Office of Research, UC Riverside
Office of Research Integrity

Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)


About the IBC

The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) functions as the UCR review body responsible for approval and oversight of activities involving the use, storage and handling of biohazardous materials (defined below), in accordance with the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules (NIH Guidelines), Medical Waste Management Act, and the CDC Biosafety in Microbiological and the Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL) document. The IBC may choose to implement additional guidelines based on risk assessments.

Do I have to submit a BUA application?

A Biohazardous Use Authorization (BUA) is required for every laboratory that uses or stores biohazardous materials. The term “biohazardous materials” includes:

  • Recombinant/synthetic nucleic acid molecules and genetically-modified organisms, as covered by the NIH Guidelines
  • Potentially infectious organisms (typically Risk Group 2 or greater organisms) such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, or prions that can cause disease in humans or cause significant environmental or agricultural impact
  • Select agents and select toxins, as covered by the CDC DSAT regulations
  • Human and nonhuman primate materials (including established cell lines), as covered by the Cal/OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Standard
  • At its discretion or upon IACUC request, the IBC may also review protocols involving animals or animal specimens known to be reservoirs/vectors of zoonotic diseases
  • Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC).

Materials not within the IBC purview by regulation, that UCR may add to IBC oversight:

  • Plant infectious agents or other infectious agents with potential environmental impact, exotic arthropods, exotic microorganisms, BSL-1 microorganisms, biological material requiring an APHIS, CDFA, EPA or other governmental permit


*Biological Agent Risk Group does not necessarily correspond to Biosafety Level (BSL)

How Do I submit?

The ORI uses an online BUA submission portal for new applications or amendments. Using the online submission portal, a researcher can submit a BUA to the ORI for review. Please note, the system only allows faculty members to submit.

What are the levels of review*?

Full Board

Research at BSL2 or above requires full committee review at a convened monthly committee meeting. See deadline dates in the table below.


Research at BSL1 level requires IBC notification at initiation; however, the BUA application will require review and formal approval at a convened committee meeting. The investigator can begin work prior to IBC approval but only after completing a satisfactory EH&S pre-review. Rolling Submissions accepted.


Research consisting only of “exempt r/sNA,” human derived materials and/or agents listed in Risk Group 1 may undergo review and approval, at the discretion of the Biosafety Officer and IBC Chair. These projects do not require review by the IBC at a convened meeting. Rolling Submissions accepted.

*ALL research activity, regardless of review level, is subject to a a pre-review and approval by EH&S. The pre-review includes a lab inspection, completion of relevant training, and review of the BUA application and any supplemental documents (e.g., lab-specific standard operating procedures).

Additional compliance reviews that may be required:

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC): The use of vertebrate animals (e.g., testing viable recombinant or synthetically modified microorganisms on whole animals) must be approved by the IACUC (via an AUP).

Institutional Review Board (IRB): IRB review of human protections may be required for some activities, such as the collection of blood or primary tissues.

Stem Cell Research Oversight (SCRO): SCRO review of the use or storage of human pluripotent stem cells is required.

Material Transfer Agreement (MTA): Some biohazardous materials (e.g., plasmids, vectors, viruses, human cell lines) cannot be obtained without a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA). The Research and Economic Development Office is required to review these contracts in accordance with UC mandated restrictions. It is recommended that you contact as soon as you have determined you will be obtaining materials from an external source.


The IBC meets on the 4th Thursday of the month. In order for a BUA submission to be placed on the agenda for a meeting, the PI must submit the BUA at least four weeks before the scheduled meeting and adequately address any issues raised during the pre-review by Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S). If any major issues or key documents are still pending, the BUA will not be reviewed at a convened meeting. PIs are encouraged to submit renewal BUAs at least two meetings before the BUA expiration date to allow sufficient time for the pre-review and to address any issues.

BUAs are approved for a three-year period. The IBC generally contacts the investigators for renewals; however, it is the responsibility of the investigator to ensure that an active approved BUA is maintained, including submission of amendments when changes to the research are required.


Schedule of IBC Meetings & Submission Deadlines for Full Committee Review

IBC deadlines


Whom can I contact?

Contact Information (Making an appointment, if necessary)

Office of Research Integrity
216 University Office Building

Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S - for laboratory inspections)
UCR Biological Safety Officer

Where can I find additional information?

Researchers and committee members can find more information in the IBC section of the ORI Resources Page.


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