The University of St. Thomas’ Institutional Review Board, which reviews and approves all faculty, staff and student research projects, soon will begin using a new, online management tool called IRBNet.

The mission of the university’s Institutional Review Board is “to assist faculty, staff, and student researchers in meeting the highest ethical and professional standards for the use of human subjects in scientific research.”

The new electronic management tool for online research submissions will reduce manual and paper-based procedures and expedite the approval of protocols.

IRBNet features include electronic document management, web-based protocol sharing and collaboration for the researchers and reviewers, automatic notifications, and electronic submissions and reviews.

IRBNet has audit capabilities that include statistical analysis reports for examining research trends, protected electronic signatures, and the ability to track mandated federal compliance guidelines.

“We are pleased to launch IRBNet at St. Thomas; it will provide more efficient and effective services to our faculty, staff and students,” said Dr. Eleni Roulis, associate vice president for academic services and special programs. “The university’s Institutional Review Board chose this program for its capabilities and because it is secure, intuitive and easy to use.”

The Institutional Review Board will begin accepting electronic protocol submissions via IRBNet starting Saturday, Oct. 1. On that date, all protocols, supporting documentation (such as consent forms and agency permissions, as well as protocol revisions) must be submitted via IRBNet. All decision letters from the review board will be issued via IRBNet.

IRBNet can be found on the Institutional Review Board’s website. The website also has training resources and additional information. Training workshops will be held this fall for the university’s colleges and schools.

Information also is available by calling Karla Duren in Academic Affairs, (651) 962-6017.