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Creating a new Institutional Biosafety Committee protocol
If you are using recombinant DNA (rDNA) or synthetic nucleic acid molecules, regardless of Biosafety Level, for research or teaching purposes at Indiana University, you are required to submit an Institutional Biosafety Committee protocol for review. If you are using non-recombinant biological materials at Biosafety Level 2 or higher for research or teaching purposes at IU, you are also required to submit a protocol for review.
A protocol is a detailed set of activities for the project you’re proposing, supported by evidence from other research and from preliminary investigations. A complete protocol must be submitted to, reviewed by, and, in most cases, approved by the Institutional Biosafety Committee before work can begin.
What do you need to do to prepare a new IBC submission?
Prior to submitting a new protocol to the Institutional Biosafety Committee, you should:
- Download the protocol submission form. Forms are updated periodically. Always download a new form when submitting a new protocol. Old versions of submission forms will not be accepted.
- Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) Protocol Submission Form (Rev. June 2018)
- Supplemental Document (The Supplemental Document accompanies the protocol form to provide guidance for completing certain sections of the protocol form.)
- Complete and submit your protocol submission form. When submitting your protocol to the Institutional Biosafety Committee, all forms must come from the principal investigator’s email address or from a designated contact with the principal investigator copied on the email. Send all files to your campus committee address:
- Complete required training. Ensure that you and all personnel listed on your protocol are up to date on the appropriate required training.
Who is responsible for what?
Both you, as a principal investigator, and the IBC have specific responsibilities in identifying and addressing biosafety concerns throughout the research process.
The following individuals may serve as a principal investigator on an IBC protocol:
- professor with an official faculty position
- emeritus professor
- various clinical professors
- various scholars/scientists
- additional titles if given PI status by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research for the purpose of obtaining external grant support
- Making the initial determination of the required levels of physical and biological containment in accordance with the NIH Guidelines and the Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories
- Selecting the appropriate microbiological practices and laboratory techniques to be used for your research
- Ensuring that all personnel listed have access to the currently approved protocol and have read your protocol before beginning work
- Ensuring that the personnel listed on your protocol have sufficient knowledge and are sufficiently trained to safely perform the responsibilities for which they have been assigned
- Ensuring that all personnel fully understand the steps necessary following any spills or potential exposures with the biological agents described in your protocol
- Immediately reporting any suspected Biosafety Level 3 or confirmed Biosafety Level2 research-related illness as well as reporting any accidents, significant problems with, or violation of the NIH Guidelines, for any biosafety level, to the IU Environmental Health and Safety - Biological Safety
- Reporting to the Environmental Health and Safety Office Biological Safety Office any spills or accidents that fall under the “IBC Policy and Procedures on Reporting Laboratory Incidents.”
- Reviewing research and teaching involving biological materials or recombinant DNA or synthetic nucleic acid molecules for compliance with NIH Guidelines, the Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories, and the policies of the IBC
- Notifying you, as principal investigator, of the results of the IBC’s review and approval
- Lowering containment levels for certain experiments as specified in the NIH Guidelines Section III-D-2-a: Experiments in which DNA from Risk Group 2 or Risk Group 3 agents is transferred into nonpathogenic prokaryotic or lower eukaryotic host-vector systems
- Setting containment levels as specified in the NIH Guidelines Sections III-D-4-b, Experiments Involving Whole Animals, and III-D-5, Experiments Involving Whole Plants
- Periodically reviewing recombinant DNA or synthetic nucleic acid molecule research conducted at the institution to ensure compliance with the NIH Guidelines
- Reporting any significant problems with or violation of the NIH Guidelines, and any significant research-related accidents or illnesses to the appropriate institutional official and NIH’s Office of Science Policy within 30 days, unless the IBC determines that a report has already been filed by you, the PI
- Immediately reporting any suspected Biosafety Level 3 or confirmed Biosafety Level 2 research-related illnesses, and any accidents or significant problems with or violations of the NIH Guidelines, to the appropriate institutional officials and NIH’s Office of Science Policy
- Reviewing any reports of spills or accidents that fall under the “IBC Policy and Procedures on Reporting Laboratory Accidents.” View the Institutional Biosafety Committee policies
The IBC may not authorize initiation of experiments that are not explicitly covered by the NIH Guidelines until the NIH establishes the containment requirements.
Need help submitting your protocol?
Contact the Institutional Biosafety Committee Office at 812-855-0656 or send an email to your campus committee address: