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Human Subjects Division (HSD)

Quick Tips from HSD

What Time is Modification Time?

Sep 1, 2013 at 12:00am

The Health Sciences shuttle bus lurched with the heavy traffic, causing some of the researcher’s coffee to slosh unexpectedly out of the “no spill” lid onto her lap.

"Darn this trip back and forth to Harborview," she muttered, wiping ineffectively at the small puddle with the plastic wrapping from her half-eaten sandwich.

The shuttle bus lurched again, but this time she was ready. With the sheaf of paper she had tucked under her arm, she covered the lid.


"Ack! That's my Modification Form!" She cried, as the realization of what she'd done hit her.

"Should have put that in an evelope instead of delivering it in person." Her always-helpful colleage was travelling to the main campus to attend a seminar; he sat right next to her.

"Thanks," she replied dryly. "I really want to get this into HSD! I think one of the IRBs is going to review my initial application next week, and I just realized that the number of subjects I requested wasn't enough..." The researcher trailed off as the sudden sound of a rattling newspaper, and cough, sounded behind her. "Sick people should just stay home..." she muttered under her breath.

"Ahem," the newspaper rustled again. "You should be glad you spilled coffee on that Modification Form."

"Excuse me?" The researcher turned fully around, only to see a giant headline announcing the problems with the Highway 99 tunnel dig.

"Yes, unless the IRB has already approved your application, you really shouldn't be sending in a Modification. There's nothing to Modify, because nothing has been approved. Instead, you should send in that Modification right after you receive your approval." The voice squeaked out from behind the paper.

"Oh, really?" She asked. "I wish I'd known that before coming over here from Harborview." The bus pulled up to the curb at one of the shuttle stops.

"And here's a napkin." A hand holding a compost-able napkin from UW Food Services snaked out from behind the newspaper.

"Thank you." The researcher smiled, but before she could turn fully around, the stranger was out the open shuttle door and gone.

"Oh well," said her colleague. "You'll always have the Health Sciences Express."