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National Institutes of Health recognizes Institutional Review Board at UMass Medical School

UMass Medical School Communications

September 05, 2019

The Institutional Review Board of UMass Medical School has been recognized by the Common Metrics Initiative of the National Institutes of Health Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Program for achieving significant improvement in approval times for clinical trials involving human subjects.  

In its 2019 multi-year report, the Common Metrics Initiative cites UMMS and the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston for achieving among the highest rate of improvements in IRB performance metrics by CTSA hubs. Strategies include encouraging education and awareness about the IRB approval process, investing in the IRB workforce, and changing the reputation of the IRB function and those who administer it.

UMMS highlights include implementation of “Ask an Expert” sessions and a self-service “Getting Started” webpage to help investigators understand approval requirements and head down the right path early in the process. The review board also addressed hiring and retaining skilled staff members with new career paths, increased staffing and a mentorship program.

UMMS is one of more than 50 elite research institutions nationwide that have received CTSA grants to accelerate the process of turning laboratory discoveries into treatments for patients, engage communities in clinical research and enhance the training of a new generation of researchers. The IRB is crucial to maintaining the highest ethical standards to ensure the welfare of human subjects in research.

For additional details about UMass Medical School IRB improvement efforts, see “Insights to Inspire: 4 Strategies for Improving IRB Turnaround Times”.