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Jefferson Medical College Alpha Omega Alpha Guide to Research


Once you have communicated with the Research Contact, you should have a better idea about the specific plans for your project. You may be joining an ongoing project or initiating an entirely new project, so where you go from here will be determined by the principle investigator of your project.

An important part of every research project at Jefferson is the Institutional Review Board or IRB. Jefferson’s IRB is a board comprised of members of the hospital’s faculty, staff, and administrators, as well as members of the Philadelphia community. All research projects that are conducted at Jefferson have been approved by the hospital’s IRB to ensure they are consistent with standards for patient care, patient safety, and the protection of personal health information. The IRB’s Policy and Procedure Manual details the scope of the IRB and its requirements and can be found at For new projects, several forms are submitted to the IRB for approval of the research study. A list of the required forms for each type of study is found at: Studies cannot begin until approval has been given by the IRB. While someone else may be responsible for completing the paperwork for the IRB approval process and/or renewal process (approval for studies must be renewed every year), it is important to understand these requirements because all research must be conducted within the guidelines set by the IRB.

There is one requirement that universally applies for every project: Institutional Review Board (IRB) training. Whether you are joining an ongoing project or starting a new project, you will either be listed as a member of the investigatory team or as a supporting member of the research team. The bottom line is that, in order to be involved with the project, you must be listed on the study. You may be listed on a study only if you have completed IRB training. IRB training consists of several modules with questions at the end, and you are certified to participate in research projects upon passing the modules. The training can be found online at:

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