An update on human subjects research reactivation

From: Simon Atkinson, Vice Chancellor for Research; Kathleen Lynne Lane, Associate Vice Chancellor & Institutional Official for Human Research
Sent: Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, 1:15 p.m.
To: KU Lawrence human subjects PIs, research center directors, and deans

Dear Human Subjects Researchers,

We appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with principal investigators as they carefully and creatively consider how to reactivate human subjects inquiry safely. 

We would like to thank the investigators of the 20 studies that have collaborated with the Human Research Protection Program to reactivate research originally proposed with in-person interactions. Eight studies involving low-risk in-person research with robust safety plans have been approved. Twelve other studies have developed contactless methods of interacting, usually asynchronously, to achieve research goals.

As a reminder, each study is reviewed by a subcommittee of the IRB every week and, on a case-by-case basis, may be approved or referred to the full IRB. Using a risk matrix developed for the pandemic, the IRB carefully weighs all risks associated with the research, including benefits to participants, vulnerability of the population, risks associated with the location, and the nature of the specific activities, including sharing of objects, duration, and proximity between participant and researcher.

We look forward to reviewing future requests for reactivating in-person research together with the proposed COVID-19 safety measures. We are considering applications on a case-by-case basis at this time. Detailed instructions on how apply for reactivation of in-person research can be found on the Reactivating In-Person Human Subjects Research webpage.


Simon and Kathleen

Simon Atkinson
Vice Chancellor for Research

Kathleen Lynne Lane
Associate Vice Chancellor & Institutional Official for Human Research