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School of Medicine

VCU School of Medicine

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Welcome to Committees

VCU Committees

Conduct of Human Research/Institutional Review Board (IRB)


Complete information on the purpose, goals and policies of the Committee on the Conduct of Human Research is available at the Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies.


The Committee on Conduct of Human Research is charged with review of all human research, including protocols and consent forms, that is generated from both the academic and medical campuses of the Virginia Commonwealth University.


Approximately 24 people serve on the Committee on Conduct of Human Research. These people represent most if not all of the facets of the University research activity, including physicians, dentists, nurses, sociologists, etc., that submit human research protocols. The Committee on Conduct of Human Research is charged with executing the rules and regulations established by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration with respect to the safe conduct of research on humans. The committee strives to safeguard human subjects’ rights and privacy and to ensure the competency of the principal investigators completing the objectives of the protocols.


The Committee on Conduct of Human Research has three Institutional Review Boards (IRB). IRB #01 evaluates protocols and informed consents dealing with medical devices and pharmaceuticals that may put a patient at medical risk. IRB #02 involves “minimum risk” protocols and informed consents primarily dealing with procedures that do not risk the physical or mental health of the research subjects. These also include psychosocial and educational research projects. IRB #03 is an emergency use committee which deals with both of the above categories. The main distinction of IRB #03 from #01 and #02 is the ability of this committee to meet within 48 hours and determine the efficacy of a research protocol.

Meeting Schedule

Meetings of the committee will be held on the second and fourth Thursday of each month, except during holiday sessions. Protocols eligible for review are required to be submitted to the Committee on Conduct of Human Research (IRB) secretary on the Monday ten days prior to the meeting.

Procedures for Nomination

The Chairman of the Committee on the Conduct of Human Research evaluates the needs of the committee and selects participants based upon the frequency and complexity of the research submissions from each division or department within the University academic and medical campuses. Interested faculty are welcome to participate in a committee meeting if previously approved by the Chairman. Research coordinators employed by individual departments and divisions are strongly encouraged to attend at least one meeting to familiarize themselves with the procedures that the committee uses to approve protocols and consent forms.

Procedures for Appointment

The Chairman of the Committee on the Conduct of Human Research submits the nominations for committee membership to the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies. The Vice President will request the specific faculty members in conjoint approval with their respective Deans, or make a request directly to each individual school administrators that members be assigned to the Committee.

Membership and Term

Each member of the committee is assigned to a three-year term. Each member will select an alternate to attend if necessary. Reappointment to the committee is encouraged in order to maintain a basic group of individuals who will be knowledgeable with as many of the functions of the committee, including rules and regulations, as possible. However most faculty request replacement after one or two terms because of the time commitment necessary for service on this committee.


Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies
Phone: 804-828-0732