This page has been created to provide important information and share answers to COVID-19-related questions as pertains to the Office of Research Services (ORS), including Human Subjects Research (HSR) protections and the Saint Joseph’s University (SJU) Institutional Review Board (IRB). This page will be updated on an as-needed basis.
In-Person Interactions with Research Participants
SJU will begin to allow University Principal Investigators (PIs) to conduct in-person research activities, including data collection (i.e., interviews, observations, interventions, etc., effective immediately.
The SJU IRB requires that all researchers conducting in-person research activities follow applicable guidance regarding COVID-19.
On-Campus Data Collection
Any SJU researcher who wishes to conduct research on campus must follow SJU’s COVID-19 protocols and adhere to any and all safety precautions. Information regarding SJU’s COVID-19 guidance can be found on the Hawk Hill Ahead webpage.
Off-Campus Data Collection
Any SJU researcher who wishes to conduct research off campus must follow applicable local guidance. Researchers should consult the local municipality’s website for COVID-19 guidance.
If a PI wishes to change remote/virtual data collection to in-person data collection, and the project was previously approved by SJU’s IRB, the PI may submit an amendment/modification application to request such changes. For instructions on how to submit an amendment/modification package on IRBNet, see the Amendment/Modification Submission Guide.
CITI COVID-19 Training
All PIs planning to conduct research in person must complete the CITI COVID-19 training. To access the training, follow the instructions below:
Note: You must have a CITI Program account to access the course. If you, as a learner, do not have a CITI Program account please follow these instructions to register.
- Visit www.citiprogram.org and log into your account.
- Click on “View Courses” next to your institution’s name from your Main Menu page.
- Click on “Add a course” below the Learner Tools section.
- Locate the “COVID-19: Back to Campus” course (location may vary per your institution's curriculum questions).
- Retrieve your Completion Record after you have completed the course.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding training requirements, email the Research Compliance Coordinator (email@example.com) or, if you have any technical questions or concerns, email CITI (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Short Screening for Exposure to COVID-19
SJU requires asking research participants to complete a short screening for exposure to COVID-19 or symptoms of illness before they are scheduled for any study-related activities and in-person interactions. This specific screening procedure does not require IRB approval. A copy of this screening is also available under "Forms & Templates" on IRBNet.
Appropriate screening questions might include the following, which could be modified to fit your participant population and the location of in-person interactions. Any YES answer should be considered sufficient reason to postpone in-person activities.
- Have you had any of the following symptoms in the past two weeks, even if they were mild?
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of taste and/or smell
- Have you had close contact with someone who either tested positive for or is under investigation for possible COVID-19?
The SJU IRB requires researchers and participants to continue following mitigation measures including the wearing of face masks.
If you have any questions please contact the IRB at email@example.com.