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Institutional Review Board Frequently Asked Questions


Who do I contact with IRB-related questions?


The IRB encourages all current and prospective researchers to contact the IRB Director directly with any questions or concerns. The general e-mail address for the IRB is IRB.Director@djj.state.fl.us.

The IRB Director is Katherine C. Gomez, and she is available via email (Katherine.Gomez@djj.state.fl.us) or via telephone at 850-717-2633.

 

 


What is the Institutional Review Board (IRB)?


The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) is dedicated to the protection of youth in custody and under supervision from risks related to research studies. The Institutional Review Board has been assigned the task of reviewing and providing written approval for studies that meet the standards set by DJJ.

The DJJ IRB reviews research proposals that involve DJJ youth (e.g., direct contact with youth, access to individualized youth information) and/or occur within a DJJ program. The IRB also reviews research that involves DJJ staff. The IRB then provides recommendations to the Secretary’s designee to accept or reject the research proposal.


Who should apply for IRB approval?


Researchers proposing studies that will involve entering a program or contacting program youth must obtain IRB approval prior to implementation. Researchers are not permitted to contact DJJ-involved youth or DJJ staff without the express prior written approval of the DJJ IRB. Contacting youth without the express prior written approval of the DJJ IRB may compromise IRB approval.

Researchers requesting identified or de-identified data must obtain IRB approval prior to receiving the data. This applies to all research for the purpose of generalized knowledge (e.g., journal articles, dissertations) and grant-funded research.


What is the process to obtain IRB approval?


The IRB Handbook is available in the DJJ Forms Library. The link to the handbook along with other IRB form templates is here: IRB Handbook

The instructional handbook describes how to complete the required documents for submission. The forms required for all research requests are: IRB Cover Sheet, IRB Introductory Questionnaire, IRB Research Acknowledgment Form, and Protocol for Proposed Research (template not included in Forms Library).

Please be advised that the completion of data requests, review of modifications to existing IRB submissions, requests for expedited desk reviewed submissions and other requests are contingent upon Department deadlines, priorities, and the availability of resources as determined by the Director of Research and Data Integrity.


Does the IRB have a sample of a completed submission?


How long is IRB approval good for?


Final proposal approval is active for 365 days from the time the Secretary’s delegate signs the Privacy & Security Agreement. Researchers may apply for an extension or renewal of their approved status.


What if I experience turnover in my research team?


The Primary Investigator must immediately notify the DJJ IRB of any turnover in the research team, in order to ensure that all team members maintain NIH training certifications and/or background screenings.


Will the IRB contact me to renew the approval?


Tracking IRB approvals is the responsibility of the researcher. As a courtesy, the IRB Director will send approved Principal Investigators a notice generally 30 days before the project approval is set to end. This notice will provide the Principal Investigator an opportunity to initiate the extension/renewal process.


Do I need to complete NIH Training?


If your research proposal requests any identifiable youth data, you will need to complete the NIH training, or provide proof of completed NIH training, with an expiration data no later than 1 year from date of IRB submission. See the Handbook for details on how to obtain NIH training. Contact the IRB Director with any case-specific questions.

How long is NIH Training considered valid?


DJJ considers NIH training valid for 1 year. If your NIH training was completed more than 1 year prior to proposal submission, the researcher will need to complete an updated course. See the Handbook for details on how to obtain NIH training.


Do I need to obtain DJJ background screening?


If the research proposal requests any identifiable youth data, the Primary Investigator, any co-investigators, and anybody else who may have access to identifiable youth data will need to complete a DJJ background screening.


Does DJJ accept background screenings from any other agency?


With limited exceptions, DJJ does not accept background screenings from any other agency. Contact the IRB Director with any case-specific questions.


Who do I contact if I need assistance with background screening?


The IRB Director may be able to assist with many background screening questions. If the IRB Director isn’t able to assist, researchers are encouraged to contact the DJJ Inspector General’s Background Screening Unit directly at GeneralBSU@djj.state.fl.us or (850) 921-6345.

I’m not sure how to fill out the background screening forms. Help?


Contact the IRB Director for a sample template set of completed background screening forms.

When are the Institutional Review Board meetings held?


The Board meets on a quarterly basis. Please see the main IRB web page (http://www.djj.state.fl.us/research/irb-requests) for a list of tentative meeting dates. Dates are subject to change, but are published at least 30 days prior to the scheduled meeting.

When are the submission deadlines?


Please see the main IRB web page (http://www.djj.state.fl.us/research/irb-requests) for a list of proposal submission dates. The IRB will only accept proposal submissions via the mail. Electronic submissions will not be accepted. Proposals received after the submission deadline will automatically be held until the next submission cycle. The address to mail submissions can be found on the main IRB web page.

Will the IRB expedite the approval process in certain situations?


No.


How long will it take for me to receive my data?


If your study requests a de-identified dataset prepared by DJJ research analysts, the amount of time needed to prepare a dataset varies. The Office of Research and Data Integrity supports all branches of the Department of Juvenile Justice. The completion of IRB data requests is contingent upon Department deadlines, priorities, and the availability of resources as determined by the Director of Research and Data Integrity.


How will I receive my data?


If your study requests a de-identified dataset, an analyst will prepare the dataset and receive approval to disseminate the data. In most cases, data sets are transferred electronically, using a secured method of transfer.