Investigators who conduct research involving pregnant women, human fetuses and neonates, prisoners (or subjects who become prisoners after the research has started), or children, must follow the provisions of the regulations in Subparts B, C, and D of 45 CFR part 46, respectively. The subparts describe the additional protections required for conducting research involving these populations. Relevant information may be obtained at the OHRP Web site (http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/policy/index.html).
Exemptions 1-6 do not apply to research involving prisoners or subjects who become prisoners (see Subpart C). Although Exemptions 1 and 3-6 apply to research involving children (see Subpart D), Exemption 2 can only be used for research involving educational testing or observations of public behavior when the investigator(s) do not participate in the activities being observed.
5.3 Data and Safety Monitoring Plans for Clinical Trials
For each proposed clinical trial, NIH requires a data and safety monitoring plan that describes oversight and monitoring to ensure the safety of participants and the validity and integrity of the data. The level of monitoring should be commensurate with the risks and the size and complexity of the clinical trial. Prior to the accrual of human subjects, a detailed data and safety monitoring plan must be submitted to the applicant’s IRB and to the funding entity for approval. Adverse Events must be reported to the IRB, the NIH funding Institute or Center, and other appropriate offices or agencies. This policy requirement is in addition to any monitoring requirements imposed by 45 CFR part 46. NIH policy specifically requires the establishment of a Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) for multi-site clinical trials involving interventions that entail potential risk to the participants, and generally for Phase III clinical trials. See also Part III, 2.1 Human Subjects Research.
NIH does not require certification of IRB approval of the proposed research prior to NIH peer review of an application. See http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-00-031.html.
Following NIH peer review, applicants and their institutions will be notified of the need for review and approval of the proposed research by an IRB that is registered under the institutional assurance with OHRP. See http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/ to register an IRB. Certification of IRB approval must be sent to the Grants Management Office through eRA Commons the Just-in-Time module (Part III, Section 1.7). Certification of IRB review and approval must include: the PHS application number, title of the project, name of the program director /principal investigator, date of IRB approval, and appropriate signatures. Grantees may also use the optional form “Protection of Human Subjects - Assurance Identification/IRB Certification/Declaration of Exemption (Common Rule)” (OMB Form No. 0990-0263 http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/assurances/forms/of310.rtf) to meet this requirement.
According to OHRP policy, in general an institution is considered to be engaged in human subjects research when it receives an NIH award to support nonexempt human subjects research. See http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/policy/engage08.html. All institutions engaged in human subjects research must obtain a Federal Wide Assurance (FWA) from OHRP. Instructions for applying for a Federal Wide Assurance (FWA) are available from the OHRP Web site at http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/assurances/index.html.
DHHS human subject regulations at 45CFR46.103(f) require that each application for non-exempt HHS-supported human subject research be reviewed and approved by an IRB (see also http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/policy/conditionalapproval2010.html). Only the date of approval of the application should be submitted to NIH. However, the IRB must ensure that any corresponding protocol(s) are consistent with the application, and must maintain documentation of IRB approval of all corresponding protocols, including those reviewed by consortium participants. For multi-site research, the primary grantee is expected to collect the certification from each subrecipient.
Any modifications to the Research Plan in the application, required by either NIH or by the IRB, must be submitted with follow-up certification of IRB approval to the NIH before the competing award is made. It is the responsibility of the PD/PI and the applicant organization to submit the follow-up documentation.
If more than a year will have elapsed between the initial IRB review date and the anticipated award date, the awarding unit staff shall require re-review by the IRB prior to award.
NIH requires education on the protection of human research participants for all individuals identified in PHS applications as senior/key personnel who will be involved in the design or conduct of human subjects research, before funds are awarded for applications or contract proposals involving human subjects. For information relating to this requirement, see the following notices http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-00-039.html and http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-01-061.html, and Frequently Asked Questions at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/hs_educ_faq.htm. Prior to award, applicants will be required to provide a description of education completed in the protection of human subjects for all senior/key personnel involved in the design or conduct of human subjects research. Although NIH does not endorse specific programs, curricula are available and provide guidance or can be modified to provide training in this area. See http://phrp.nihtraining.com/users/login.php for computer-based training developed by NIH that can be downloaded at no charge. For information on facilitating education and developing curricula, see http://www.nih.gov/sigs/bioethics.