International Biohazard Symbol Biological Safety

Institutional Biosafety Committee

Attention: As of March 2013, the NIH/OBA has amended the NIH Guidelines to include oversight of recombinant and synthetic nucleic acid molecules. A FAQ from the NIH detailing the changes is available; The IBC has added questions to the project registration system to accommodate these changes.

Research Project Registration

Click button below to register and manage your IBC projects.

For a preview of the project registration forms, please click on the PDF icon shown below.

This PDF is for preview purposes only and will NOT be accepted as a project registration form.

Registration Forms PDF Preview: PDF Registration Forms Preview

Frequently Asked Questions

The following list provides answers to frequently asked questions regarding IBC research project registration. Click on the question to reveal the answer.

  1. What happened to the registration forms?
    As of January 16, 2010, the registration forms were replaced with a web-based registration system. With the new registration system, all information is input directly online.
  2. Will my approved projects, registered prior to the new registration system, be available within the new system?
    Initially, no information on your previously approved projects will be available in the new system. However, once you register a project in the new system, information on your other approved projects will be added. The information for these “legacy projects” will be limited to title, approval date, facilities, and personnel. However, having this information available will allow you to view and manage (e.g. update) all your projects from within the new system.
  3. How do I log into the new registration system?
    You can log in to the registration system by clicking on the "Enter Registration System" button provided above, or you can log on by going directly to the registration system log in page at You should log in using your NetID and Active Directory (AD) Password. If you do not know your Active Directory (AD) Password, you can reset it by visiting
  4. At what point do I need to register my project?
    Prior to initiation, all work conducted with regulated biological materials described in FAQ#5 must be covered by an IBC project registration.
  5. What research material requires registration with the IBC?
    • Recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules (even work that is exempt from the NIH Guidelines must be registered*)
    • Transgenic animals (use or creation)
    • Transgenic plants
    • Pathogens (Human, Animal, or Plant)
    • Human materials (e.g., cell lines; blood, blood products, tissues, any bodily fluid)
    • Nonhuman primate (NHP) materials (e.g., cell lines, blood, blood products, tissues, any bodily fluid)
    • Biotoxins

    * The University is responsible for ensuring that all recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid research, irrespective of funding source, is conducted "in full conformity with the provisions of the NIH Guidelines". In order to ensure compliance with the Guidelines, campus policy requires that all recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid work must be registered with the IBC. Work cannot begin on projects involving recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid until the P.I. receives a notice allowing for the initiation of work from the Division of Research Safety and/or the IBC. NIH penalties for University/Principal Investigator noncompliance may result in: (i) suspension, limitation, or termination of NIH funds for recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid research at the university, or (ii) a requirement for prior NIH approval of any or all recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid projects at the University.

  6. Who qualifies to be a Principal Investigator for a research project?
    In the context of IBC registration, someone may be considered as the PI if they have responsibility and authority for the work space, the research project being conducted, and the staff and students working on the research. This level of control and responsibility typically falls to a faculty member that reports directly to a Department or Unit Head. There are occasional exceptions when someone other than a faculty member has the required authority. If you have any questions, please contact us via the contact information listed in FAQ#21.
  7. As a Principal Investigator, can I designate someone else in my group to complete the IBC registration?
    As the PI, you are required to log-in for your first registration and input some basic information. However, once you are in the system, you can designate one or more individuals in the personnel list to have “edit” capabilities. Once this designation is made, that individual can complete the registration information; however, ONLY the PI can actually submit project registrations to the IBC. Note: Individuals designated as an editor can submit project updates (see FAQ#17).
  8. What is the focus of an IBC registration?
    An IBC registration serves as documentation of the PI’s risk assessment. It should provide enough detail that an IBC reviewer can understand the risk elements in the context of the research and verify that the safety measures proposed by the PI are adequate. At the most basic level, an IBC registration should be focused on the regulated biological material (see FAQ#5), how that material will be used, and the safety measures proposed to manage associated risks.
  9. How should I divide my research in terms of an IBC registration?
    Typically, groups have one or more distinct areas of research that logically divide into individual research projects. You only need to register projects that involve regulated biological material (see FAQ#5). If your projects are complex and /or involve multiple types of regulated biological materials, the best approach may be to register each project individually. However, if your projects are similar, or you are using only one type of regulated biological material, you may be able to lump them together into one registration. For example, your group uses human cell lines in two different projects in your lab. The cell lines are the only material you use in the projects that require IBC registration. Rather than register both projects individually, it would be more efficient to create one IBC project registration that comprehensively describes the human cell line use. The goal is to strike a balance between presenting a manageable amount of information to reviewers so they can understand your project vs. submitting numerous small projects that may be redundant and are difficult for all to track and manage.
  10. I’m about to start a new project and I’m using similar materials. Do I need to submit another registration?
    If the regulated biological materials and associated experimental protocols, personnel, and facilities are covered by a current IBC registration, this information does not need to be registered again until the end of the approval period. If you will be adding similar materials (and related protocols) it is likely that this information will qualify as an update to your existing project. See FAQ#16.
  11. Can I begin a registration and then come back and finish it later?
    Yes, you can start a registration, save it in the registration system, and log-in at a later time to complete it.
  12. I am entering project information into the online system and am uncertain how to answer a question. Where do I go for assistance?
    Many registration questions will have a “Do you need more information about this question?” link in the lower right hand corner of the question box. Clicking on the link will open a window with help text for the question. If you need additional information, please don’t hesitate to contact us via the contact information in FAQ#20.
  13. What is the process after I submit my project?
    After you submit your project, you will receive an email confirming submission. In most cases*, the project will be assigned to a panel of reviewers who will verify your risk assessment for the proposed work. An audit, if one is required (see FAQ #18 below) will be scheduled as soon as possible, preferably prior to the IBC meeting. Review panel members will submit any questions they have about the project back to you ~ 11 days prior to the IBC meeting. An email will be sent to you indicating the need to log in and respond to the posted questions by a specific deadline date, typically 6 days prior to the IBC meeting. At the IBC meeting, a primary reviewer will present the project and lead a discussion of the risks, proposed safety measures, audit findings (if applicable) and responses to questions (if applicable). Finally, the committee will determine project status in terms of approval. You will be notified of the status after the meeting, usually during the same week.

