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Human Subjects Division (HSD)

Quick Tips from HSD

Washington State IRB

Jan 3, 2013 at 12:00am

The UW IRB is the only IRB for me!  Go Huskies!

Hmm, not so fast...

Quick Tips knows that the University of Washington is like a city, with just about every service imaginable, including Quick Tips' home, the UW's Institutional Review Board (IRB). (If there was a comfy cot, Quick Tips might never leave the UW Tower.) But there are some research activities that need to be reviewed by a different IRB instead of the UW IRB.

The Washington State IRB (WSIRB) reviews research activities that are:

  • Sponsored by the Washington State Department of Social Health Services (DSHS), Department of Health (DOH), or Department of Labor & Industry (L&I);
  • Conducted by an employee of agent of DSHS, DOH, or L&I;
  • Using any DSHS or DOH property or facility;
  • Using DSHS, DOH or L&I non-public information to identify or contact human research subjects or prospective subjects; or
  • Using non-public identifiable records or specimens from DSHS, DOH, or L&I.
The University of Washington has a cooperative agreement with the WSIRB, where we rely on their IRB review of research that involves any of their records, properties, facilities, employees or agents.  If the funding is coming through the UW, but the research involves one of the above agencies, the review should be performed by the WSIRB instead of the UW IRB.

Examples of DSHS records include:
  • Medicaid
  • Child welfare, foster care (CAMIS)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANIF)
Examples of DOH records include:
  • Trauma registry (WSTR)
  • Cancer registry (WSCR)
  • Birth records
If you want to interview mothers of special needs children under the age of five, link birth records to the state cancer registry to evaluate childbearing after a cancer diagnosis, or use DUI assessments from a DSHS contractor to study severity of alcohol abuse, all these things would be under the jurisdiction of the WSIRB.

When you submit an IRB application to WSIRB, don't forget to use their forms (not the UW forms) and don't forget to include WSIRB's "Appendix E" form which requires a signature from HSD.  This authorizes WSIRB to do the review instead of the UW IRB.  Questions? Email hsdinfo@uw.edu.

So get off campus and visit WSIRB on the web at: http://www1.dshs.wa.gov/rda/hrrs/default.shtm