Insitutional Review Board COVID-19 Response Information

(Updated March 23, 2020)

The 2019 novel coronavirus is impacting our communities, and the University of St. Thomas IRB places the health of all individuals as a priority. Effective March 23, 2020, all researchers are required to stop all in-person research activities and person-to-person recruitment immediately. Any researcher or research team found in violation of this requirement will be investigated by the IRB, which has the authority to suspend research with human subjects. 

All in-person interviews, in-person surveys, in-person research procedures, and in-person recruitment methods must be stopped at this time, regardless of any promises to maintain physical distance between individuals.

Online research and digital data collection that do not require person-to-person contact may continue as planned. This includes online surveys and interviews conducted via Zoom or other secure video software.

Submit an Application to Amend Previously Approved Research explaining all changes and a digital/online consent form in a new package within your project in IRBNet. The IRB has an Online Survey/Instrument Consent Page template for researchers to use for online studies. All forms and templates are available in the IRBNet document library. The IRB will review any Applications to Amend Previously Approved Research as quickly as possible. Visit the amendments webpage for amendment instructions. 

Yes, the IRB office is operating as usual from a remote setting. The board will meet remotely if projects requiring full review are submitted.

The IRB will evaluate communication from the University and its regional and national colleagues to determine when researchers may continue in-person research and recruitment procedures. The IRB office will communicate decisions by email and keep the IRB website current. 

The IRB office expects several studies to be submitted related to COVID-19. Please contact the IRB office at to determine if your plans are designated as research and require IRB review.