UW Research

December 10, 2020

For the Record – December 10, 2020: WIRB Name Change and New Connexus


In this Issue:

WIRB Name Change and New Connexus

Effective immediately, all HSD and UW IRB documents and webpages have been updated with the new name for WIRB and other IRBs owned by WIRB’s parent company. The new name is the WCG IRB.

WIRB is an independent, commercial IRB based that reviews many industry-sponsored studies, including UW industry studies. It was founded as Western IRB (WIRB) many years ago in Olympia, WA.

In the past several years, the parent company that owns WIRB has purchased several other independent commercial IRBs such as Copernicus Group IRB, Aspire IRB, New England IRB, and Midlands IRB, as well as other companies that provide services or products that support clinical research.

Now these IRBs have been consolidated as WCG IRB. The new website is https://www.wcgirb.com/.

Which UW studies are affected by this? Most UW industry-sponsored-and-initiated research is reviewed by WIRB (now WCG IRB) instead of the UW IRB and some large NIH-funded studies are reviewed by WIRB in order to meet single IRB requirements.

Update on information about the new Connexus. WCG IRB uses an online platform called MyConnexus which has recently been significantly upgraded and launched as WCG IRB Connexus. WCG IRB has continued to provide HSD with new and revised information about the rollout of the upgraded Connexus as it is being implemented. UW researchers who use MyConnexus should be aware of the following: Although the new Connexus is live and researchers can currently create accounts in the system and submit materials, newly created accounts will not be automatically linked to other studies you have access to in the “old” or “legacy” MyConnexus. Due to the rollout schedule, the UW research community will be formally on-boarded to the new Connexus sometime early next year. WCG IRB will send UW researchers and coordinators with MyConnexus accounts an email invitation to create an account in the new WCG IRB Connexus. This invitation will provide specific instructions on how to log into the new Connexus platform so that your accounts in the legacy MyConnexus and new Connexus are transitioned to allow you to access all of your existing studies. If you have already created an account in the new Connexus, you may need to contact WCG IRB Client Services if you cannot view all your studies. For any new submission you create in the new Connexus portal, you will need to manually add hsdrely@uw.edu as a contact via Manage Access in Connexus. The legacy MyConnexus automatically added hsdrely@uw.edu as a contact to the portal for any application associated with UW. The new Connexus does not yet have this capability. You will need to manually add this contact in new Connexus or HSD will not have access (visibility to the study) in the new Connexus. This may delay the release of funding for the study or other administrative functions HSD performs.

For questions about any of these changes, contact WCG IRB’s representative to UW, Carmen Thompson (cbthompson@wirb.com).


HSD Staffing During December

December 2020

Many HSD staff will work fewer hours than usual for the rest of December. This is due to a major national IRB conference that has numerous virtual sessions during December 1 – 16, holiday-related leave, and some new extended family/medical leaves.

We have adopted some strategies to minimize the impact on review times. Nonetheless, please be prepared for slightly longer response times, especially during the last 10 days of December. We do not expect any effect on our responsiveness to emailed questions sent to hsdinfo@uw.edu, hsdrely@uw.edu, or hsdreprt@uw.edu.


Interested in how the UW IRB Operates?

December 9, 2020

Have you ever wondered what happens during an IRB meeting? Or about the requirements and responsibilities for IRB members?

The entire suite of HSD documents that describes the policies, requirements, and procedures that govern IRB review have been evaluated and revised during the past 8 months. The last group was posted today, thus completing this major project.

There have been no changes to policies, procedures, or the criteria for approval. Most of these are established by federal regulations. However, the documents have been:

  • Consolidated to fewer, shorter documents
  • Evaluated for broken links and out-of-date information
  • Revised to remove inconsistent information (e.g., about Zipline versus paper-based processes; the old Common Rule regulations versus the Revised Common Rule; etc.)
  • Augmented with some additional details
  • Inserted into a standardized document template

Use the HSD Policies, Procedures, and Guidance “button” near the bottom of the HSD homepage to search for topics. Some examples of the revised documents are:

  • SOP Convened IRB Meetings
  • SOP IRB Member Standards and Responsibilities