MSU HRPP Manual Section 5-1

5-1, IRB Chairs

The chair(s) and vice-chair(s) of the Michigan State University (MSU) Institutional Review Boards (IRB) shall be appointed by the Institutional Official (IO) and supported by MSU.  The chair shall report through the director of the Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) and the assistant vice president (AVP) for the Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA) to the IO, but may go directly to the IO, if necessary. The IRB chair, although appointed by and evaluated by the IO, is independent in interpreting and applying the regulations or policies.

MSU IRB chairs shall:

  1. Uphold federal, state, and local regulations, university policy and procedures, and ethical standards for the protection of human research subjects.
  2. Provide leadership to the MSU IRB to which the chair is appointed.
  3. Communicate with HRPP personnel.
  4. Conduct noncompliance investigations with others, as necessary.
  5. Review unanticipated problems involving risk to subjects or others and determine immediate actions.
  6. Evaluate and mediate subject complaints and when needed, arrange for review by appropriate MSU IRB.
  7. Act on the IRB’s behalf, when appropriate, to suspend research pending IRB review of unanticipated problems involving risk to subjects or others and noncompliance.
  8. Assist the IO, HRPP director, and IRB staff to ensure prompt reporting to the IRB, appropriate institutional officials (i.e., HRPP director, IO), the department or agency head, university administrators, the U.S. Office for Human Research Protection, and others, as required, of any unanticipated problems involving risks to subjects or others or any serious or continuing noncompliance with HRPP policies or the requirements or determinations of the IRB, and any suspension or termination of IRB approval.
  9. Consult with MSU’s Office of the General Counsel as needed (e.g., identification and interpretation of federal, state or local laws, during noncompliance investigations).
  10. Mediate discussions between investigators and IRB members when needed.
  11. Assign IRB member to review applications. Determine if a consultant is necessary to provide additional expertise.
  12. Ensure conditions have been met for conditional approvals when appropriate.
  13. Request emergency meetings or cancel meetings when necessary.
  14. Chair appropriate MSU IRB meetings.
  15. Vote at the appropriate MSU IRB meetings.
  16. Maintain communications and relations with engaged institutions, IRBs, IRB members, the IO, HRPP director, university administrators, and others, as needed.
  17. Prepare vice-chair(s) to assist the chair and perform the chair’s duties when the chair is not available.
  18. Perform review of studies as assigned.
  19. Consult with chair of the Conflict Review Committee for advice on conflict of interest. Identify and manage conflict of interest as needed.
  20. Provide information for evaluation of the IRB (e.g., membership, composition, recommendations) to the HRPP director, AVP ORA, and the IO, as appropriate.
  21. Participate in audits as appropriate.
  22. Promote continuing education for IRB members and IRB staff.
  23. Evaluate IRB members and provide recommendations for composition and appointment to the HRPP director, AVP ORA, and IO, as appropriate.
  24. Recommend appointment of vice-chairs to the HRPP director, AVP ORA, and IO, as appropriate.
  25. Provide guidance to IRB staff on IRB study-related questions, concerns, or issues.

MSU IRB vice-chair(s) shall:

  1.  Assist the IRB chair as necessary.
  2. Perform the chair’s duties when the chair is not available.

This policy and procedure supersedes those previously drafted.

Approved By: Vice President of Research and Graduate Studies, 3-3-2005. Revision 1 approved by VP Research & Graduate Studies on 3-9-2008. Revision 2 approved by VP Research & Graduate Studies on 7-21-2011.

Related HRPP Manual Sections


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