UBC CREB Guidance during COVID-19

*New Considerations for Researchers: COVID-19 RISK and (Re)Consent

GUIDANCE - RESUMPTION OF RESEARCH

*Please note that each health authority has their own process.  If your study involves health authority resources or being on site, please contact that health authority for more information, only VCH is listed below. 
Below is applicable to UBC Clinical REB only.

1. Currently approved research projects:

A) Projects that have received APPROVAL from the REB with exemption

  • Projects that are up and running via exemption will need to:

VCH sites: VCHRI Resumption approval is still required even if exemption was given. See VCH memo for approval process to continue conducting these studies at VCH sites.  UBC CREB does NOT need to be notified. VCHRI will indicate in RISe when the study has approval for resumption.

*For industry sponsored studies, please verify if sponsor requires a PAA Request for acknowledgment to be submitted.

UBC Campus: obtain approval for resumption from your Faculty/Dept.  Email the signed document and RISe study # to creb@ors.ubc.ca.

B) Projects that have been halted due to COVID-19

  • If your research was halted due to the curtailment and you feel that your research meets the criteria for stage 2:

VCH sites: see VCH memo for approval process.  If approved by VCHRI, you do NOT need to notify UBC CREB. VCHRI will indicate in RISe when the study has approval for resumption.

*For industry sponsored studies, please verify if sponsor requires a PAA Request for acknowledgment to be submitted.  

UBC Campus: obtain approval for resumption from your Faculty/Dept.  Email the signed document and RISe study # to creb@ors.ubc.ca.

If your research was halted due to the curtailment but you do not meet the criteria for resumption (not critical and cannot be conducted without in-person interactions), continue to POSTPONE your research until you qualify for resumption of your research.

C) Projects that were modified due to COVID-19

  • If you modified your research to continue without in-person activities TEMPORARILY and wish to come back on site:

VCH sites: see VCH memo for approval process.  If approved by VCHRI you do NOT need to notify UBC CREB. VCHRI will indicate in RISe when the study has approval for resumption.

UBC Campus: obtain approval for resumption from your Faculty/Dept.  Email the signed document and RISe study # to creb@ors.ubc.ca.

Any changes resulting from the resumption of research will need to be outlined via an amendment in RISe (ie. IF in-person procedures were removed from the application, changes to recruitment, consenting, methods etc )

  •       2. If you modified your research PERMANENTLY to remove in-person activities then no action needs to be taken. 

D) Projects that were not affected by COVID-19

  • Projects that have never involved in-person research activities (and do not require on-site resources or require staff to be on-site at VCH or UBC Campus) can CONTINUE as approved.

2. New research projects that will be reviewed and approved by the REB

  • COVID related projects
  • Critical in-person research projects 
  • Laboratory research with approvals from the institution (Health Authority or UBC).

VCH sites: see VCH memo for approval process.  If approved by VCHRI you do NOT need to notify the REB. VCHRI will indicate in RISe when the study has approval for resumption.   

UBC Campus: obtain approval for resumption from your Faculty/Dept.  Attached signed document to Application box 9.8A.  UBC CREB may also need to verify with UBC Faculty of Medicine if appropriate approvals are in place.

  • Research projects that do not involve in-person interactions and can be conducted remotely

All other research submitted will be reviewed however there will be delays in the review.  Final approval will only be given once curtailment is lifted. 

*If your study involves private clinics or home visits, please contact pia.ganz@ors.ubc.ca  to discuss the approval process.

For more information on for UBC campus research resumption, please see here 

Please be aware that, as the current situation is very fluid, these interim policies may well change, and we will update you as necessary in future bulletins.  Should you have any questions about these policies or other issues, please do not hesitate to contact Pia Ganz, CREB manager at pia.ganz@ors.ubc.ca

NOTICE TO UBC RESEARCHERS REGARDING EMERGENCY REVIEWS

UBC’s Research Ethics Boards have been operating in accordance with UBC SOP 501: REB Review During Publicly Declared Emergencies   since the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic as a public health emergency in mid-March, 2020.  In keeping with the terms of the SOP UBC has been fast-tracking COVID-19 studies that are deemed to be urgent and related to the pandemic.   Most of UBC’s REBs have convened special emergency meetings to accommodate the need for rapid review of some studies.  In accordance with Article 3.2.11 the UBC REB Chairs and/or designees have made a periodic assessment of the impact of the emergency on ethics review processes.  Given the length of the public emergency and the fact that most new applications for COVID-19 related research are not urgent in the sense of having the potential to immediately impact the course of the pandemic and/or the lives of COVID-19 patients, UBC’s REBs will be adjusting their review processes accordingly.  Effective February 16th, 2021, most studies, whether related to COVID-19 or not, will be reviewed in accordance with previously established procedures for either expedited or full board review, in accordance with previously established and published REB review meeting dates. COVID-19 studies will however, continue to be prioritized.    Researchers may continue to request special emergency review meetings for their studies but they will be required to justify the need for such a meeting.  In addition to being COVID-19 related any such study must meet the criteria of being urgent.  UBC’s REBs will make the final determination as to whether a special emergency review meeting is appropriate.

Please contact pia.ganz@ors.ubc.ca for any questions.