    * Some lower risk projects (e.g. rDNA projects requiring Biosafety Level 1 containment) may qualify for an internal DRS review by a Biosafety Professional. In these situations, the review process may be expedited. However, the best approach is to plan for the timeline outlined above and in FAQ #14 below.

  14. How long will it take to receive approval?
    Projects are reviewed by the IBC at a monthly meeting. The committee review timeline - from the project submission deadline date to the IBC meeting - is 25 days. If there is no additional follow-up required, and all lab audit action items, if applicable, have been satisfied, approvals will be issued the same week as the IBC meeting. To minimize delays, it is important to submit projects by the monthly deadline date, and respond to any questions in a timely manner. Review the Registration Deadlines provided below for project submission deadlines, and the Committee Meeting Schedule provide below for a list of IBC meeting dates.
  15. How long are IBC approvals valid?
    Approvals are valid for five years.
  16. How often do I need to update my approved project, and what qualifies for an update?
    Projects should be updated whenever there are changes to personnel, facilities or experimental protocols/materials. However, if additions to experimental protocols and materials are such that a new risk assessment is required, a new project registration may be necessary. This will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  17. How do I update an approved project?

    Projects registered in the online registration system - After logging into the registration system, navigate to project using the Update An Approved Project link. Once you select the project, you can make changes directly to the information within the project. After you submit your proposed changes, they will be reviewed and you will be notified when the changes have been accepted.

    Projects registered prior to the online registration system when you have no other projects registered in the online system – Send an email to and list updates to personnel, facilities or experimental protocols/materials. Make sure you identify the project by title and approval date. After you submit your proposed changes, they will be reviewed and you will be notified when the changes have been accepted.

    Projects registered prior to the online registration system when you have at least one other project registered in the online system - Once you register a project in the new system, information on your other approved projects will be added to the system (see FAQ #2 above). As a result, you will be able to update previously approved projects via a form generated by the registration system. After you submit your proposed changes, they will be reviewed and you will be notified when the changes have been accepted.

  18. Will my lab require an audit?
    If your research requires Biosafetly Level 2 containment and practices, each room where work will be performed at that level must be audited. Audits are valid for five years. We will contact you to schedule the audit and provide you with the audit checklist in advance.
  19. What Biosafety Training do I need?

    Everyone working in the lab and listed on the project registration will be required to take General Laboratory Safety.

    For projects at Biosafety Level 2, all personnel working with Risk Group 2 material will be required to take Understanding Biosafety.

    For projects at Biosafety Level 2 that involve human material including cell lines, personnel will also be required to attend a Live session of Safe Handling of Human Cell Lines/Materials in a Research Laboratory. This training must be repeated on an annual basis via an online refresher version of the course.

    All courses can be accessed via the following link:

  20. Is the Principal Investigator for the laboratory required to take biosafety training?
    Yes, the IBC expects Principal Investigators to take the DRS-provided biosafety training if such training is required by the work being performed in his or her laboratory. Completing the training helps increase awareness of current safety standards and policies, which is important since the Principal Investigator is ultimately responsible for safety in the laboratory.
  21. I have a question on something not covered by the FAQs. Who do I contact?
    For questions on the IBC registration process and working within the registration system, please contact us at or call 217/333-2755.

Registration Deadlines

The IBC meets once per month during the academic year. Deadline dates were created to allow adequate time for reviewers to assess submitted research project registrations. In order to ensure review of your research project at the next committee meeting, complete registration information must be submitted by 5:00 PM on the dates listed below.

Deadline Dates for Submission of Registration Materials

  • Friday, January 17, 2014
  • Friday, February 14, 2014
  • Friday, March 14, 2014
  • Friday, April 18, 2014
  • Friday, May 16, 2014
  • Friday, June 13, 2014
  • Friday, July 18, 2014

Committee Meeting Schedule

Committee members - please note that you will be informed via email of any schedule changes.

Meeting Date Building Room
Tuesday, February 11, 2014 Madigan Laboratory, Edward R 350 B
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 Madigan Laboratory, Edward R 350 B
Tuesday, April 08, 2014 Madigan Laboratory, Edward R 350 B
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 Madigan Laboratory, Edward R 350 B
Tuesday, June 10, 2014 Madigan Laboratory, Edward R 350 B
Tuesday, July 08, 2014 Madigan Laboratory, Edward R 350 B
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 Madigan Laboratory, Edward R 350 B

All meetings will be held from 10:00 AM until Noon.

About the Institutional Biosafety Committee

The IBC is advisory on matters relating to the safe handling, transport, use and disposal of biological materials, including recombinant DNA molecules, on the Urbana-Champaign campus. The committee reports to the Vice Chancellor of Research through the Division of Research Safety.

Co-chairs of the IBC are Carol W. Maddox and Joanna L. Shisler.

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