Texas Tech University

Clarification of Requests for Return to Face-to-Face Human Subjects Research

The leaders of all TTU research groups restarting active on-campus research, including research projects involving travel to remote biological/geological field sites or in-person data collection at locations remote from the TTU campus, need to fill out the OR&I form requesting permission to return to active research. To clarify: Research groups with projects involving the collection of face-to-face human-subjects data at sites not on the TTU campus—pre-K-12 schools, prisons, health care facilities, etc.—doneed to submit the form requesting return to active research. The form for requesting a return to active research can be found on the TTU OR&I webpage at: https://ttu.infoready4.com/#competitionDetail/1812871.

Completion of this form allows us to understand who is conducting active research, the physical location where they are conducting the activity, and what heightened precautions are being taken to ensure social distancing, appropriate hygiene, and heightened health checks. As I have noted before, many previously approved IRB protocols did not take into account the social distancing, pre-study health checks, and hygiene processes that are now necessary given the ongoing pandemic. The "return to active on-campus research" application process allows us to dialog with individual research groups about these needs.

Please note: Submitting the return to active on-campus research request does not replace the need to have a human-subjects protocol that has been approved by the TTU IRB prior to beginning any research involving human subjects. Any new investigators beginning research involving human subjects, or any investigator adding a new human subjects research protocol or modifying an existing protocol, still needs to apply to the TTU IRB for approval of the proposed activities. TTU IRB applications for new human-subjects projects or for modification of existing protocols can be submitted at: https://www.depts.ttu.edu/research/irb/index.php.