Pitt Research
Office of Research Protections

Name the New IACUC Protocol Management System

The Animal Research Online (ARO) system for processing protocol submissions to the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) has served Pitt well for over a decade. However, the time has come to implement a new system that will provide a more efficient experience for both investigators and reviewers.

Most IACUC protocols are a collection of procedures, and the new system is structured with this in mind. Procedures can be imported from a library approved by the IACUC, and investigators can generate their own procedures that are reused in multiple protocols. Incorporation of standard procedures in protocols will reduce reviewer questions, with the intent to reduce review times.

More than a year will be required to customize the system for Pitt’s use, configure integrations with other University systems, and build a standard procedure library. At that time, all new IACUC protocols will be submitted through the new system. But it needs a name!

If you would like to propose a name for ARO 2.0, please send your suggestion via this form.

We will keep you informed as the new protocol management system is developed.

Pitt's Human Research Protection Program Receives Full Accreditation

The Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc. (AAHRPP) has awarded Full Accreditation to our program for five years, effective September 15, 2022. As the "gold seal," AAHRPP accreditation offers assurances—to research participants, researchers, sponsors, government regulators, and the general public—that our human research protection program is focused first and foremost on excellence.

Thanks to the many investigators and staff members who participated in the AAHRPP site visit earlier this year.

Upcoming Visit by NSF Research Security Chief

Dr. Rebecca Keiser, Chief of Research Security Strategy and Policy at the National Science Foundation (NSF), will be discussing evolving research security requirements during an upcoming seminar.

Date: October 10, 2022

Time: Noon

Location: William Pitt Union Lower Lounge

You may also attend the seminar virtually. Registration is required to attend virtually, and you will be provided a Zoom link in advance of the session.

Registration Link for Virtual Attendance

Animal Program Accreditation

On October 10-14, site visitors from AAALAC International will be on campus for an accreditation review of our animal program.   AAALAC International is a private, nonprofit organization that promotes humane treatment of animals in science through a voluntary accreditation program. AAALAC International accreditation is recognized around the world as a symbol of high quality animal care and use for research, teaching and testing--while also representing a commitment to animal welfare.

The site visit will include a review of both animal facilities and areas where animals are used in teaching and research.  The site visitors will engage with laboratory members as part of the process.

If you did not previously attend a preparation session for the site visit, please watch this video for more background on expectations for your laboratory.

Biological Material Regulations

Related Webinar: Biologicals, Chemicals & Related Equipment - September 28th 

Certain biological materials are regulated by several different US state and federal agencies for importation, interstate transfer, and export. If your lab needs to acquire or share biologicals for research purposes, along with navigating internal University processes, you may also need to apply for state or federal importation/transfer permits, export licenses, or file import/export declarations to ensure compliance with applicable regulations. 

The Office of Trade Compliance (OTC), working closely with Environmental Health & Safety, Purchasing Services, and the Office of Sponsored Programs, provides tailored guidance to the University community on the export and import of biological materials. OTC performs reviews in the shipment, procurement, and materials transfer agreement processes and can assist you in determining which permits, licenses or other documents you may need for your biological materials, whether it involves bringing those items onto campus or sending them off to a collaborator abroad.

For researchers who may have questions about the importation of biological materials, OTC has produced two short videos about the import permitting process that can be viewed anytime: Session 1, Session 2.

In addition, OTC will host a live webinar on Biologicals, Chemicals & Related Equipment on Sept 28th at 1pm which will explain how these items are treated in the export control regulations, how they can be imported for use on campus, and describe the situations in the academic environment where export control restrictions may be a consideration. Register here. Questions can also be directed via email to tradecompliance@pitt.edu

New Investigator Onboarding

Are you new to Pitt and are unsure how to start your animal or human subjects research program, seek approval to use recombinant agents or stem cells, complete a conflict of interest disclosure, invite visitors to campus, or get authorized to use radioactive materials?   Let us help!

Just complete this short survey to describe your needs, and the relevant ORP professionals will be in touch to jumpstart your career!

ORP Welcomes Steve Korbich as New Director of Administration

Steve Korbich has replaced Angie Coldren as ORP's Director of Administration. 

Korbich is responsible for administrative functions of the office, including billing, budgetary management, and human resources oversight.

Prior to joining the Office of Research Protections, Korbich served in several University roles, including Budget and Finance Manager for both the Office of the Chancellor and the Senior Vice Chancellor of Research, and Grants Administrator for both Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Hematology/Oncology for Pediatrics within UPMC Children’s Hospital. Earlier in his career, Korbich held accounting positions with multiple Fortune 500 companies.

"I am thrilled to be joining the Office of Research Protections, and I look forward to working closely with the individuals and divisions that make up this department," said Korbich. "In my time with SVCR, I have been impressed by the dedication of the ORP team, and the strides they have made under Bill Yates' leadership."


ICOI Committee Starts its Work in October

One of Pitt's newest policies is RI-11, Institutional Conflict of Interest (ICOI).  This policy establishes an ICOI Committee that will review the institution's financial interests and the external engagements of University officials to assure they do not compromise the objectivity or integrity of or unduly influence the University's core missions of research, scholarship, and teaching.

The University Senate has selected the inaugural members of the ICOI committee, which is co-chaired by Lisa Parker and Chris Bonneau.

The initial meeting of the ICOI committee will occur in October.

Basic Biomedical Symposium - Recorded Sessions

The Basic Biomedical Symposium in August introduced bench and animal researchers to the offices and services available to support their studies.

If you missed the symposium, recordings of the sessions are available in ORP's Video Presentations Library.

This library also contains links to videos related to filing a conflict of interest disclosure, as well as other useful videos for investigators.


Prepare for NIH's New Data Sharing Requirements

Effective on January 25, 2023, NIH grant applications must include a plan outlining how scientific data from the proposed research will be managed and shared.

The Health Sciences Library is offering a session in December to aid researchers in preparing for the new requirements.

Learn more about this upcoming class and register.

ORP Support Service

Need help in ensuring that your research meets regulatory requirements and ethical standards?

Then use the ORP Support Service!

Just answer a few questions and we will put you in touch with the right professionals to help facilitate your research.

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Learn More About How ORP Can Support You >

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