For guidance on maintaining continuity of research and sponsored program activities during the COVID-19 crisis, please see ORSP’s Keep Discovering page.

IRB | COVID-19

On June 15, 2020, UM released Return to Work protocols and parameters for bringing faculty and staff unable to be 100% productive while working remotely back to campus.  In accordance with local, state, and public health authority best practices and in the spirit of the phased-in approach of the protocols and parameters, the UM IRB provides the following guidance for human subjects research activities.

LAST UPDATED:  July 7, 2020 (this page is subject to frequent updates, check back often)

A. Research that MAY be conducted now:

  1. Research that does not require in person activities (online surveys, virtual research sessions).
  2. In-person research (see additional requirements in Part D. below):
    1. related to COVID-19 diagnosis, prevention, or treatment OR
    2. with a direct impact on participant health.

B. Research that MAY be conducted now, subject to case-by-case (protocol specific) review by the IRB:

  1. In-person research that meets ALL of the following and the additional requirements in Part D below:
    1. can be conducted using healthy participants under age 65 or not otherwise at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 AND
    2. if applicable, allows flexibility in timing of multiple visits without loss of eligibility or previously collected data (e.g. participant or researcher must isolate due to COVID-19) AND
    3. can be conducted in accordance with applicable CDC, UM COVID-19 operational parameters and protocols, and relevant Human Resources policies (e.g. social distancing, maximum space occupancy, and masking).

NOTE:  Category B.1. is limited to activities that can be conducted entirely following current social distancing guidelines of greater than 6ft between participants and/or researchers at all times.

  1. In-person research that meets ALL of the following and the additional requirements in Part D below:
    1. requires less than 15 minutes (cumulative) contact at less than 6ft distance between researchers and/or participants per session AND
    2. can be conducted using healthy participants under age 65 or not otherwise at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 AND
    3. if applicable, allows flexibility in timing of multiple visits without loss of eligibility or previously collected data (e.g. participant or researcher must isolate due to COVID-19) AND
    4. can be conducted in accordance with applicable CDC, UM COVID-19 operational parameters and protocols, and relevant Human Resources policies (e.g. regarding maximum space occupancy and physical barriers and masking).

NOTE:  Category B.2. is limited to activities that require less than 6ft distancing for less than a cumulative duration of 15 minutes between researchers and/or participants.  Researchers requesting approval under B.2. must submit convincing protocol-specific safety plans for mitigating the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

C. Research that MAY NOT be conducted until further notice:

  1. In-person research that requires greater than 15 minutes cumulative contact at less than 6ft distance between researchers and/or participants per session OR
  2. In-person research that if applicable, cannot allow flexibility in timing of multiple visits without loss of eligibility or previously collected data (e.g. participant or researcher must isolate due to COVID-19) OR
  3. In-person research that otherwise cannot be conducted in accordance with applicable CDC, UM COVID-19 operational parameters and protocols, and relevant Human Resources policies.

D.  Additional requirements to conduct in-person research allowed under categories A or B:

  1. Written, COVID-19 specific plans describing safety procedures (symptom screening, close contact time, social distancing, masks, hand-washing, disinfection, reporting of positive COVID-19 tests) – see Appendix G
  2. Written contingency plan for rapid ramp-down of research in the event of return to Safer at Home or Shelter in Place parameters – see Appendix G
  3. All researchers complete UM provided COVID-19 training – a screenshot must be submitted with IRB materials as documentation of completion
  4. Use of COVID-19 release form for adults and/or minors
  5. Assurance of unit-level approval (may require additional documentation) to conduct protocol-specific activities – see Appendix G

 

Question regarding this guidance?  Email irb@olemiss.edu for assistance.