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About OPRS and IRB

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About OPRS and IRB

Introduction

All research involving human subjects that is conducted at or sponsored by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, whether funded or unfunded, and whether conducted by Illinois faculty or others, must comply with applicable policies for the protection of human subjects. Under a formal assurance made by the University of Illinois and approved by the federal Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP), and per federal regulations, the Institutional Review Board (IRB) is given broad authority and wide-ranging responsibilities for ensuring the ethical and legal conduct of human subject research at Illinois. The IRB follows widely accepted ethical principles, legally binding federal regulations, campus policies, procedures, and practices, and other guidelines in carrying out this important responsibility.

The Urbana-Champaign Office for the Protection of Research Subjects (OPRS), while performing administrative functions of the IRB, also serves as the official oversight office for human subject research. The OPRS is the central point of contact for investigators, research subjects, and regulatory agencies. The office is responsible for organizing and documenting the IRB review process, monitoring research regulations, producing educational programs and materials for faculty and staff, and providing assurance that the Urbana campus is in compliance with federal, state, and campus policies. OPRS is part of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. The Vice Chancellor for Research is the federally authorized institutional individual charged with overseeing human subject research and IRB functions at Illinois.

Institutional Authority

The Chancellor of the Urbana-Champaign campus has designated the Vice Chancellor for Research as the Institutional Official (IO) for carrying out the University’s human research protections program.

The IO is responsible for ensuring that the Office for the Protection of Research Subjects (OPRS) has the resources and support necessary to comply with all institutional policies and with federal regulations and guidelines that govern human subjects research.  The IO is legally authorized to represent the campus.  He/she is the signatory of the FWA and assumes the obligations of the FWA.  The IO also has the authority to review and sign the Department of Defense Addendum for DoD sponsored research. The IO is the point of contact for correspondence addressing human research with the DHHS Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  In the performance of these duties, the Institutional Official has the authority to delegate such activities as may be necessary in order to fulfill these duties.

The OPRS has jurisdiction over all human subject research (as defined above) conducted under the auspices of the institution.  Research under the auspices of the institution includes research conducted at this institution, conducted by or under the direction of any employee or agent of this institution (including students) in connection with his or her institutional responsibilities, conducted by or under the direction of any employee or agent of this institution using any property or facility of this institution, or involving the use of this institution's non-public information to identify or contact human subjects.

Assurance of Compliance

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign holds a Federalwide Assurance (FWA), FWA 00008584. The Federalwide Assurance (FWA) is an assurance of compliance with the federal regulations for the protection of human subjects in research that is federally funded. The FWA is also approved by OHRP for Federalwide use, which means that other departments and agencies that have adopted the Common Rule may rely upon the FWA for the research that they conduct or support.

In its FWA, the campus has opted to apply only the Common Rule to all of its human subjects research regardless of the source of support.  The subparts of 45 CFR 46 only apply to research funded by DHHS. See Section 10 for a more detailed discussion of the application of the subparts.

Office for the Protection of Research Subjects (OPRS)

The Illinois OPRS reports to the Associate Vice Chancellor (Compliance) for Research who reports to the Vice Chancellor of Research (who also serves as the Institutional Official and the Signatory Official on the Federalwide Assurance) and is supervised by the Director of the OPRS (Director). The Director has expert knowledge in regulatory issues regarding human subjects, and is the primary contact at the campus level for the Office for Human Research Protections, Department of Health and Human Services.

The Director of OPRS is a member of the staff of the Vice Chancellor for Research and is responsible for the overall operation of the OPRS. The Director meets regularly with the Associated Vice Chancellor (Compliance) for Research and communicates regularly with the Office of Sponsored Programs and other University business administrators as needed. Persons in these offices are not involved in the day-to-day operations of the IRB review or approval process and may not serve on the IRB in any capacity.

The Director responds regularly to faculty, student, and staff questions about human subjects research as well as organizes and documents the review process. The Director works closely with the Chairs of the IRB in the development of policy and procedures and she/he is a voting member of the IRB. The OPRS is staffed by one Human Subjects Coordinator, three Human Subjects Research Specialists, one Assistant Human Subject Research Specialist, one Office Support Specialist and multiple student workers as Office Support Staff.

