Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
  1. What do I put in the research description?  Do you want an abstract?
    • The IBC protocol is essentially a risk assessment of proposed research with biological materials.  The research description should be a brief summary of experiments proposed with emphasis on applicable pathogenicity, toxicity of any gene product(s) along with handling and decontamination of materials at the conclusion of experiments.  IBC Review focuses on the biosafety aspects of a protocol, not scientific merit.  
  2. Is an IBC protocol a blanket approval for any experiment which fall under a certain section of the guidelines?
    • No.  The researcher is ONLY approved for experiments described in the protocol.  Additional or changes in experiments must be submitted subsequently using protocol amendments.  Although a protocol can be written with a fair amount of scope, it is never all-inclusive.
  3. I've made the revisions requested.  Why didn't the revised protocol get submitted for review?
    • After revisions are made, you must electronically resubmit the protocol (i.e., hit the SUBMIT button).  It is advisable to check "my projects" often when logging into NUgrant.  You may notify EHS if experiencing any technical difficulties.
  4. I've submitted the protocol for pre-review.  May I begin the experiments?
    • Typically, protocols require full committee approval before commencing any work.  However, you may contact the Biosafety Officer to inquire about any permissible experiments prior to full committee approval.
  5. What happens if I conduct unapproved work with recombinant or sythetic nucleic acids?
    • Conducting unapproved experiments can result in a non-compliance report sent directly to the NIH for review.  This can jeopardize federal funding opportunities not only for the PI, but for the university as a whole.
  6. I want to use the CRISPR/ Cas9 gene editing system.  Do I need to submit an IBC protocol?
    • Depending on the type of system used, a protocol may be required.  Often, when using the CRISPR system, work may not begin until full committee approval is obtained.  Please contact the Biosafety Officer to assist with a determination.
  7. My work is exempt from the NIH Guidelines.  Is an IBC protocol still required?
    • Yes.  Even though the work may be exempt from the NIH Guidelines, IBC registration is still required.
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