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Getting Involved in Research Review

The meaning of "community"

The term "community" denotes a group of people who have a common set of interests, a common set of characteristics, or who live in an identified neighborhood or location.

Community Members on the Institutional Review Board (IRB)

An IRB community member is someone from outside the organization or institution who serves on the IRB. The community member is usually non-scientific and is not affiliated with the institution. Community members come from a variety of backgrounds and are chosen for particular experience, knowledge, or relationship to the types of studies reviewed by the IRB. These members often are drawn from the community in which an institution resides. Former research subjects, patient advocates, teachers, nurses, members of vulnerable populations, retirees or experts in multicultural affairs may be sought for IRB service.

IRB Community Member Resources

  • You Want to be an IRB Community Member...Now What? guides IRB community members through the human subjects research process and helps them transition into a valued member of the IRB. It can also serve as a great introduction for anybody new to human subjects research and the IRB.
  • Dept of Energy Community IRB Member Webpage
  • IRB Community Member listserv (DOE)
  • The Family Health International (FHI) Office of International Research Ethics (OIRE) has developed a dynamic and innovative curriculum to empower community representatives through training and education to act as a competent voice for research participants worldwide. The Research Ethics Training Curriculum for Community Representatives (RETC-CR) helps community representatives to understand the research process and their roles and responsibilities as partners of the research team.

The IRB Reviewer Guidelines are available to aid IRB members and staff in the review of applications. They are consistent with FDA and OHRP regulatory requirements.

  • Reviewer Guidelines for New IRB Applications
  • Reviewer Guidelines for Continuing Review Applications
  • Reviewer Guidelines for Informed Consent
  • Reviewer Guidelines for Research Involving Pregnant Women, Human Fetuses, and Neonates
  • Reviewer Guidelines for Research Involving Prisoners
  • Reviewer Guidelines for Research Involving Children

Please contact the IRB Office at 336-716-4542 if you have questions or are interested in becoming an IRB community member.