Frequently Asked Questions

IRISS Terminology

IRISS – Institutional Research Information Services Solution

ACC – Animal Care Committee

  • HSACC – Health Sciences Animal Care Committee
  • LESACC – Life & Environmental Sciences Animal Care Committee
  • VSACC – Veterinary Sciences Animal Care Committee

REB – Research Ethic Board

  • CFREB – Conjoint Faculties Research Ethics Board
  • CHREB – Conjoint Health Research Ethics Board

 PI – Principal Investigator / Primary Applicant

Co-I – Co-Investigator

ERO – Ethics Resource Officer (REB)

SIA – Submission Intake Assistant (REB)

PA – Protocol Administrator (ACC)

Owner – REB Administrator (SIA or ERO) or Protocol Administrator looking after your file for the appropriate Committee/Board

MOD – Modification/Amendment

REN – Renewal / Continuing Review

What is IRISS?

The Institutional Research Information Services Solution (IRISS) is an online program implemented to offer researchers and their teams a convenient, secure, online process that streamlines and modernizes research certification application processes. IRISS aims to reduce process time and will alert researchers of potential compliance issues.

Why IRISS?

IRISS has many benefits: it is accessible, secure and paperless. Building on the success of peer institutions, like UBC and the UofA, the UofC worked with an industry leader in providing solutions for the business of research to modernize our system. IRISS will reduce the administrative work load for applying for ethics certification, support efficiencies for the review committees/boards, and ensure institutional compliance with both the Canadian Council on Animal Care and Tri Council guidelines.

How do I access IRISS?

ACC / REB:  Accessing IRISS is easy. Visit http://www.ucalgary.ca/iriss and click on the LOGIN: IRISS link on the right hand side of the page.  When the Central Authentication Service page opens, enter your IT Username and password and click on Sign In. If you have already registered for IRISS it will take you directly to your Personal Home Page and if you are not registered with IRISS it will take you to the registration page.

For further information on registering for IRISS, see the Getting Started with IRISS user guide at:  http://www.ucalgary.ca/iriss/training

Who do I contact if I’m having difficulty registering my IRISS profile?

ACC / REB: if you require assistance or additional information contact the IRISS Help Desk at: iriss.support@ucalgary.ca

What browsers are compatible with IRISS?

Supported Browsers:

- Internet Explorer version 7 or higher for machines running a Microsoft Windows operating system

- Safari version 5.1.7 or higher for machines running an Apple operating system

Other browsers, such as current versions of Firefox, or Chrome, may result in some functionality not fully working (i.e. IRISS login, date calendar, text formatting, scroll bars in pop-up windows etc.)

How can I upgrade my browser if I do not have the required version?

Windows Operating Systems

If your computer runs a Windows operating system then it should have a version of Internet Explorer installed.  To find out the version you have, follow this link:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-CA/internet-explorer/which-version-am-i-using

If you have version 7 or higher, your computer has the right browser to access the IRISS system. If you have one lower than version 7, you’ll need to upgrade.  If an IT department manages your computer, please ask them to do it.  If you have a personal computer/device, just follow the directions on the screen using the link above.

Apple Operating Systems

On an Apple computer, you’ll be able to update to the latest version of Safari by clicking the “Apple” Icon in the upper left corner, and then clicking “Software Update…”

This will show you all Apple based software that requires an update. The default settings in OS X, or higher, are set to check for updates periodically and auto update when important. Most of the time manually updating on an Apple computer will not be required.

Please note: as with IRISS, other websites may have specific browser requirements. Often, however, this is not an issue when using your browser’s most recent version. You should also be aware that browser upgrades may affect the appearance and location of either links or buttons such as ‘favorites’ and ‘bookmarks.’ These should not have been deleted or altered in any way.

What kinds of notices are posted on the IRISS Home Page?

Notices of system outages are most often posted on our Home Page. System outages are necessary to allow us to apply system updates to IRISS.

Does the certification process change?

No, ethics requirements and processes remain the same. IRISS simply makes it easier for both the researcher and the review committee/board. Instead of filling out a paper application and manually submitting, now you log in to IRISS to build, submit, and update the application online. IRISS improves workflow, makes it easier to apply and offers timely, consistent feedback and communication.

Can researchers give my team access to my application form? If so, how do researchers grant access?

Yes, anyone on your research team can start an application in IRISS as long as they have completed the registration process. Once the application is complete – the researcher (PI), as the person responsible for the research, must submit the application (this activity is their electronic signature.)

