk involved in the project: exempt, expedited and full IRB review. Projects that qualify for exempt review are projects having such a low level of risk to subjects that further IRB oversight is not required with the exception of protocol amendment forms. Amendment forms are required on exempt studies since a change to the study may alter its exempt status. Projects qualifying for expedited review are also minimal risk to subjects, but may involve other aspects that require continuing IRB oversight and annual renewal of protocol approval. A project may require full review for a number of reasons such as the subjects belonging to a potentially vulnerable population or a higher degree of risk to subjects. According to UNCW IRB policy, researchers may NOT make their own determination as to the appropriate type of review. Only the IRB Chair or designate, can determine which type of review is applicable.

arrow Am I doing research as defined by the IRB?

The chart accessible from the link below may help you determine if you are conducting "research" as defined by IRB regulations. As you view this chart, please note the following definitions: Research is defined by the federal government as a systematic investigation, including development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge. Systematic Investigation is defined by the UNCW IRB as a cohesive approach involving data collection (quantitative or qualitative) from one or more individuals and analysis to address a question or test a hypothesis. Generalizable knowledge is defined by the UNCW IRB as the results or outcomes gained from systematic investigation that may be published, archived, presented, or viewed in some way as relevant beyond the specific participant population.

Research Decision Chart (PDF)

arrow Am I working with human subjects as defined by the IRB?

The chart accessible with the following link may help you determine if your research involves the use of human subjects. As you review this decision chart, keep in mind the following definition: Human subject is defined as a living individual, about whom an investigator (whether professional or student) conducting research obtains: 1) data through intervention or interaction with the individual, or 2) identifiable private information.

Human Subjects Decision Chart (PDF)

arrow What are the IRB training requirements for researchers?

Any person involved in the design and/or conduct of a human subject research project must complete the approved online human subject protections training program offered by the University of Miami's Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI). The IRB will not review a protocol until training documentation is on file at ORS. This requirement includes any faculty, staff, students, or collaborators from other institutions.

The CITI program automatically emails ORS when training is completed. You are no longer required to submit hard copies of training certificates to ORS if you complete training through CITI and identify the University of North Carolina Wilmington as the participating institution.

Instructions on how to register for the correct CITI training (PDF)

arrow What is UNCW's Federalwide Assurance number?

FWA00001025, Expires 10/28/2018

A Federalwide Assurance is an agreement with the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to conduct human subject research in accordance with certain principles. UNCW's Assurance agrees to comply with the principles outlined in the Belmont Report and the Code of Federal Regulations Title 45, Part 46 Protection of Human Subjects, Subparts A, B, C and D (PDF). UNCW has agreed to follow these regulations for all research involving human subjects, regardless of the funding source. See the DHHS website for more information about assurances.



Animal Care and Use

arrow What types of animals fall under IACUC regulation?

ALL live, vertebrate animals fall under IACUC regulations. This is stated in UNCW's Assurance of Compliance (see below) and in UNCW's IACUC policy.

arrow Is IACUC approval required for vertebrate animals used in teaching, or just research?

UNCW IACUC policy requires IACUC approval for vertebrate animals used in research, research training, experimentation, teaching, biological testing or other purposes.

arrow Why does my protocol expire after three years even though my grant is continuing?

PHS Policy and UNCW IACUC policy (PDF) require a complete review of ongoing activities at least once every three years. Like many other universities, UNCW requires this complete review to be conducted through the submission of a new protocol form. Therefore, all protocol forms expire after three years regardless of the grant cycle, so that a complete review of animal activities may be conducted.

arrow What should I do if I change a procedure, change personnel, or change the species on an approved protocol?

If you make any change to an approved protocol, please contact Leanne Prete, research compliance manager, by email at and provide her with a complete description of the change. According to UNCW IACUC policy, the research compliance manager and IACUC Chair will determine if the change is minor, moderate or significant. Minor or moderate changes such as the addition or deletion of a student assistant, a minor species change (from one rodent species to another, like mice to rats), or a small increase in the number of animals (less than 5%) can be approved very quickly by the IACUC Chair. Major changes to the protocol such as a major change in the approved activities, a major change in species (such as changing from rats to dogs) or a significant increase in the number of animals used (more than 5% of approved number) require a revision to the protocol itself and either designated or full review, depending on the original review received and the nature of the changes requested.

arrow What are the IACUC training requirements for researchers?

The online training course, "Working with the IACUC", provided by the University of Miami's Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) is required for all members of the research team. Other forms of training may be approved on a case-by-case basis by the IACUC chair or regulatory compliance officer.

IACUC committee members are required to complete a course specifically for IACUC members in addition to the basic "Working with the IACUC" course.

Instructions on how to register for the correct CITI course (PDF)

arrow What is UNCW's OLAW Assurance number?

A3871-01, EXPIRES 6/30/18

An Assurance is an agreement with the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare to operate an animal care program in accordance with certain policies and principles. UNCW's Assurance of Compliance with Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals states that UNCW will follow the USDA Animal Welfare Act and Animal Welfare Regulations, the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and the National Research Council's Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals for ALL live, vertebrate animals.