The IBC Approval Process

Principal Investigators (PIs) seeking initial IBC approval are required to submit a completed Protocol Application at least three weeks prior to the desired IBC meeting date. IBC meetings are generally held on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 2:00 p.m. When a protocol is approved the PI will receive a formal letter of approval.

All IBC protocol applications (new and existing) must be submitted using the IBC Protocol Management online system. The online system is the only accepted source for submission of new protocols and amendments to active protocols.

The new online system allows you to view all information submitted and approved as part of your existing protocol. You can also view the training status of all personnel listed on your protocol, submit personnel changes and amendments, and obtain a copy of your approval letter(s).

If you are planning to submit a new protocol or to amend an existing protocol, and have any questions, please contact the IBC administrator who will assist you with this process at or (540) 231-1910.


Regulated and Select Agents

If you are planning on working with regulated or select agents you will need to apply for IBC approval. Additional paperwork will also need to be filed with the CDC Select Agent Program. Please contact the Biosafety Office for more information.


Annual Review

All active protocols that have been previously approved by the IBC require an annual review to assess any changes that have been made during the previous year. This review also verifies that all work has been conducted in accordance with the approved protocol. The IBC will contact you prior to the anniversary date with instructions.

You will begin receiving reminder notifications from the IBC Protocol Management online system 2 months prior to when your annual review is due. You will need to go to the online system and complete the information requested.

As part of the annual review, all BSL-1 and BSL-2 labs need to perform a self-inspection, and upload the completed checklist onto the IBC Protocol Management online system.

  1. BL1/BSL-1/BL1-P Self-Inspection Checklist
  2. BL2/BSL-2/BL2-P Self-Inspection Checklist


Protocol Expiration

Full Committee Protocols: Full committee protocols are active for a period of 3 years. The expiration date for the protocol is provided in the Protocol Approval Letter and on the IBC Protocol Management. Prior to the expiration of the protocol, you will need to submit a renewal protocol. You will receive reminder messages from the IBC Protocol Management online system beginning 28 weeks prior to the expiration of your protocol. It is suggested that you submit your renewal at least 2 months prior to the expiration date to avoid disruption of your research activities.

Exempt Protocols: Exempt protocols do not have an expiration date. However, a review of the protocol must be completed annually. If the principal investigator does not complete the annual review on time, the protocol may be re-reviewed by the IBC, and could be closed.