Things To Know



Students and Research

It is the time of year when students need to start thinking about the research projects that they plan to participate in during the summer.  Student research involving human subjects (including their data and/or samples) requires IRB review whether or not it is funded.  

Here is some information about student research protocols:

  • All student research projects need sign off by the student's faculty advisor.
  • Students must complete BUMC's human subjects training requirements, including the BUMC Privacy Module.  Some students may need to meet the BUMC recertification requirements depending on when they completed their initial training.
  • IRB approval does NOT constitute approval for students to access patients' medical records.  If a student's research involves accessing patients’ medical or dental records, then the student will need to obtain appropriate privileges from the covered entity that holds those records IN ADDITION TO IRB APPROVAL.   See BUMC Privacy Module  for more information about access to protected health information in clinical records.
  • Studies that target certain student groups as research subjects require appropriate approval.  For example, studies targeting BUSM students as subjects require the sign-off of Dean Antman.
  • Students should consult the Nov. 2013 CR TIMES feature article, “Preparing an IRB Application –Where Do I Begin?” for instructions on completing an INSPIR application based on the type of research being conducted.
  • Students should consult the Dec. 2013 CR TIMES feature article named “Making a List and Checking it Twice” for a checklist to be used for checking their IRB applications for completeness prior to submitting them to the IRB.
  • Most student research will involve one or more of the following activities.  The following articles provide specific instructions for submitting IRB protocols for these specific activities.  Following these instructions should significantly decrease your IRB review turn-around times.



Students leaving BUMC

Students who are preparing to leave BUMC are reminded that they should be making plans regarding their research.  If the research will continue after the student's departure, then arrangements should be made with the faculty advisor to modify the study staff listed on the protocol.  This will require submitting an internal study personnel change amendment to the IRB via INSPIR.

Students are also reminded that they cannot take research data with them (outside the institution) until appropriate actions have been taken. In most cases, the data will need to be stripped of identifiers, and the master code (if any) will need to remain at this institution.  Please review the May 2012 CR TIMES feature article named “You Just Can’t Take It With You!”for more details.



Approval to access medical and dental records for research

Investigators are reminded that IRB approval of investigators does NOT constitute approval for investigators to access patients' clinical records (i.e., medical and dental records) within a covered entity. Only those who have obtained specific privileges from the covered entity may access patients' medical records to collect research data. Only the covered entity can grant those privileges under HIPAA.   Investigators who need to obtain privileges should contact the covered entity's privacy officer for additional instructions.    The contact information for the Boston Medical Center Privacy Office is by phone at (617) 414-1800; by fax at (617) 638-7416; or by email at



New Research Funding Opportunities

Every month the Office of the Associate Provost for Research distributes to the research community by e-mail a compilation of funding opportunities available through various agencies and federal sources. If you missed the e-mail or were not on the distribution list, here’s a link to a copy of the email  and the contact information of the Office if you have additional questions or want to be added to the list.

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