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IRB Volunteer Opportunities

Boston Medical Center and Boston University Medical Campus Institutional Review Board:

IRB members are responsible for reviewing human research conducted at BMC/BUMC to ensure that the rights and welfare of research subjects are protected. Review is guided by the Belmont principles of Respect for Persons, Beneficence, and Justice, and in a manner consistent with federal regulations, state and local laws, and institutional guidelines and policies. IRB members attend IRB meetings and may be assigned as a reviewer based on expertise. Regardless of their reviewer status, all IRB members are encouraged to participate in the discussion about all studies being presented and considered for approval.

If you have an interest in medical or socio-behavioral research and ethics, and would like to be involved with protecting the rights, safety and welfare of individuals who volunteer to participate in research, this volunteer opportunity may be for you. IRB members play an essential role in the review of new and ongoing research by drawing from their diverse backgrounds, knowledge, and unique perspectives. IRBs comprise both scientists and non-scientists, including community members unaffiliated with the institutions, and each group makes important contributions to the review process.

To become an IRB member, we ask:

• Members are asked to make a minimum of a two-year commitment to serving on the board.
• There is an initial training process, and new members need not have prior IRB experience. New members should expect to observe and learn during the first few meetings. IRB staff provide support and guidance and are always available for member questions or assistance.
• The time commitment is approximately 4-5 hours per month. Meetings last from 30-120 minutes, and take place once every 3 weeks. The 5-8 members attending each meeting must review study materials in advance to prepare for the discussion, and may be assigned a review.
• IRB review is focused on protecting the rights and safety of research participants.

If you are interested in joining the IRB, or attending a meeting to observe and gauge interest, please contact the BMC/BUMC IRB at medirb@bu.edu.