Revised Institutional Review Board (IRB) Procedure
One of the major structural successes for the Partnership is the development and implementation of a conjoint IRB process. Prior to this, research progress was often delayed or derailed by the non-cooperative, sequential IRB review. This process (described in more detail at http://gra.sdsu.edu/grad/research/hrpp.html) involves clear procedures for how to identify the “Reviewing IRB” which reviews the application and the additional steps needed for approval by the “Relying IRB.”
This process resolved serious structural problems that had plagued the joint doctoral programs for years as well, and so represents a major positive structural change for both institutions that resulted from the Partnership planning activities. Consent forms developed for joint project use have been approved (and translated by the Partnership) by each IRB. Providing subjects with two consent forms (one from each IRB) is no longer considered acceptable by the SDSU and UCSD IRBs because it is considered to be a burden to the potential participant. A single consent form that describes the study and includes requirements of each institution allows for a much clearer and more appropriate consent process. Language for these joint consent forms has been prepared and approved and is available to all investigators. Because of the Partnership, these joint forms are available in both Spanish and English.