The Human Subjects Coordinators, Human Subjects Research Specialists and the Office Support Staff are members of the staff of the Vice Chancellor for Research and provide administrative support, services and resources to the IRB and the Illinois research community.  This includes organizing and reviewing submissions, consulting with the Director to identify issues in need of attention, and working with investigators to improve and clarify protocols (IRB applications) and related documentation. The Office Support Specialist and Office Support Associate prepare IRB meeting packets, maintain IRB databases and correspondence, and assist the Director and academic staff in the OPRS.

Interpretation and Application of Illinois Law

The University and the campus OPRS rely on the counsel of the General Counsel of the University for the interpretation and application of Illinois law and the laws of any other jurisdiction where research is conducted as they apply to human subjects research.

OPRS Staff

The Office for the Protection of Research Subjects (OPRS) is headed by a Director and staffed by human subject research administrators and support staff. Contact information is as follows:

OPRS
Second Floor, MC-095
805 West Pennsylvania Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: [217] 333.2670 
Email: irb@illinois.edu

Director

The OPRS Director has overall responsibility for IRB administration at the Urbana campus. The director, who is a voting member of the IRB, works closely with the Vice Chancellor for Research and the chairs of the IRBs in the development of IRB policies and has primary responsibility for IRB procedures at Illinois as well as educational programs on human subjects' research.

Anita Balgopal, PhD

Anita Balgopal, PhD
[217] 300.2203
anitab@illinois.edu

Anita Balgopal joined the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2012 to serve as the Director of OPRS. She has over 17 years of experience in the area of research administration and regulatory compliance. Prior to coming to the Urbana campus, Anita was at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. She holds degrees in health administration, social work, and higher education administration. Anita’s personal research interest are in the areas of undergraduate experiential learning and facilitating ethical research at institutions of higher education.

Human Subjects Research Manager

The Human Subjects Research Manager is responsible for the review, management, coordination, and promotion of appropriate use and protection of human subjects in research and provides leadership in ensuring regulatory compliance and quality control.

Dustin Yocum, MA

Dustin Yocum, MA
[217] 300.4403
dyocum@illinois.edu 

Dustin Yocum joined the OPRS office in January of 2013 after spending a year working in the Human Subjects Protection office at Carle.  He has degrees in Sociology and Gerontology.

 

 

Human Subjects Research Specialists

The Human Subjects Research Specialists are responsible for screening new, amendment, and renewal IRB applications for accuracy, clarity, and completeness. The research specialists interpret federal and university policies related to human subjects research providing feedback to investigators based on federal and university regulations and recommending level of review for each application responding to inquiries from faculty, staff and students about the IRB process.

 


Jennifer Ford, MS

Jennifer Ford, MS
[217] 300.2022
jnford2@illinois.edu 

Jennifer Ford joined the OPRS office in November of 2016 after working as a Systems Specialist in the Office of Sponsored Programs. She has degrees in Psychology and General Experimental Psychology. Jennifer's research area of interest is Clinical Health Psychology. 

 


Michelle Lore, MS

Michelle Lore, MS
[217] 244.9666
lore@illinois.edu 

Michelle Lore joined OPRS in January of 2016 after working as a lecturer at North Carolina State University. She holds bachelor’s degrees in Sociology and Gender Studies, and a master’s degree in Sociology. As a lecturer, she taught intro to sociology, social problems, and research methods. Her personal research interests are in immigration and gender. 

 


Rebecca Miller, MSW

Rebecca Miller, MSW
[217] 265.7601
rschrep2@illinois.edu 

Rebecca Miller joined the OPRS in November of 2016. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Social Work, both from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Rebecca’s personal research interests are in international social work and language. 

 


Alisa

Alisa Ortiz, MUP
[217] 300.3434
ortizco2@illinois.edu 

Alisa Ortiz joined OPRS in July of 2017 after working as an Accessibility Specialist at Steven Winter Associates. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering and a Master's degree in Urban Planning. Her personal research interests are in fear of crime and transportation systems.

 

Office Support Specialist

The Office Support Specialist provides administrative support to the director. She is also responsible for processing submissions as they are received, transcribes material for OPRS staff members, determines needs and handles requests from researchers and IRB members.

Marnita Sills

Marnita Sills
[217] 244.3923
marnita@illinois.edu

Marnita Sills joined the Urbana campus in 2005 and began her office supporting position with OPRS in 2006. She has 23 years of experience as an office professional including clerical, accounting, and office management functions, Marnita holds a degree in accounting.

