Institutional Biosafety Committee

Frequently Asked Questions

What are biohazardous materials and what training is available to use them?

Please see the main page for the definition of a biohazard.

Training sessions are offered as online modules or as a classroom-based session. Please refer to the Training page for more information.

What type of research requires the IBC approval?

Research at the University of Chicago involving the use of biohazardous materials, including recombinant DNA, agents infectious to humans, animals or plants, and other genetically altered organisms and agents

Who can be a Principal Investigator (PI) on an IBC protocol?

A principal investigator is a member of the academic staff or faculty who bears responsibility for the intellectual leadership of a project. The principal investigator accepts overall responsibility for directing the research; the financial oversight of the award’s funding, as well as compliance with relevant University policies and sponsor terms and conditions of award. For more information see the University Research Administration’s guideline. For more information, please refer to this policy.

Where can I find help with completing the protocol Smartform in AURA?

Contact one of the IBC Administrators.

How do I determine the Risk Group and/or Biosafety Level for my research?

Please see the IBC Policies and Guidelines page.

Where is the IBC Office located?

957 E. 58th St, Abbott 120

What do I do if I change my research after my protocol is approved?

An amendment must be submitted for review by the IBC prior to any change in research being conducted. This includes change in staff. For directions on how to submit an amendment, please go to AURA-IBC Training.

What if I want to use biohazards in animals?

You will need to submit a new Animal Care and Use Protocol (ACUP) or amendment to an approved ACUP to iacuc@uchicago.edu. Details related to biohazard administration in animals must be congruent between the IBC protocol and ACUP. An IBC Administrator will work with you to achieve this goal. Review of the IBC protocol and ACUP will then be done simultaneously by the Institutional Biosafety Committee and Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), respectively.

  • The ACUP and amendment form can be retrieved here.

Who can submit an IBC protocol on behalf of a Principal Investigator?

The PI may grant editing privileges to any personnel listed on the protocol. However, only the PI can submit a protocol (new submission, resubmission, or amendments) through the AURA-IBC system

How do I change staff and funding on my protocol?

This requires submission of a personnel-funding amendment within the AURA-IBC system.

  1. Log in to the AURA-IBC system with your CNet credentials.
  2. Navigate to the main protocol (e.g. IBC1677(1)) and click on the corresponding title of the protocol.
  3. In the left activities sidebar, click on “Personnel-Funding Amendment”.
  4. You will now be directed to Edit Smartform where you may only edit Section 1.0 [Protocol Team Members and Funding] and Section 1.1 [External Funding Information].
  5. In Section 1.0 [Protocol Team Members and Funding], add and/or remove the intended staff in Question 3.0 and then click Save.
    • If you are done, click Exit. This will redirect you to the dashboard for your IBC protocol. The PI must click the “Submit” button in the left activities sidebar for the [personnel] amendment to be officially processed.
    • Approval of the personnel amendment is contingent upon the new staff completing their study staff acknowledgment.
  6. If you need to add funding, Section 1.1 will only appear if you have chosen “Externally Funded” in Question 4.0 of Section 1.0. Complete Section 1.1 for the new funding and then click Save and then Exit.
    • This will redirect you to the dashboard for your IBC protocol. The PI must click the “Submit” button in the left activities sidebar for the [funding] amendment to be officially processed. Once submitted, nothing further is required from the PI or lab personnel as funding amendments are automatically approved in the system.

I am leaving the University of Chicago. What do I do with my protocol(s)?

You have two options: 1) terminate your protocol(s) or 2) transfer your protocol(s) to another UChicago PI so that the work described in the protocol can continue. If you wish to terminate your protocols, you can request termination of the protocol within the AURA-IBC system or notify the IBC Office so that one of the administrators can terminate the protocol. If you wish to transfer your protocol(s), you will need to submit an amendment to the protocol. Please follow the steps below:

  1. Log in to AURA-IBC with your CNet credentials.
  2. Navigate to your Active tab.
  3. Click on the name of the protocol you wish to transfer (e.g. IBC1677(1) Recombinant DNA and transfected cells).
  4. Then, in the left activities sidebar, click on “Amendment”.
  5. This will generate IBC1677(1)-AD##.
  6. Click on ‘Edit Smartform’.
  7. You will be prompted to describe the amendment detail (e.g. transfer to new PI).
  8. In the Principal Investigator field, choose the new PI and then click Save.
  9. Exit the Smartform.
  10. The amendment is now transferred into the new PI’s Inbox tab within AURA-IBC. In order to proceed with the amendment, the new PI must submit the amendment.
  11. Once the PI transfer amendment is received by the IBC Office, it will be processed for Full Committee review.

I no longer need my IBC protocol(s). What do I do with them?

You have two options: 1) terminate your protocol(s) or 2) let them naturally expire on the predetermined expiration date. The predetermined expiration date is 3 years from the original approval date so if your protocol was approved 5/30/2018 the expiration date is 5/29/2021. If you wish to terminate your protocols, you can request termination of the protocol within the AURA-IBC system or notify the IBC Office so that one of the administrators can terminate the protocol.

How long are IBC protocols approved for?

IBC protocols are approved for three years.

I want to acquire certain agents from BEI Resources and they are requiring a Level 2 registration. What do I do?

If you are requesting human cell lines, bacteria, viruses, or any other agent that must be handled at BSL2 from BEI Resources, then you will need to complete the registration packet as described at https://www.beiresources.org/RegisterLevel2.aspx. The Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) should be completed and routed through your Departmental Grant Manager and URA Administrator. To have the Biosafety Level 2 Checklist completed, please contact researchsafety@uchicago.edu as a Biosafety Officer must complete and sign this form. For a profile of UChicago on the organization’s letterhead, please contact the IBC Office as we keep a letter on file.