How can I submit a registration for my research involving biological materials?

The University of Connecticut’s IBC is now using HuskySMS Powered by SciShield (formerly BioRAFT), an electronic database to complete and submit registrations and amendments to the IBC. The former registration system is no longer available. All new registrations and renewals must be submitted via HuskySMS, by completing a biological summary. The following link, uconn.bioraft.com, can be used to access the new database. Personnel can log in using their UConn NetID and password.

The lab must be bio-enabled by the IBC Coordinator, so please contact ibc@uconn.edu, to begin the registration process.

If you have any questions about HuskySMS and need help, please feel free to contact ibc@uconn.edu with  “HuskySMS Support” in the subject line.

When can I begin research or teaching activities involving biological materials?

Due to requirements outlined in state and federal regulations/guidelines, when your work can begin will depend on the activities conducted in the lab. A biological summary must be submitted through HuskySMS and reviewed by the IBC Coordinator and the IBSO, who will then determine when the work can begin. Many experiments can start once the preliminary review is complete and the lab has received an initial biosafety audit, while other activities may require full committee review and approval prior to initiation of research. For additional information regarding when work can begin, please contact the IBC Coordinator at ibc@uconn.edu.

Who is eligible for PI status?

UConn employees serving in the following capacity are eligible for PI status:

  • Principal Investigators are University employees (permanent, temporary, post-doc) who direct the activities of a research laboratory and/or project within a research group.
  • Principal Instructors are University employees who oversee the activities of teaching laboratories and/or individual undergraduate student projects.
  • A Laboratory Supervisor is a University employee who works for a PI as a technician or assistant responsible for daily laboratory functions.
  • The individual responsible for overseeing a lab that is a part of the Technology Incubation Program (TIP), can act as a PI for the IBC registration process.

How long are registrations approved for?

Each registration shall be active for a maximum period of three (3) years. At the end of this three year period, the registration expires.  As a courtesy, PIs will be notified by e-mail in advance of the expiration date.

Does the IBC work with other compliance committees?

If there is a need for review by multiple compliance committees (e.g., IRB, SCRO and IACUC), the IBC will work with the other committees to ensure those approvals are in place.  IBC approval does not supersede or waive the requirement for independent review by other research compliance committees.

How can I amend/modify an approved registration?

A PI may amend/modify their approved registration using the IBC Amendment Form.  Requests for amendments must be submitted to the IBC for review prior to the initiation of new experimental activities.  Amendments/modifications include but are not limited to changes in experimental activities (new microorganisms, host-vector systems, transgenic animals, etc.), funding, personnel, biosafety level, and project locations.

Please note that research activities involving RG2 organisms as a host-vector systems, cloning RG2 DNA into non-pathogenic bacteria, infectious DNA or RNA viruses and recombinant experiments with animals or plants must not begin until the committee has reviewed and approved this amendment. An exception may be made when the changes are necessary to eliminate apparent immediate hazards to human health or the environment.

The procedures for approving amendments are the same as those described in the IBC Registration Process page. Supplementary questions may be required for the addition of biological materials. If necessary, PIs will be notified.

For registrations already in the HuskySMS database, amendments can be submitted within the system. If you have any questions about HuskySMS and need help, please feel free to contact ibc@uconn.edu with  “HuskySMS Support” in the subject line.

Why do I need to complete an Annual Review Form?

Annually, PIs will receive an email for their approved IBC Registration(s), requiring them to complete an Annual Review Form. This form helps the PI remain compliant and aids in determining if major changes have been made to the registration that have not been approved. PIs that are selected for Post Approval Monitoring (PAM) during their annual review period, will not receive an email, but will complete the survey during their laboratory audit.

My registration contains proprietary information. Can this remain confidential?

When the IBC reviews registrations containing proprietary information, a conflict may exist between this proprietary information and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  The State of Connecticut requires University records be open to the public.

To resolve the conflict, investigators shall provide written documentation to justify any confidentiality request or claim.  The investigator will submit a written justification along with the IBC registration specifying that proprietary information is contained in the application.

Types of information which may be considered proprietary:

  • New and/or novel ideas. If so specified in a written contract or agreement.
  • New commercial uses of a process, device, or chemical.
  • Potentially patentable items.

The above list is not all inclusive. When questions arise relating to specific guidelines or matters which may be unclear, investigators should contact the UConn Technology Partnership group.

The registration will be discussed in closed/executive session.

Only those portions of the registration identified in the approved written justification will be considered proprietary and as such kept confidential. Following the executive session, the IBC will reconvene in open meeting for the purpose of a formal vote on any actions conducted during the executive session.