- Once we have received your complete application, the Executive Committee will examine it, normally on the subsequent Tuesday, and decide whether it qualifies for expedited review or exemption from review. If it does, the ERC will contact you in the following few days and inform you of the decision. The Executive Committee may suggest minor changes to facilitate expedited review or exemption from review. If such decision is made (i.e., expedited review or exemption from review), you will receive a letter to this effect in a few days.
- If the application must go into full review, we will forward it to all members of the ERC and appoint two specific reviewers for your application. If the research project is a clinical trial it will be also forwarded to the CTSC, which will then appoint one specific reviewer from its membership; the CTSC will initially discuss your application at its meeting, which is on the third Tuesday of every month. Similarly, if the research project is an animal research project it will be also forwarded to the ARWSC which will then appoint one specific reviewer from its membership; the ARWSC will initially discuss your application at its meeting, which takes place before the ERC meeting. However, in either case, the final decision will be made only by the ERC, and the relevant subcommittee acts only in an advisory capacity.
- Your application will be taken up for discussion at the next meeting of the ERC, which will be in the afternoon of the third Thursday of the month starting after your application deadline. (For instance, if you handed over the complete application on March 15th, you have met the deadline of the last working day of March, and your application will be discussed at the ERC meeting on the third Thursday of April.)
- During the time upto the relevant ERC meeting, one or both of the specific reviewers may contact you to obtain more information on your application. Normally this will be to help make minor changes to the application that the reviewer feels would help prompt approval. However, it is important to realize that the final decision will only be made at the ERC meeting itself, and any such discussions that the reviewer/s may have with you are tentative.
- The decision of the ERC will be informed to the principal investigator by email, during the week following the ERC meeting (i.e. if the application was submitted on March 15th, the decision will be given during the last week of April). The decision will be one of the following:
* As stated earlier, if the application receives exemption from review or expedited review, you will be informed of this early, and you will receive the letter of exemption from review or expedited review (as the case may be) early, so that you can start the project straight away. (For instance, in the previous example, this letter will be given to you in the week following March 15th.) Once such a project receives approval at the ERC, you will be given a letter to that effect in the last week of April, which will be the letter of full approval.
* Following full ERC review, the ERC may approve the protocol. You will receive the letter in the week following the ERC meeting (in the preceding example, the last week of April).