May, 2015

Inside this issue: 

Message from the Director

Spring time! The weather is finally warming up (well, sort of), the Cubs and Sox are back on the field, and playoffs have taken center stage. It is a great time of the year to be in Chicago.  

This is particularly true at UIC where it is graduation season. To all of our graduates - On behalf of the Vice Chancellor for Research, Dr. Mitra Dutta, the IRBs and the entire OPRS staff, we offer our heartfelt congratulations! By fulfilling the requirements for graduation, you have proven your resolve to accomplish a tremendous goal. At OPRS, we want to help ensure a successful transition to your next academic and/or professional stage.

We therefore would like to remind you of the following:

  1. All investigators conducting human subject research must formally close out their research protocols by submitting a Final Report to OPRS. Failing to close out a research study represents non-compliance with federal regulations and institutional policy.
  2. Research data should not be transferred or removed from UIC without proper IRB and departmental approval. If you have any questions regarding how to proceed with a transfer of research data from UIC to another institution, please contact OPRS at 312-996-1711 or

As we move forward, it is my pleasure to inform UIC investigators that the campus will begin transitioning to an electronic process for submitting research protocols for IRB review. Details regarding this transition are included in this newsletter.

Research data security is always a fundamental concern for investigators conducting human subject research, and Phil Reiter, Executive Director of IT for the College of Pharmacy, has contributed an article regarding best practices for Email recruitment of research subjects.

Finally, federal research funding serves as the foundation for the UIC human subject research enterprise. In this newsletter, Charles Hoehne, OPRS Assistant Director for Education and Training, has provided an overview for how to appropriately handle any changes in scope of research for federally funded research.

We hope the newsletter is helpful and informative.

Coming Soon: Electronic Submissions

Contributed by Charles Hoehne

As OPRS Assistant Director for Education and Training, it is my pleasure to conduct numerous Investigator Training sessions around campus. There is little doubt which question I am asked the most frequently: “When will we be able to submit applications to the IRB electronically?”  OPRS is pleased to announce that electronic submission of research protocols for UIC IRB review will soon be a reality!  The OVCR IT Team has been working on a system enabling Investigators to finally go paperless. OPRS Live will soon be available to our investigators. 

Best Practices for Email Recruitment 

Contributed by Phil Reiter

One of the most important components of any human subject research study is recruiting participants that meet the study criteria you are evaluating. In today’s day and age, recruitment undoubtedly involves technology, and we must be sensitive to enabling research and recruitment while balancing the need for the security and protection of research participants. 

Change in Scope of Research

Contributed by Charles Hoehne

As per NIH Grants Policy Statement (10/13):
“Before changing the scope of your research, you need approval from your grants management specialist. In general, the Principal Investigator may make changes in the methodology, approach, or other aspects of the project objectives. However, the grantee must obtain prior approval from the NIH awarding institute/center for a change in scope. A change in scope is a change in the direction, aims, objectives, purposes, or type of research training, identified in the approved project. The grantee must make the initial determination of the significance of a change and should consult with the Grants Management Officer/Specialist as necessary.”

Did you Know?

Contributed by Charles Hoehne

  1.  …Pilot and feasibility studies, regardless of the number of subjects, require the same scrutiny as full-scale research projects and must be submitted for IRB review and approval. Pilot and feasibility studies should be identified as such in the IRB application. Investigators should obtain informed consent utilizing the IRB-approved consent process and document. The consent document must indicate the study is a pilot.