Pitt Research
Office of Research Protections

What requires IRB approval--and what doesn't?

A project requires IRB review if it is research and involves human subjects.  However, some types of interactions with human subjects may not meet the definition of human subjects research, such as a course evaluation survey or quality improvement assessment. These activities do not require the submission of a protocol through the University's PittPRO system. More information can be found in the guidance Activities Not Under the Jurisdiction of the IRB

If you are unsure if your project involving human subjects requires IRB review, you are encouraged to consult the IRB by emailing askirb@pitt.edu.

Reminder About sIRB Requirements

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has mandated the use of single IRBs for multi-site research. Since management of activities at participating sites requires considerable IRB effort, NIH encourages the budgeting of direct costs for these activities.

The University expects investigators to budget direct costs fees when Pitt serves as the single IRB for multi-site research. Investigators or their research coordinator/grants administrator must contact the Pitt IRB at least four weeks in advance of the grant due date to arrange for the development of a budget and letter of support, as described in the guidance, "Pitt IRB Serves as the IRB of Record for a Multi-Site Study."

Please direct questions about these requirements to: irb.reliance@pitt.edu.

Annual Disclosure Certifications were due by April 15, 2022

If you received an email from MyDisclosures requesting that you submit a 2022 Annual Disclosure Certification, your form was due by Friday, April 15th.  If you have not yet submitted your disclosure form as requested, please login to www.mydisclosures.pitt.edu and complete your form as soon as possible.

If you believe you should be a mandatory discloser, but you did not receive an email notification from MyDisclosures, verify that you meet the mandatory discloser criteria. Provided you meet the criteria, a senior administrator, chairperson, or responsibility center leader who supervises you should confirm and submit a request to add you as a mandatory discloser using this survey.  

Training videos for disclosers, supervisors and administrators are available here.  If you have questions about MyDisclosures, please email mydisclosures_support@pitt.edu.

Dennis Swanson to Retire after Distinguished Career

After 34 years of dedicated service to the University, Dennis Swanson will retire on April 30, following a career that has earned him great renown in the fields of research protections and nuclear pharmacy.  

Notably, Swanson was the founding director of the Research Conduct and Compliance Office, currently known as the Office of Research Protections (ORP). In this capacity, Swanson was responsible for establishing several of the divisions within ORP, along with the initial hiring of several members of the ORP leadership team.  In addition, Swanson serves as a Professor of Pharmacy, having led a productive career as a nuclear pharmacy practitioner.

As his distinguished career comes to a close, Swanson has advice for the next generation of leaders in his field. “Pursue learning opportunities. I’ve been most satisfied when I’m learning something new,” Swanson says. “I’ve done many different things throughout my career, and in all of those cases, someone has paid my salary to learn something new. Learning is stimulating, and nobody can take that body of knowledge away from you. You can lose the job, but you will always have that knowledge.”

Read more here.


USDA Inspection Report

As a regulatory requirement, the University's Institutional Animal Care and Use program is registered with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and is subject to unannounced inspections by this agency.

An inspection of the program occurred during the week of April 4, and the USDA Veterinary Officer reported no noncompliance with the Animal Welfare Act and Animal Welfare Regulations.  

The IACUC thanks investigators and animal care staff members for maintaining a high quality animal care and use program.

Reminder: Upcoming Accreditation of Human Research Protection Program

Pitt's Human Research Protection Program will be undergoing a site visit by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP) from May 4-6, 2022.

The site visit will include interviews with selected individuals.  This page provides information about the site visit.

Radiation Safety

ORP Division Spotlight 

The University's Radiation Safety Program is responsible for ensuring the safe use of ionizing radiation, including both radioactive materials and radiation-emitting equipment.

All radiation use on the University campuses (in both research settings and clinical settings such as the Dental School) falls under the jurisdiction of the University's Radiation Safety Program, as well as licenses and registrations from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. In addition, UPMC has contracted the Pitt Radiation Safety Program to oversee radiation use at its major academic hospitals.

The Radiation Safety Program is designed to protect users, staff, patients, the general public and the environment from radiation exposure and to ensure the safe receipt, handling, use and storage of radioactive materials.

The mission of the Radiation Safety Program is to facilitate safe conditions for the proper use of radiation, to maintain radiation exposures As Low as Reasonably Achievable (ALARA) and to ensure that operations follow applicable state and federal regulations.

Webinar - Department of Treasury: Embargoes, Sanctions & Distance Learning/Researching

The Department of Treasury, through its Office of Foreign Asset Controls (OFAC), manages the Foreign Asset Control Regulations (FACR) which include sanctions and embargoes directed at foreign countries, entities, regimes, and individuals. The Office of Trade Compliance (OTC) will explain the concepts behind embargoes and sanctions, how they are used, and how they directly apply to the increasingly popular concepts of distance learning and research in the academic setting.

NOTE: This session will include an update on the current situation in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

OTC has launched this 12-part, monthly training series to address "Export Control Fundamentals" in the academic environment. Each session will last no more than 30 minutes, with time at the end for questions. Sessions will be recorded and made available to members of the Pitt community. Although the content is appropriate for a general academic audience, most sessions will include direct application for the research community. Please direct any questions to tradecompliance@pitt.edu.

When: April 27, 2022 | 1 p.m. 

Register here.

Webinar - Physical Restraint as a Component of Animal Research: Planning Your Approach and IACUC Protocol Submission

Physical restraint of an awake, unanesthetized animal may be necessary to achieve the scientific goals of some studies. In such cases, the IACUC requires sufficient information to evaluate protocols that include restraint procedures.  This webinar is intended to provide investigators and research staff guidance on planning such procedures and provide insight on what the IACUC expects during their review.

This webinar is relevant for investigators, postdocs, graduate students, and staff members who maintain or are listed on active IACUC protocols. This is intended to be informative, and attendance is NOT required.

This session will be presented by Dr. Joseph Newsome, Associate Director, DLAR, Associate Professor Pathology, University of Pittsburgh.

(After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.)

When: April 27, 2022 | 3 p.m. 

Register here

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.

Pitt United Way Campaign

It's not too late to donate to Pitt's annual United Way campaign. Through this campaign, we strive to directly address our community’s most critical needs. Last year, over 1,900 faculty, staff and retirees donated more than $694,500! We're hoping to exceed that total this year.

To make an online pledge that will support your passions and help families meet basic needs, please go to my.pitt.edu and search for “United Way” or email the Pitt United Way team at pittunitedway@pitt.edu.

Roc the Panther

Learn More About How ORP Can Support You >

Roc the Panther

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