I am very excited to have attended my fourth Advancing Ethical Research Conference—and my first as a member of the Blog Squad!
I am an IRB Administrator at the University of Southern California specializing in social behavioral research. I initially became familiar with the IRB from the PI perspective when my master’s thesis went through IRB review in grad school. I thought the process seemed interesting, and the protections very important. After graduation, when an opening came up at my undergrad alma mater to become an IRB administrative assistant, I jumped at the opportunity. And when my colleague at the IRB left later that year, I applied for and was ultimately accepted to fill his shoes as an IRB Administrator.
My favorite part of my day-to-day work is applying the regulatory framework to the studies that come across my desk. It’s the same nerdy exhilaration that comes from using real world examples to illustrate academic theories. However, I am also very passionate about finding flexibility in the regulations when it does not impact participant protections, and alleviating administrative burden when possible, so I hope to speak to finding that balance in my blog posts.
This year, I particularly looked forward to the Social, Behavioral, and Educational Research Conference, and to learning about how institutions will implement the changes to the common rule that are coming down the pipeline. Additionally, as a member of the Emerging Professionals Working Group, it was a great opportunity to hear what my colleagues who are new to the field are up to at their institutions.
Sarah Luery, MA, CIP, is the IRB Administrator at the University of Southern California, where she specializes in social behavioral research. She is also a member of PRIM&R’s Emerging Professionals Working Group. Prior to coming to USC, Sarah completed a master’s degree in Sociology at California State University, Northridge, where she studied how people present themselves online.
I like what you say about being passionate with finding flexibility in the regulations when it does not impact participant protections, and alleviating administrative burden when possible! I agree, and the way you word it is exactly right! I find that has been a challenge in some institutions. I think it is important to reduce unnecessary bureaucracy if we want to continue to have PIs conduct research. I’ve always felt that human subjects and the research community are both the customers of the IRB. Great post, and I look forward to reading more from you!