The IRB is part of the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS). Its purpose is to ensure that human research involving VDSS clients does not violate a client's right to privacy and protects them from harm or risk. The board reviews research proposals and data requests to determine how federal and state human research subject regulations apply to proposed research activities.
These proposals could involve human research activities conducted or authorized by any of the following:
- Local departments of social services
- VDSS-licensed facilities; and
- VDSS-authorized contractors
An IRB review is required when:
- The project involves human subjects
- The project is considered research
- The project qualifies for expedited review
- The project qualifies for exemption review (a shorter review, sufficient to determine the qualification for exemption)
The most important question to consider is "What individual identifying information will the researcher need to conduct the research?"