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UW Oshkosh IRB Revised Common Rule

The Department of Health and Human Services announced
revisions to modernize, strengthen, and make more effective the Federal
Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects that was originally
promulgated as a Common Rule in 1991. This final rule is intended to
better protect human subjects involved in research, while facilitating
valuable research and reducing burden, delay, and ambiguity for
investigators. These revisions are an effort to modernize, simplify,
and enhance the current system of oversight.

Implementation of the Revised Common Rule is January 19, 2018.

Changes to Exempt Research


Classroom research cannot adversely impact students’ opportunity to learn required educational content or the assessment of educators who provide instruction.


Use of identifiable information may be exempt if IRB conducts a Limited IRB review to determine that the research includes appropriate provisions for protecting privacy and confidentiality.

Research involving benign behavioral interventions on adults; will likely result in the majority of currently-expedited social-behavioral-eduacational research being exempt.

Secondary research use of information protected by HIPAA; will allow exempt review of retrospective and prospective chart reviews.

No continuing review for exempt or expedited research (unless justified by IRB for limited IRB/expedited review) or full board research limited to long-term follow-up only or data analysis only

New Exempt Categories may be viewed on IRB Forms page.

Exempt Studies

Exempt studies will still be reviewed by IRB members and trained IRB staff to make the IRB exempt determination.
Some activities previously reviewed under expedited categories have been moved to exempt status; e.g., EXEMPT CATEGORY 3, which includes research involving benign behavioral intervention in conjunction with the collection of data from an adult (not minor) through verbal or written responses or audio-recoding; + may include deception if prospectively authorized by the participant

Informed Consent Changes

New Key Information at Beginning of Consent

  • Consent must begin with a concise and focused presentation of key information (e.g. statement that the project is research and that participation is voluntary, a summary of the purpose, duration, procedures, risks, discomforts, benefits, appropriate alternatives, costs and payment).
  • Should be written at an appropriate comprehension level to assist the participant in making a decision on why one may or may not choose to participate in the research.

New required elements of consent

Notice about possible future research use of information or biospecimens stripped of identifiers:

Notifying prospective subject that subjects’ information or biospecimens may be used for future research without additional consent; or will not be used for future research.

  • Consent is not needed for data screening/prescreening.
  • Must provide participants an opportunity to obtain a copy of the consent form, even for online studies.
  • Post online the consent form for clinical trials supported by federal funding

Additional elements of consent (when applicable):

  • Potential for commercial profit and sharing of profits with subjects.
  • Whether clinically relevant research results will be disclosed to subjects and, if so, under what conditions.
  • For research involving biospecimens, whether the research will involve whole genome or exome sequencing.
  • Secondary research use of identifiable private information for which consent is not needed (See Exempt Category 4).

The key information section and new elements of informed consent will be included in the new Informed Consent Templates on the IRB forms/templates page:

Revised Consent Template from University of Santa Cruz

Revised Consent Checklist

Cooperative Research & Single IRB

Requirement for Single IRB Review:  All U.S. institutions engaged in federally funded collaborative research for the portion of the research conducted in the U.S.

Implementation Date: January 20, 2020; NIH funded research has a single IRB effective date of January 25, 2018

Two exceptions:

  • When more than a single IRB review is required by law.
  • Whenever any federal department or agency supporting or conducting the research determines and documents that the use of a single IRB is not appropriate for the particular context.
Expedited Review
  • There are no changes to expedited categories.
  • Continuing review is no longer required; unless requested and justified by IRB, and is documented. (The IRB may provide annual status updates to remind PI’s of research requirements and check for modifications in research.)
  • New consent templates are available belw to assist with meeting new requirements.
Revised Common Rule Definitions

Clinical Trial: “A research study in which one or more human subjects are prospectively assigned to one or more interventions (which may include placebo or other control) to evaluate the effects of the interventions on biomedical or behavioral health-related outcomes.”

UW Oshkosh does not have a FDA IRB. Protocols may be outsourced to a commercial IRB if the project is funded by an external sponsor.

Removal of Continuing Review

Revisions of 2018 were created to reduce administrative burden on investigators and IRBs where the burden does not provide additional protection of human subjects.

Under the 2018 requirements:

No continuing review required for:

1) Exempt or expedited research (unless requested & justified by IRB during limited IRB/expedited review) OR

2) Full board research limited to long-term clinical care follow-up only or data analysis only (including identifiable data)

  • Researchers will receive an annual email notification of their ongoing responsibilities to the IRB but no renewal action will be required.
  • Any changes to the study will require an IRB Modification Request Form and approval from IRB before implementation.
  • Existing protocols approved prior to January 19, 2018, will be grandfathered into the old rules until the time of annual continuing review.
  • At the time of continuing review, the IRB will transition the protocol to the new requirements, unless applying the 2018 Requirements will not provide benefit to investigators or subjects
  • Ongoing research:  Renewal will no longer be required for expedited research due to the transition of 2018 requirements. Study teams will submit their scheduled renewal to HSO and no additional renewals will be required thereafter (unless requested by IRB)
Online CITI Program Training (CITI)
  •  Current CITI training is valid until it expires (3 years from date completed).
  • When CITI refresher training is due, the revised human subjects course will be assigned to researchers.
  • New researchers will take the revised CITI human subjects research module.

CITI Final Rule Overview Resources:

More Information about Revised Common Rule
For more information on Revised Common Rule changes, complete this form.

Resources on Common Rule Changes