Research Involving External Organizations and Communities

PLEASE NOTE: All UAA researchers must have approval from the UAA IRB/ORIC before conducting any human subjects research activities, regardless of the status of other approvals from external oversight bodies. Even if approval has been obtained from an external IRB, such as the Alaska Area IRB or UAF IRB, you may not begin to distribute any recruitment materials, recruit participants, or collect (or receive) any data until UAA IRB/ORIC issues its final approval, or formalizes a reliance agreement with another federally recognized IRB. If you conduct research prior to receiving UAA IRB/ORIC approval, your project and/or funding may be suspended.

If you are planning to conduct research with an organization, agency, or community external to UAA, you must receive their permission according to their practices and policies, and in some case you may be required to submit a separate research application. Some of these organizations or agencies include the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Southcentral Foundation, Providence Alaska Medical Center, or the Anchorage School District. UAA IRB approval does not guarantee approval from another IRB, Tribal Council, organization, community, or any other type of research review committee.

If your work will require review by a federally recognized IRB besides UAA’s IRB, please contact the ORIC to discuss if it is suitable to establish a reliance agreement, whereby UAA may be able to formally rely on the external IRB and accept their approval of your research, or vice versa.

Research with Alaska Natives

All UAA research involving Alaska Native Tribes or organizations (or those of any indigenous population) must be performed in a culturally appropriate way, respectful of and consistent with the customs, traditions, and authority of the involved Tribe or organization. Many Alaska Native Tribes and organizations welcome collaborations with UAA researchers, but additional approvals are required.

Indian Health Service

Research with human participants conducted in Indian Health Service (IHS) facilities or with IHS staff or resources must be approved by an IHS IRB. This includes all research done in Tribal or Urban facilities that falls under the purview of the IHS.

If you are planning on conducting research that involves any materials, records, or employees from or in Alaska IHS facilities, and/or if you plan on conducting research with an Alaska Native community or organization that requires you to obtain review and approval from the Alaska Area IRB, you will need to do the following:

  1. Contact the Alaska Area IRB at or 907-729-3917, and request a Welcome Packet.
  2. You will need to submit a proposal to the Alaska Area IRB on IRBNet, which is the same online protocol management system used by the UAA IRB/ORIC. Alaska Area IRB review is completely separate from UAA IRB review.
  3. Depending on the proposed research, you may be required to submit to the Alaska Area IRB in addition to Tribal Councils, organizations, and specific communities.

The Alaska Native Medical Center, Alaska Native Tribal Health Corporation, Southcentral Foundation, and several regional health providers across Alaska require review by the Alaska Area IRB.

Research with other Alaska Native Tribes, organizations, and communities

The State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources has created an Alaska Native Corporation Index Site to help match Alaska Native communities and their respective Corporations, and the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development has created the Alaska Community Database Online. These tools can assist you in finding the appropriate points of contact and local Tribal Authorities in communities where you seek to conduct research.

Anchorage School District

If you are planning on conducting research at any school or with any employee resources which fall under the Anchorage School District (ASD), you will need to do the following: 

  1. Submit an application to the UAA IRB for review via IRBNet.
  2. It is recommended you review the ASD Research Request Considerations before applying for approval.
  3. If you are proposing to collect data, statistics, or reports from ASD, you will need to fill out ASD's Data Request Form found on the ASD Research page.
  4. If you are proposing to conduct surveys, interviews, or any other type of interaction with teachers and/or students, you will need to fill out the Research Request Form found on the ASD Research page.

These forms can be completed by the UAA-affiliated student, faculty, or staff member as long as the ASD-affiliated employee or employees are mentioned in the form. It has been ASD policy that surveys used for evaluation of events (classes or conferences) do not require pre-approval.

Providence Alaska Medical Center

If you are planning on conducting research at Providence Alaska Medical Center (PAMC) facilities, or with PAMC data, as part of your UAA research (e.g., Nursing or MPH thesis work), you will need to do the following:

  1. Contact Stacey Medeiros, Research Support Services Manager at Providence, at or (907) 212-3629. You will need to coordinate with the Research Support Services Manager about obtaining IRB approval from one of the Providence system IRBs.
  2. Submit an application to the UAA IRB for review via IRBNet. Alternately, submit a request for UAA to rely on the Providence IRB's review. This request must also be submitted over IRBNet.
  3. Follow the required steps to receive approval from BOTH institutions.

You may not conduct research at Providence until you secure final approval or formal deferral from the UAA IRB and approval from a Providence IRB. Letters of support from Providence departments do not substitute UAA/Providence IRB approval.