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Preparing for the launch of “UIC Research”

The rollout for UIC Research on June 28, 2022 is fast approaching, and some of you might be wondering how to prepare for this change.

UIC Research is an electronic submission system for projects that require IRB review, and for conflict of commitment and interest (COI) disclosures.  UIC Research is a local name given to a commercial software product created by Huron.  It is well respected and used by many institutions nationally and internationally.  UIC Research can reduce redundancies, improve transparency for researchers, allow for trackable communication, and streamline the IRB review process.

"UIC Research" Process Changes Heading link

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There are some important things that researchers should be aware of during the next few months, if their projects will require IRB review.  One significant change to be implemented with UIC Research involves the process to submit to the IRB, including documentation required and the steps for electronic submission.  Both will be different under UIC Research.  For new projects, the current initial review application forms and supplemental appendices will be replaced with a protocol-based review system and smart forms under UIC Research.  Some examples how these will change under UIC Research include:

  • Protocol: Much of the information that describes the conduct of the research at UIC and were part of the initial review application, such as the plan to recruit and obtain consent from participants as well as the data security plan, will now be incorporated into the research protocol. Projects that did not require a separate protocol document, such as social/behavioral/education research submitted to IRB #2 or research submitted under a Claim of Exemption, will now require a protocol document to be uploaded with the smart form..
  • Application: The new smart form will capture some of the information that was formerly included in the initial review application form and supplemental appendices. Common examples include the list of key research personnel, funding sources, drugs/device information, and other local requirements such as whether the research requires review by the Cancer Center Protocol Review Committee or the Clinical Research Finance Office.
  • Terminology: Some of the words currently used by OPRS will change.  For example, “Amendments” will be known as “Modifications” under UIC Research.

"UIC Research" Deadline Changes Heading link

empty desk covered with paperwork

Another significant thing to keep in mind when submitting to the IRB in the near future are the temporary changes to IRB submission deadlines.  OPRS will be closed to submissions for a period of time while the transition to UIC Research is underway.  Submission deadlines in advance of this transition will be in place, and will be different depending on the type of submission as well as the level of review required.  An important consideration for new initial submissions to the IRB will be whether the project has the potential for approval prior to the transition.  Projects that have not been granted initial review approval prior to the finalized rollout will not be transitioned to UIC Research.  This means they will need to be resubmitted, using the new smart forms and documentation requirements.  Researchers might consider taking the following steps now, to prepare:

  • Review the OPRS website’s information on submission deadlines for the transition
  • Evaluate the needs of your individual project to assess when the project should be submitted to the IRB. Considerations could include:
    • When IRB approval is required for your study – is it needed urgently, or can it wait a few months? Do you have deadlines imposed by a sponsor or funding agency?
    • Does the project needs to be reviewed by the convened IRB?
    • Is the paperwork required for IRB submission compiled, or can be finished quickly?
    • Is your project relatively straightforward? Or are there elements to the project that are complicated, non-standard / novel, involve aspects that might require extensive deliberation by the IRB, or are likely to generate requests for further information or modifications by the IRB?
    • In short, given the time needed to prepare paperwork, submit to OPRS, allow time for IRB review, and responding and resubmitting to the IRB’s concerns, do you think you will be able to meet these by the July 1, 2022 deadline?

Managing Conflicts of Interest & Disclosures Heading link

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Researchers will use UIC Research COI to complete COI training and disclose outside activities and financial interests by updating their Disclosure Profile. Some information from the legacy system (RNUA) will be transferred to UIC Research Disclosure Profile; however, all individuals will need to update their Disclosure Profile. At minimum, the Disclosure Profile will need to be updated annually. Prior permission to engage in outside activities is  should be requested through a Pre-Approval Request. If an individual is funded, the Disclosure Profile should be updated within 30 days of starting the new activities.

Check for new and/or changing information Heading link

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