IRB is an acronym for Institutional Review Board. The IRB is responsible for the review and approval of all research involving human subjects, as well as scientific validity and ethical review.
On behalf of Georgetown University in Qatar, the IRB's primary role is to safeguard the rights and welfare of all human subjects who participate in research studies conducted by Georgetown.The Georgetown University in Qatar IRB has the authority to approve, require modification in (to secure approval), or disapprove protocols based upon consideration of human subject protection.
All research with human subjects conducted by the faculty, the staff and students of the University must be prospectively reviewed and approved by the IRB. No human subject research may be initiated or continued at GU without prior approval of the IRB.
In general, research is defined by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Qatar Ministry of Public Health as a "systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge.
Research applications are reviewed at one of three levels, depending on the level of risk to the human participants and on the regulations that define the categories of review. The levels of review are exempt, expedited, and full board review. The determination of what level of review is required is determined by the IRB staff, NOT the researcher.
All students approved to write a senior thesis must complete mandatory Human Subject Protection Training through the Collaborative IRB Training Initiative (CITI) online portal. If you do not have a CITI account, you will need to register and create your own username and password. Please select Georgetown University as your institution. You can print out a certificate upon completion for your own records. CITI automatically keeps track of Georgetown University participants and profiles us with completion data.
For more information on how to register and create your own account name and password for a CITI course, click here.
Regulations use the term "investigator" to refer to an individual performing various tasks related to the conduct of human subjects research activities, such as obtaining informed consent from subjects, interacting with subjects, studying, interpreting, or analyzing identifiable private information or data for research purposes.
Investigators can include students, among others. In every human subjects research study, investigators have certain responsibilities regarding the ethical treatment of human subjects.
Investigators are responsible for obtaining IRB approval before beginning human subjects research. Investigators are responsible for providing the IRB with sufficient information and related materials about the research (e.g., grant applications, research protocols, sample consent documents) so that the IRB can fulfill its regulatory obligations, including making the required determinations.
During the conduct of approved research, investigators are also responsible for ongoing requirements that include, in summary:
What are investigators’ responsibilities once a study is completed?
Once all research-related activities have been completed, including data analysis and paper writing, the investigator is no longer required to obtain continuing review approval for the study. Investigators should request a termination of the study by submitting a request for termination form.
All students conducting research projects are required to list their advisors/mentors in the IRB application under Responsible Participant. The Responsible Participant is considered to be a member of the research team and must complete a Study Specific Disclosure Form and fulfill all required training.
International human research refers to research conducted outside Qatar using participants from the local community. Such research involving Georgetown University in Qatar researchers requires review and approval from the GU-Q IRB.
International research applications should identify whether there is a local IRB, Ethics Committee (EC), or government entity that will perform review in the host country. If local review has been conducted, a copy of the approval letter/notice should be included in the application.