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Human Subjects Division (HSD)



Sep 22, 2009 at 8:29am

The Human Subjects Division (HSD) and the UW Institutional Review Board (IRB) have received a flood of new applications and modification requests associated with ARRA funding (also called federal stimulus funding).   This is expected to continue for several weeks.  In addition, we are starting to receive urgent applications associated with the end of the federal fiscal year and the funding that federal sponsors must have awarded by October 1 (the end of the federal fiscal year).

This is occurring at a time when we have some vacant key positions, a new IRB committee that is still coming up to speed, continuing fall-out from our separation from the Seattle VA, and an expectation that the H1N1 flu will soon start to circulate on campus (including our office).

In sum, we are facing a temporary but extraordinary workload situation for the next 4-6 weeks.

In consultation with the Office of Research, we are adopting a short-term triage policy.  Our top priority will be the following:

  • New applications and modifications required in order to receive new federal funding
  • H1N1 flu-related studies (such as vaccine trials)
  • Status reports (the annual renewal of existing IRB approvals)
  • Truly urgent applications from student researchers

Action on all other applications and modifications is likely to be postponed for up to a month.  This will ensure that UW researchers will be able to receive their federal funding awards. 

In addition, we have asked all HSD staff (including management) whose work does not directly involve IRB reviews to set aside everything that is not truly urgent in order to assist the IRBs and IRB support staff.

We appreciate your understanding and patience during this very unusual set of circumstances.  Please feel free to contact me (kemoe@u.washington.edu ) if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you,
Karen Moe
Director, Human Subjects Division
Assistant Vice Provost of Research