VCU Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) Blog

The VCU HRPP is dedicated to facilitating ethically and scientifically sound research through robust review of research projects and through effective education and outreach to the VCU research community.

Please Note: This guidance is subject to change as the winter break approaches. This information was originally posted on the HRPP blog on 11/17/2023 and has been updated.

***Due to the implementation of the HRPP Transformation, the HRPP will be able to continue to process VCU IRB reviews during the upcoming university break periods. Thus, administrative operations will continue without interruption.

VCU Winter Break holiday

During the VCU Winter Break period from December 22, 2023 -January 1, 2024 there will be no IRB meetings on the following dates:

● Wednesday, December 27, 2023 and
● Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Reminders from HRPP blog post on 11/17/2023:

Investigators who wished to have full board items reviewed in December 2023 were highly encouraged to submit a complete IRB application (i.e., review ready application with the protocol) no later than December 1, 2023

Please be advised that submission to the IRB does not guarantee assignment to a full board agenda. Incomplete applications and non-emergency submissions requiring full board review submitted after this date may not be reviewed until a later meeting.

Frequently Asked Questions

What about the submissions in progress before December 1, 2023?

The HRPP staff are reviewing and responding to initial, continuing reviews and amendment submissions already in progress in accordance with our policies. This process will continue throughout the university holiday break period.

Can my research team prepare new human research protocols over the VCU Winter Break?

Yes. Research investigators may continue to perform their normal operations. Thus, Human research protocols can be developed outside of the RAMS-IRB system or generate the RAMS application to complete the required sections so the submissions may be easily shared and edited with collaborators, research team members and advisors or mentors.  

Can my research team still contact the HRPP administrative offices for guidance? 

Yes.  Your team can still contact the HRPP administrative offices by email and phone. Your team can still generate the application. The HRPP will be monitoring communications (i.e., phone calls and emails) and be available to support the research community during these times. 

Will the HRPP systems be available over the VCU Winter Break?

Absolutely! The HRPP online systems remain open 24/7/365.  You will be able to check your human research training status and review your study status, personnel and review schedules during this time.

CITI – to complete requisite and optional online research ethics and integrity training
RAMS IRB – to upload your final research protocol and complete your IRB submission form

Will the faculty and staff of the HRPP and VCU IRB be available for emergency issues, reports or concerns? 

Yes. The HRPP staff and IRB Chairs will be on call during the break for emergencies. If you are submitting any of the following prompt reports/submissions to the HRPP/IRB during the VCU Winter Break, please ensure that you:

  1. Complete your submission in RAMS-IRB for:
    a. Serious Adverse Event (SAE) Reports
    b. Unanticipated Problems Involving Risk to Subjects or Others (UPIRTSO)
    c. Emergency use protocols (Note: Emergency use protocols must be submitted to the IRB within 5 days after said event)
  1. Alert our rotation of on-call staff via email to and/or via voicemail to (804) 828-0868. Please be sure to monitor your email or phone after your submission – a response may take up to 24 hours, depending upon the nature of the situation.

Thank you, and have a happy winter holiday.

Categories Announcements and Updates, HRPP Operations, Winter Break Notice
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