Review process

Steps to obtaining approval from the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)

Initiating review

The review process is designed to enable timely communication between the principal investigator and the IBC, thereby expediting project approval.

Forms needed for project approval: Biosafety Approval Form (BAF), Biosafety Manual (BSM), Facility Inspection Report (FIR), and any necessary permits (e.g. USDA permits).

A diagram of the review process

Principal investigator completes forms

Choose from three different approaches:

  • Recommended: Complete forms and send them to the biosafety officer for pre-review before officially submitting them to the IBC coordinator. This practice expedites the approval process.
  • Work with the WSU biosafety officer to complete forms and develop or revise a BSM.
  • Fill out forms on your own.

You may submit forms to the IBC in any of the following ways:

  • Email:
  • Campus mail: Campus zip 3143, c/o IBC coordinator
  • Fax: 509-335-6410

The IBC meets once a month according to schedule. There is a deadline to submit materials for review. Submit your forms by the deadline to ensure that they are included on the agenda of the next meeting. That way, you won’t need to wait an additional month for IBC deliberation.

IBC checks forms for completion

The pre-IBC committee meets two weeks before the scheduled monthly IBC meeting to review all BAFs for completion. After the meeting, the IBC coordinator or committee members may contact you to request additional information. The goal is to ensure that your BAF is complete and ready for IBC consideration.

Biosafety officer reviews forms and the Biosafety Manual (BSM)

The officer will discuss issues with the IBC chair or IBC-assigned reviewers as appropriate. He/she may assist you by forwarding IBC recommendations prior to the IBC meeting.

If the biosafety officer suggests changes to the BSM, those recommendations are based on biosafety best practices and IBC guidance.

Pre-IBC committee assigns reviewers

The IBC chair assigns reviewers to each proposal. Materials are sent out to the reviewers.

IBC committee meets

If IBC-assigned reviewers require additional information, they may choose to contact you, the principal investigator, directly or may request one of the pre-IBC members to follow-up for them.

After review

Once your proposal has been reviewed

Within 5 business days following review of your proposal at an IBC meeting:

  • You will receive official written notification of your proposal status from the IBC coordinator with either approval, deferral pending clarification, or disapproval.
  • As a courtesy, the IBC coordinator or the WSU biosafety officer are available for verbal notification.

If you have not received verbal or written notification within 5 days, please notify the WSU biosafety officer.

Changes to your work

As the principal investigator, you are responsible for notifying the IBC of any changes with r/sNA or potentially biohazardous materials or techniques, containment requirements, facilities used, or research staff involved.

Notify the IBC before initiating changes.

Continued funding can depend on appropriate management of the investigation. Ensure that your work consistently remains current with all of the following:

  • Properly documented
  • Approved in its current form
  • In compliance with regulations

Before your biosafety approval form (BAF) expires

Duration of IBC approval: 3 years
  • Each BAF, BSM, and facility in which research is conducted is re-reviewed every 3 years. This recurrent process provides an opportunity to reassess the research and examine potential changes: new data, updates to best practices, etc.
  • All BSL-3 facilities are reviewed annually.

Prior to your BAF’s expiration date, the IBC coordinator will issue a series of 3 reminders at the beginning of each month. These notifications are provided strictly as a courtesy.

As a principal investigator, it is your responsibility to track your BAF schedules, submit renewals, and file new BAFs in a timely manner.