COVID-19 Updates

This page was last updated on January 4, 2022


Will the Campus IRB operate on a normal schedule? 

Staff will continue to be available via email and by phone during normal business hours (Monday-Friday, 8:00AM - 5:00PM). Online review procedures have been implemented to carry out reviews of exempt and expedited research protocols, and IRB meetings for full board reviews will take place via video conferencing. We are confident the processes we have put in place will limit any major interruptions to our normal day-to-day operations.


Will working remotely delay the review of my protocol submission?

The Campus IRB has always striven to provide the best customer service to our researchers. This includes reviewing research protocol submissions as quickly as possible, while still ensuring that we meet our responsibility to protect human subjects in research.

As you may know, the nature of our work is such that IRB staff and IRB members meet together frequently to carry out the review of your protocol submissions. While complexities to our new virtual working style manifest from time to time, we want to reassure our researchers that we are committed to maintaining our current level of service.

However, the Campus IRB is currently experiencing a high volume of submissions and we appreciate your patience!


My study involves in-person interactions with participants. Are there specific guidelines I have to follow?

Researchers may carry out in-person research activities so long as the activities have been incorporated into an approved protocol, and the responsible investigator ensures that all members of the research team adhere to the following:

  • Research teams must follow the policies and procedures laid out in the Duke United guidelines.
  • Research participants must be screened for COVID symptoms prior to interacting in person with research teams.
  • Research teams should follow these infection prevention guidelines.
  • All work that can remain remote (e.g., informed consent process, surveys) should.
  • If research involves domestic or global travel, the research team must review information on travel website. In addition, any out of state travel should be logged in the Travel Registry.

Campus IRB staff may ask that the points described above are incorporated into a protocol prior to issuing IRB approval.

If you have questions about how to incorporate these requirements or guidelines into your research protocol, please contact the Campus IRB.


I’m a student researcher, or I have students on my research team. Can students carry out in-person research activities?

As of January 4, 2022, undergraduate students involved in research must comply with the updated guidance for Spring 2022 semester before they can resume their research activities. If students meet all of the prescribed conditions, they may carry out in-person research activities.

Like before, students must be listed as members of an approved protocol, their activities must be incorporated into an approved protocol, and the responsible investigator must ensure that all student members of the research team will adhere to the guidelines described above.

Please contact the Campus IRB if you have any questions specific to your situation.


I am currently abroad. How do I implement Duke’s July 2021 guidelines with respect to COVID-19 into my research at my international site?

In-person research activities are allowed so long as the activities have been incorporated into an approved protocol, and the responsible investigator ensures that all members of the research team adhere to guidelines described above, with an emphasis on reviewing the travel website if your research study is taking place in another country. In addition, research teams that are abroad are expected to follow all in-country or local COVID restrictions.


I amended my protocol to go from in-person to remote research activities. Do I have to amend my protocol to resume in-person activities or remove remote activities?

Protocols do not need to be amended to remove remote activities. The updated guidelines specify that work that can be done remotely should remain remote. To resume in-person activities, please refer to the guidelines above.

For more information on amending a protocol, please review our amendment policy.

You can also contact the Campus IRB to confirm if the changes you are proposing to make need a formal amendment.


I will be asking participants questions, or analyzing existing data related to the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. Do I have to do anything different as part of the IRB process?

Leadership has asked all Duke researchers gathering or accessing data about the coronavirus, COVID-19, or the pandemic (in any way), to enter their research study on MyResearchHome.

Once you have signed into MyResearchHome, click on the Go To Research Dashboard button for COVID-19 Research & Activities. You can then register your study by selecting "Notify Duke!"


Where can I find more information on Duke's response to the coronavirus as it relates to research?

Please visit Duke's Coronavirus (COVID-19) Research-Related Updates page for more information. This page is being updated as needed.