In an effort to ensure clear communication between OPRS/IRB and our research community, our goal is to keep you apprised of conditions affecting IRB review and approval. To that end, we wanted to let you know that we are currently experiencing significantly longer wait times for exempt and expedited new study protocols and amendments to be assigned to an IRB analyst for review. At present, the wait time is approximately 7 weeks. There are several contributing factors to the increased wait time, including:
- Increase in the number of study submissions—On average, we receive 42 new study submissions per week. The volume of studies in our main queue is the most it has been since March 2020.
- Holidays—Our offices are closed during holidays. We observed the Thanksgiving break in November. We will also be closed during Christmas and Winter Recess (12/25/20 – 1/1/21).
Our Ongoing Improvement Efforts
- We have announced expanded Urgent Review Guidelines, available on the OPRS website.
- We started offering monthly CER educational opportunities for researchers at all levels.
- We have launched a new Slack workspace to make it easier to access up-to-date information regarding USC Human Subjects Research.
- We are in the early stages of hiring additional IRB staff and reorganizing the IRB.
We thank you for your patience and look forward to reviewing your submissions. Please contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have questions. We are always happy to hear from you.