 

Office Support Associate

The Office Support Associate provides administrative support to the office. She is also responsible for processing submissions as they are received and processing approval paperwork and letters.

Heather Grant

Heather Grant
[217] 300.5298
hgrant@illinois.edu

Heather Grant joined the OPRS in October of 2016. She has previous office experience from working at UIUC and Piatt County Public Transportation. Heather has a degree in Elementary Education and worked with children before pursuing a clerical career.

 

 

Illinois IRB Procedures, Policies, and Processes

The IRB ensures that appropriate safeguards exist to protect the rights and welfare of research subjects [45 CFR 46.111]. In fulfilling these responsibilities, the IRB reviews all the research documents and activities that bear directly on the rights and welfare of the subjects of proposed research. The application or protocol, the consent/assent document(s), research equipment form, tests, surveys, questionnaires and similar measures, and recruitment documents are examples of documents that the IRB reviews.
View IRB Procedures, Policies, and Processes

IRB Membership

IRB members are appointed by the Vice Chancellor for Research after consultation with the IRB chairs and OPRS director. IRB members serve staggered three-year terms and are responsible for being informed on all IRB policies and procedures and applicable laws and regulations. IRB members are expected to review all new cases, to review continuing cases of more than minimal risk and other cases as assigned, and to attend and vote at IRB meetings. The following requirements for the composition of an IRB are based on federal regulations (see 45CFR §46.107-108):

  • To promote complete and adequate review of research activities commonly conducted by the institution, each University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Institutional Review Board (IRB) shall have at least five members with varying backgrounds. If an IRB regularly reviews research that involves a vulnerable category of subjects (such as children, pregnant women, prisoners, people with handicaps, or people with mental disabilities), consideration will be given to the inclusion of one or more individuals who are knowledgeable about and experienced in working with these subjects.
  • Every nondiscriminatory effort will be made to ensure that no IRB consists entirely of men or of women.
  • Each IRB shall include at least one member whose primary concerns are in scientific areas and at least one member whose primary concerns are in nonscientific areas.
  • Each IRB shall include at least one nonaffiliated member, who is not otherwise affiliated with the institution and who is not part of the immediate family of a person who is affiliated with the institution.
  • No IRB member may participate in the initial or continuing review of any project in which the member has a conflict of interest, except to provide information requested by the IRB.
  • An IRB may invite individuals with competence in a special area to assist in the review of issues that require expertise beyond or in addition to that available on the IRB. These individuals may not vote with the IRB.
  • When reviewing cases involving the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-regulated articles, at least one physician must be present and eligible to vote on the case.

Social/Behavioral Research IRB Members

Social Behavioral Research IRB Members Alternate Members
Anita Balgopal, PhD
Director
Office for the Protection of Research Subjects
Scientist  Affiliate
Belinda De La Rosa, MPH
Director, Testing Center & Assessment
Office of the Dean of Students
Scientist Affiliate
Diane Beck, PhD - Vice-Chair
Associate Professor
Psychology
Scientist Affiliate
Patricia Jones
Associate Director of Research
Beckman Institute
Scientist Affiliate
Howard Berenbaum, PhD
Professor
Psychology
Scientist Affiliate
Sandra Jones
Non-Scientist Non-Affiliate
M. Kathleen Buetow, MD
Carle Clinic
Urbana on Windsor
Scientist Affiliate
Kyratso (Karrie) Karahalios, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Computer Science
Scientist Affiliate
Sheila Ferguson, LCSW
Mental Health Center of Champaign County
Scientist Non-Affiliate
Michelle Lore, MS
Human Subjects Research Specialist
Office for the Protection of Research Subjects
Non-Scientist Affiliate
Jennifer Ford, MS
Human Subjects Research Specialist
Office for the Protection of Research Subjects
Non-Scientist Affiliate
Rebecca Miller, MSW
Human Subjects Research Specialist
Office for the Protection of Research Subjects
Non-Scientist Affiliate
Susan Fowler, PhD
Professor
Special Education 
Scientist Affilate 
Alisa Ortiz, MP
Human Subjects Research Specialist
Office for the Protection of Research Subjects
Non-Scientist Affiliate
Rhonda Kirts, MS
Associate Dean of Students
Office of the Dean of Students
Non-Scientist Affiliate
Ada Sum, MD
Carle Clinic
Urbana on Windsor
Scientist Non-Affiliate
Donald D. Owen, EdD
Superintendent of Schools
Urbana School District #116
Non-Scientist Non-Affiliate
Dustin Yocum, MA
Human Subjects Research Specialist
Office for the Protection of Research Subjects
Non-Scientist Affiliate
Marcela Raffaelli, PhD
Professor
Human & Community Development
Scientist Affiliate
 
