One of the major challenges to research and scholarly activity in rural programs is the Institutional Review Board (IRB) process. In addition to the usual challenges that confront the researcher in any setting, rural program faculty, students, and residents are often less familiar and comfortable with the process, many projects require the approval of an IRB in an urban university remote from the rural location, and some projects (e.g. research in tribal communities) require the approval of multiple IRBs. The traditional IRB process was primarily designed to protect individual human subjects in randomized controlled trials of drug treatment or other medical interventions in large urban settings. Some rural proposals represent community-engaged projects that do not clearly fit the traditional IRB process and by their iterative nature often require revisions. Solutions include starting early with the end in mind, designing research that is exempt or expedited and crafting the submission to make this very clear, and having a trusted guide who thoroughly knows the routine. This webinar convenes a panel who will share their experience and wisdom in navigating the process in rural communities and in the area of rural health.
Following this webinar, participants will be able to:
- Describe the unique challenges to the IRB process in a rural community setting
- Articulate at least 3 strategies others have found for effectively navigating the process
- Generate solutions of their own in pursuing research and scholarly work in their own rural community
- Join the Rural PREP community of practice in rural primary care health professions education and training