I'm working with non-UIUC researchers or study team members...


It is very common to be working with other researchers, community partners/organizations, industry partners, or even individuals as part of a research project. The regulatory process differs depending on the specifics of who the external partners are, what activities UIUC researchers are involved in, what activities external partners are involved in, funding sources, and the IRB’s risk determination for the project.

The UIUC IRB and OPRS have experience working in all of these situations and will advise you on the appropriate plan for your specific project. Sometimes it is appropriate to use one IRB for all of the different researchers/institutions/companies working on a specific project. This is called the Single IRB Review Process. However, in many case, it is more appropriate for each institution to obtain IRB review from its own internal IRB. In some cases, the external partners you are working with may not have their own IRB and they made need IRB services provided by UIUC, another institution’s IRB, or a commercial IRB. There may be situations where not every partner you are working with requires IRB oversight.  

Regardless of the process, adding non-UIUC individuals on a Research Team Form is not appropriate. To start the discussion with OPRS, submit a Reliance Consultation Request.

Below are links and considerations to take into account and for you to be prepared to discuss with OPRS to determine the correct path forward for your project.

Contract services vs. researcher – If you or the external partner are providing contracted services to a researcher, they may not be engaged in research and thus not require IRB oversight. For example, if you hire a lab to conduct analysis on blood samples you are collecting as part of your project and then the lab provides you the results, that may not be considered research. Factors to be considered include: is it an investigational test or assay, is there a contract (fee for service), does the lab get to keep the samples or data for its own research purposes, or is the lab listed as a sub-awardee on a grant?

Engaged in research – The regulations provide guidance on what activities a person may be doing related to a research project that may or may not be considered engaged in research. If a person (or institution) is not engaged in research, no IRB oversight is required. For example, if you provide a community center with flyers for your research project and the community center posts or hands out the flyers, as long as they are not answering questions about the research or engaged in the consent process in some way, the community center is not engaged in research. If you are planning your project with external partners, OPRS can help you determine the how to best assign the roles based on these regulations.

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