Rebecca Sandefur, PhD – Chair
Associate Professor
Department of Sociology
Scientist Affiliate
 
Ken Vickery, PhD
Director of External Fellowships & Competitions
Graduate College
Scientist Affiliate
 
Prisoner Representative
Presence counts toward a quorum
of Subpart C Review
Alternate Prisoner Representative
Jessie Krienert, PhD
Professor
Criminal Justice Sciences Prisoner Representative
Illinois State University
Scientist Non-Affiliate
Rebecca Ginsburg, PhD, JD
Associate Professor
Education Policy, Organization & Leadership
Scientist Affiliate

An IRB may invite individuals with competence in a special area to assist in the review of issues that require expertise beyond or in addition to that available on the IRB. These individuals may not vote with the IRB
 

Bio-Medical Research IRB Members

Bio-Medical IRB Members Alternate Members
Anita Balgopal, PhD
Director
Office for the Protection of Research Subjects
Scientist Affiliate
Diane Beck, PhD
Associate Professor
Psychology
Scientist Affiliate
Nicolas Burd, PhD
Assistant Professor
Kinesiology & Community Health
Scientist Affiliate
M. Kathleen Buetow, MD
Carle Clinic
Urbana on Windsor
Scientist Affiliate
Gillian Cooke, PhD
Research Development Specialist
Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Initiative
Scientist Affiliate
Sheila Ferguson, LCSW
Rosecrance Champaign/Urbana
Non-Scientist Non-Affiliate
Belinda De La Rosa, MPH
Director, Testing Center & Assessment
Office of the Dean of Students
Scientist Affiliate
Jennifer Ford, MS
Human Subjects Research Specialist
Office for the Protection of Research Subjects
Non-Scientist Affiliate
Lyndon J. Goodly, DVM
Associate Vice Chancellor/Director
Division of Animal Resources
Scientist Affiliate
Rhonda Kirts, MS
Associate Dean of Students
Office of the Dean of Students
Non-Scientist Affiliate
Yih-Kuen Jan, PhD
Associate Professor
Kinesiology & Community Health
Scientist Affiliate
Rebecca Miller, MSW
Human Subjects Research Specialist
Office for the Protection of Research Subjects
Non-Scientist Affiliate
Patricia Jones, PhD – Chair
Associate Director for Research
Beckman Institute
Scientist Affiliate
Alisa Ortiz, MP
Human Subjects Research Specialist
Office for the Protection of Research Subjects
Non-Scientist Affiliate
Sandra Jones
Non-Scientist Non-Affiliate
 
Michelle Lore, MS
Human Subjects Research Specialist
Office for the Protection of Research Subjects
Non-Scientist Affiliate
 
Nancy Pogue, PhD
Clinical Assistant Professor
College of Nursing
Scientist Affiliate
 
Ada Sum, MD
Carle Clinic
Urbana on Windsor
Scientist Non-Affiliate
 
Kenneth Wilund, PhD
Associate Professor
Kinesiology & Community Health
Scientist Affiliate
 
Dustin Yocum, MA
Human Subjects Research Specialist
Office for the Protection of Research Subjects
Non-Scientist Affiliate
 
Prisoner Representative
Presence counts toward a quorum
of Subpart C Review
Alternate Prisoner Representative
Jessie Krienert, PhD
Professor
Criminal Justice Sciences Prisoner Representative
Illinois State University
Scientist Non-Affiliate
Rebecca Ginsburg, PhD, JD
Associate Professor
Education Policy, Organization & Leadership
Scientist Affiliate

An IRB may invite individuals with competence in a special area to assist in the review of issues that require expertise beyond or in addition to that available on the IRB. These individuals may not vote with the IRB.

IRB Meeting Schedule

Federalwide Assurance

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Federalwide Assurance number is #00008584 and expires on 08/13/2020