Information for New IRB Members
You agreed to serve on the IRB and attended orientation, but now what? This page is intended to provide basic information for new IRB members. It may also serve as a helpful refresher for more experienced members. Included on this page are links to helpful guidance, a step-by-step guide to make sure you attend your first IRB meetings prepared, and guidance on how to conduct reviews.
STEP 1- Determine when you are scheduled to attend an IRB meeting
STEP 2- Determine whether you have been assigned as a reviewer on any items
STEP 3- Access materials for the meeting, including any items for which you are the reviewer
STEP 4- If you are assigned as a primary or secondary reviewer on an item, conduct your review and prepare for the meeting
Step 1 - Determine when you are scheduled to attend an IRB meeting
- Our staff is responsible for scheduling IRB member meeting attendance. Once you attend orientation, you will receive an email from us requesting information from you as far as when you can attend meetings. Please respond to any scheduling emails promptly.
- Schedules are finalized for the entire year; once we have finished the schedule you will know what meetings you are expected to attend for the remainder of the year.
- The week prior to a meeting for which you are scheduled to attend, you will receive an automatic email from ARROW informing you that the agenda has been finalized.
- You are responsible for logging in to ARROW (you can also use the link provided in the auto email) and reviewing the agenda. Please see Meeting Workspace Navigation Guide for IRB Members for assistance.
- The Upcoming Meetings tab in your personnel workspace will also list any meetings in the next 14 days that you are scheduled to attend. Please see IRB Member Workspace Navigation Guide for IRB Members for assistance.
Step 2 - Determine whether you have been assigned as a reviewer on any items
- Once you get the email from ARROW stating that the agenda is available, you are responsible for logging into ARROW to review the agenda and all materials. Please see Meeting Workspace Navigation Guide for IRB Members for assistance.
- If you are assigned as a primary or secondary reviewer on an item, that item will appear in either your Inbox: Initials tab or Inbox: PRS and other tab, depending on what item you have been assigned. Primary and secondary reviewer are also listed next to each item on the agenda itself.
- You will not receive any emails specifically to alert you to your review assignments; you must review the agenda to determine if you have been assigned anything.
Step 3 - Access materials for the meeting, including any items for which you are the reviewer
- All supporting documentation related to a submission can be found in the submission workspace/SmartForm application:
- Documents uploaded by the study team, including protocols, consent forms, and recruitment materials, can be found within the Initial Application SmartForm. To access these documents from the Submission Workspace, you must first view the application and then go to the correct section of the SmartForm using the Jump To menu.
- Documents uploaded by the Ancillary Committees (e.g. PRMC, CRU, or VA R&D approvals) are accessible through the History tab in the submission workspace.
- Please see the following document for additional guidance: Finding Study-Related Documents in ARROW
Step 4 - If you are assigned as a primary or secondary reviewer on an item, conduct your review and prepare for the meeting.
- Begin by reviewing the Initial Review Application. To do this, click on the "View Application" activity, located just under the gold "state" bar. This will open the Initial Application SmartForm.
- You can page through this form using the "Continue" button or you can jump to any section using the "Jump To" menu in the blue tool bar in the upper right.
- Many reviewers like to look at one long scrollable document of the entire application. This can be done by creating a .pdf document. To do this, click "file" and "print" as you normally would to print a document. before selecting "ok" in the print activity, first select "adobe .pdf" in the list of printers available. Instead of printing this document, it will create a .pdf document, which you can then save.
- Once you have a .pdf document, you can use the "sticky note" feature in Adobe to make any notes as your review the application.
- Next, review all supporting documentation. Study teams will upload all of their supplemental materials in the Initial Application SmartForm. To review these documents, you must go to the correct section of the SmartForm and download the desired file. See Finding Study-Related Documents in ARROW for the location of supporting materials within the SmartForm.
- Finally, download and complete the Reviewer Checklists. To do this, click on the "Print Reviewer Checklist: activity. Bring this completed form with you to the IRB Meeting at which your study is being reviewed, OR bring a laptop with you to the meeting so that you can update your checklist as necessary and email a completed copy to email@example.com.
- Please see ARROW guidance document Initial Review Tips for IRB Members for additional help.
IRB Member FAQs, including:
- How do I know if I have been assigned as a reviewer for an upcoming meeting?
- How do I know if I am scheduled to attend a meeting?
- What if I am scheduled to attend a meeting but won't be able to attend?
- I am scheduled as a reviewer on an item, but can't find all of the materials in ARROW. Where do I look?