Webinar: IRBs and Research Ethics Consultation Services: An Emerging Resource and Opportunity for Collaboration

Tuesday, April 23 | 1:00-2:15 PM ET

View the webinar recording:


The principal source of ethical review for human subjects research has traditionally been the IRB. For a variety of reasons, increasing numbers of institutions are developing research ethics consultation services to provide guidance to investigators, study teams, research subjects, and IRBs about ethical issues arising in particular research studies. The presence of an additional source of ethics input and guidance raises important questions about the relationships between these ethics consultation services and IRBs. During this webinar, speakers will address such questions and more.


  • Definition of research ethics consultation and research ethics consultation services
  • Framework for reviewing research from an ethical standpoint and how it applies to research ethics consultation services
  • Examples of consult questions that illustrate four contexts where clinical research ethics consultation may be useful:
    • Before and after regulatory review
    • Challenging and novel ethical issues
    • Increasing challenges of informed consent and risk/benefit analysis
    • Collaborative assistance
  • Anticipated challenges and opportunities for research ethics consultation services
  • Opportunities for IRBs and consultation services to complement and mutually support one another

What will I learn?

After attending this webinar, you will be able to:

  • Define the function and purpose of research ethics consultation services
  • Recognize the ways in which research ethics consultation services differ from the IRB
  • Identify opportunities for IRBs and research ethics consultation services to collaborate and support one another

Who should attend?

This webinar will benefit IRB professionals and members.

Continuing Education

CIP Credit labelWebinar participants holding the Certified IRB Professional (CIP®) credential may apply 1.25 continuing education credits towards CIP recertification. Learn More »


Katie-PorterKathryn M. Porter, JD, MPH is a research scientist for the Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. She is a research ethics consultant within the Bioethics Consultation Service at the University of Washington’s Institute of Translational Health Sciences. Ms. Porter also serves as the coordinator for the national Clinical Research Ethics Consultation Collaborative and chairs the Clinical Research Ethics Consultation Affinity Group through the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities. She is a member of the IRB at Seattle Children’s Hospital and Research Institute. Her interests include research ethics, improvement of informed consent, and the ethical and legal issues related to genetics.

Benjamin-WilfondBenjamin S. Wilfond, MD is the director of the Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics and a pulmonologist at Seattle Children’s Hospital. He is professor and chief of the Division of Bioethics and Palliative Care, Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Dr. Wilfond leads the Research Bioethics Consult Service for the Institute of Translational Health Sciences. He conducts empirical research and conceptual scholarship focused on ethical and policy issues related to the boundaries between research and clinical care. His current projects relate to the integration of genomic testing into clinical practice, informed consent about research on medical practices, and decision-making about children with disabilities. Dr. Wilfond attended Muhlenberg College, New Jersey Medical School, and completed his post graduate training at the University of Wisconsin. He has held faculty appointments at the University of Arizona, National Institutes of Health, and Johns Hopkins University. He is the founder and former chair of the National Human Genome Research Institute intramural IRB and has 30 years of experience on IRBs, DMCs, and as a clinical bioethics consultant.

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HRP Consulting Group

HRP Consulting LogoHRP Consulting Group provides expert advice to institutions seeking to develop or improve all aspects of their human research protection program. For more information, please visit www.thehrpconsultinggroup.com.

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Additional Resources

A collection of relevant readings accompany each PRIM&R webinar. Groups that register for webinars receive a discussion guide containing thought-provoking questions and facilitation tips that may help in using the webinar as an educational tool for IRBs.


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