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Tufts Social-Behavioral-Educational Research IRB (Tufts SBER IRB) oversees SBE research for Tufts University. The PI eligibility criteria described below have been approved by the Tufts SBER IRB Institutional Official for SBE research. Exceptions to this policy are made on a case-by-case basis and must be approved by the SBER IRB Chair and the Institutional Official (IO).

Please contact the Tufts Health Sciences IRB for eligibility criteria for Tufts Medical Center (Tufts MC) and Tufts University Health Sciences Campus PIs.

About Principal Investigators

A Principal Investigator (PI) is the individual responsible for carrying out a scientifically sound, ethical research study consistent with the research plans approved by an IRB. The PI must possess the expertise, time and commitment to conduct and provide the necessary oversight for all aspects of the study, and must be willing to accept full responsibility for the study, including the supervision of any co-investigators, research staff and students. Any co-investigator appointed to act on behalf of the principal investigator (acting in the absence of the PI, for example) must meet all institutional requirements to act as a principal investigator. As an integral part of Tufts’ Human Research Protection Program, PIs share in the responsibility for protecting the rights, safety, and welfare of subjects who participate in research.

Tufts IRBs recognize only one principal investigator per human subjects research study. Other individuals may be named co-investigators. In multi-site studies for which Tufts acts as the coordinating institution, the principal investigator assumes the responsibility for the conduct of the study at each performance site and by each site-specific principal investigator.

PI Eligibility Criteria for Tufts SBER IRB

Students and Individuals in Learning Positions

Students and individuals in learning positions are eligible to serve as PI, as long as they fulfill the training requirements for all researchers, as well as the additional educational requirements for students. All students and individuals in learning positions must also identify a Faculty Advisor to oversee the research and fulfill the institutional responsibilities .

Faculty and staff members

Faculty and staff members have a range of appointment and employment arrangements that may allow for eligibility to serve as a PI. The following classes of individual may serve as PI on human subjects research studies overseen by the Tufts IRBs:

  1. Individuals with paid faculty appointments at Tufts University. This does not include individuals with faculty appointments listed in #5.
  1. Senior Scientist, Scientist I, II, or III (HNRCA only).
  1. Non-faculty, professional staff who hold a full-time employment position at the University, are conducting research related to their specialized field and/or official duties, and have adequate expertise to conduct the research study.
  1. Administrative Staff who hold a full-time employment position at the University, are conducting research related to the individual’s official duties at the University, and have adequate expertise to conduct the research study.
  1. Emeritus, Adjunct or Visiting Professors and employees appointed as an Instructor, Lecturer, or Professor of Practice are not eligible to serve as PI, unless they are if granted an exception to the University’s PI status policy. These decisions are made on a case-by-case basis and must be approved by the IRB Chair and the Institutional Official.