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Office of Research Compliance


Using this Guide

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1. What does the IBC review?

  • Use of recombinant DNA or synthetic nucleic acid molecules
  • Use of hazardous agents, biological or plant (BSL-2(P) and above)
  • Use of select agents or toxins
  • Use of nanomaterials with any of the above categories

2. Why do we have an IBC?

The NIH Guidelines requires any institution receiving NIH money to comply with the NIH Guidelines, thus having an IBC (Instutional Biosafety Committee) protocol. Clemson University decided to have the IBC also review other hazards as well.

3. Do teaching activities (including but not limited to courses) that involve the use of hazardous agents need to submit an IBC protocol?

At the present time, it is not required, but the IBC is happy to review.

4. How are members of the IBC selected?

According to Section IV-B-2-a-(1) of the NIH Guidelines. The Institutional Biosafety Committee must be comprised of no fewer than five members so selected that they collectively have experience and expertise in recombinant DNA technology and the capability to assess the safety of recombinant DNA research and to identify any potential risk to public health or the environment. At least two members shall not be affiliated with the institution (apart from their membership on the Institutional Biosafety Committee) and who represent the interest of the surrounding community with respect to health and protection of the environment (e.g., officials of state or local public health or environmental protection agencies, members of other local governmental bodies, or persons active in medical, occupational health or environmental concerns in the community). 

The Institutional Biosafety Committee shall include at least one individual with expertise in plant, plant pathogen or plant pest containment principles when experiments utilizing Appendix P, Physical and Biological Containment for Recombinant DNA Research Involving Plants, require prior approval by the Institutional Biosafety Committee. The Institutional Biosafety Committee shall include at least one scientist with expertise in animal containment principles when experiments utilizing Appendix Q, Physical and Biological Containment for Recombinant DNA Research Involving Animals, require Institutional Biosafety Committee prior approval. When the institution conducts recombinant DNA research at BL3, BL4, or Large Scale (greater than 10 liters), a Biological Safety Officer is mandatory and shall be a member of the Institutional Biosafety Committee (see Section IV-B-3, Biological Safety Officer).

5. Who should sign the hazard acknowledgement form (HAF)?

Anyone working on the protocol must sign the form as well as read the protocol and any associated documents.

6. How can I determine what type of disinfectants to use?

The EPA has several lists of approved disinfectants. The WHO Biosafety Laboratory Manual (PDF) has a section (Chapter 13 pp. 82-93) on disinfectants.

7. Where can I obtain signage for my laboratory?

8. What if I have students/individuals under 18 working on a protocol?

Individuals not over the age of 18 working on IBC protocols with hazardous agents need written parental/guardian approval to participate in the project.

When submitting your IBC Protocol using InfoEd, it will provide you with the Registration Form for Minors and the Hazard Acknowledgement Form (HAF) needed. The HAF also needs to be signed by the minor if working on an approved IBC protocol.

Standalone coppies of these forms may be found here.


9. What if I have Non-CU personnel/students working on the protocol?

If they will be completing work at a Clemson facility, they will need to complete a non-CU personnel registration form available here.

10. When does a protocol have to be reviewed by the full IBC committee?

If a protocol falls under NIH Guidelines categories III-A, III-B, III-C, III-D or III-E, the protocol is required to be reviewed by the full IBC committee. Other protocols are at the discretion of the IBC chair. The IBC meets monthly to review full committee protocols.

11. How long are IBC protocols approved for?

Each protocol can be approved for a maximum of 3 years. At the end of the approval period, the protocol expires. As a courtesy, PIs will be notified via email reminders.

InfoEd for IBC (EH&S)

1. How do I submit an IBC protocol through InfoEd?

Our InfoEd site provides step-by-step text and video instructions.

2. How do I submit an Amendment or Continuing Review in InfoEd?

Our InfoEd site provides step-by-step text and video instructions.

3. I received an expiring IBC protocol email. What do I do now?

If the project is continuing, you will need to log into InfoEd and submit a new protocol.  The IBC can only approve a protocol for a maximum of 3 years.

4. Can my graduate student create a protocol on my behalf?

Yes, however once reviewed, all comments and questions will go to the PI for response.

5. How do I know where my IBC protocol is in the process?

You may check the status of your application by logging into InfoEd, then click the "Locate My Records" tab at the top of the screen. From here click on your protocol number then click View to see the status.


1. What types of training do I need?

It depends on what your project entails. Please see our Training page.

2. Who needs to enroll in the Medical Surveillance Program (MSP)?

Anyone using human bodily fluids or tissues and anyone using human cells/cell lines. Please visit Clemson University MSP for more information.

3. Who do I contact if I need to transport or ship hazardous materials?

If the hazardous materials are to be shipped, someone who is trained has to package and prepare the manifest. Contact June Brock-Carroll in OES for training ( or 864-656-0341).

The use of personal vehicles and public transportation for transport of hazardous materials is prohibited at all Clemson University facilities. This includes but is not limited to dry ice, liquid nitrogen, laboratory chemicals, gas cylinders, biological agents, radioactive materials and materials of trade. For guidance and assistance on transporting hazardous materials contact Occupational and Environmental Safety at 656-0341.

4. When are respirators necessary?

Respirators (which includes supplied air, full and half face cartridge respirators, as well as dust/mist respirators) should be worn only when respiratory hazards cannot be removed by engineering controls (i.e. chemical hoods, canopy or snorkel devices etc.). Before a respirator can be used, you must enroll in the University’s Medical Surveillance and Respiratory Protection Programs Clemson University MSP. The appropriate respirator will be selected for you, fit tested on you by a member of OES to ensure proper fit ad seal, and you will be trained on the proper use and maintenance.