How will a researcher/study team member know the application has been processed?

IRISS will notify researchers/study team by email of approvals and upcoming renewals. Also, researchers/study team will be able to track the progress of their applications at any time by looking at the Current State of the application on the Study Workspace.

Will IRISS protect and save my information?

Yes. IRISS is built to save your information so you can complete your application over numerous log-in sessions and for future use as renewals are required.

What is a Study ID Number?

The Study ID Number is the Ethics ID number IRISS assigns to each study.

(Sample: AC12-0001, REB13-0001)

Preceding letters indicates the type of application:

AC = Animal Care (HSACC, LESACC, VSACC)

REB = Human Ethics (CHREB, CFREB)

The next two numbers indicate the year the study was submitted

REB12-0001 = 2012

REB13-0001 = 2013

Last 4 numbers are automatically generated by IRISS 

0001 – first IRISS application submitted in that year

Why are certain questions marked with red asterisks?

Red asterisks are used to denote required fields. These questions must be completed in order for the PI to submit the application form; however, it is important to complete all questions that pertain to your application in order to provide the Committee/Board with as much information as possible when reviewing/approving your study.

Why are there required fields?

Questions marked as required fields were agreed upon by all Boards and Committees to be unacceptable if left incomplete.

Why can I not see a “Submit Application” button?

If you are not listed as the Principal Investigator (PI) on the study, you will not see the “Submit Application” button. Only the PI can submit the application, changes made to the application, a modification, renewal or closure. 

What is the Jump To Menu?

The Jump To menu is a fast and convenient way to move through an application if you have not completed all the required questions on a page. The Jump To menu can be found on the Light Blue Navigation Bar at the top or bottom of the page. Just click on the drop down arrow, scroll down to the page you wish to open and click on the appropriate subheading. The page you are currently working on is highlighted in red. To see the complete Jump To menu for an application, you must complete the ‘Application Type’ and determine which Committee / Board you are applying to. The Jump To menu content will vary depending on the selections you make.

Why does nothing happen when I click on an “Add” button in the application or try to attach a document?

You may have the pop-up blockers enabled; in which case, you can either turn off your pop-up blockers or press/hold the Ctrl key on your keyboard as you click on the “Add” button.

How do I track the status of my application?

There is a column labeled ‘State’ under each tab on your Personal Home Page. You can also see a yellow box entitled ‘Current State’ in the upper left-hand corner of the Study Workspace indicating the status of that particular study/application.

My application has disappeared from my “Inbox.” Have I deleted it by accident?

Applications that you have created will never disappear or be deleted from the system. Even if you withdraw an application, you will still be able to access it under your ‘Archived’ tab if it is a human ethics application or under your ‘Closed/Exempt/Declined’ tab if it is an animal care ethics application. Otherwise, you will be able to access your application under your REB tab (human ethics) or ACC tab (animal care ethics) on your Personal Home page.

What forms and guidance are available?

User guides can be found at:  http://www.ucalgary.ca/iriss/training

Why do I see a “self-registration” page?

In order to access the IRISS system, you will need to complete the self-registration process.  Once you have completed the self-registration, you will be assigned the appropriate role by the registration administrator and you will receive an email when access has been completed.  You will be contacted by the registration administrator if additional information is required.

ACC / REB Registration:

http://www.ucalgary.ca/iriss - click on the LOGIN: IRISS link on the right hand side of the page.  When the Central Authentication Service page opens, enter your IT Username and password and click on Sign In.This will bring you to the IRISS registration page.

How to I maintain access to IRISS during a session?

Ensure that you have a stable internet connection and interact with the IRISS system at least once every 30 minutes.  For security reasons, IRISS will time-out if idle for more than 30 minutes and may not save any previously unsaved information.  Remember to save your work often.

How can I access a study workspace?

If the study is with you (either in the Pre Submission State or the Committee/Board is requesting changes), you will find the study under your Inbox tab on your Personal Home page.  Click on the name of the study or the study icon to open the study workspace.

If the study is with the Committee/Board for review, you will find the study under your ACC tab (Animal Ethics) or your REB tab (Human Ethics) on your Personal Home page.  Click on the name of the study or the study icon to open the study workspace

How do I view an application?

If the study is with you, either in the Pre Submission State or a State where the Committee/Board is requesting changes, you will find the study under your Inbox tab on your Personal Home page.  Click on the name of the study or the study icon to open the study workspace and then click on Edit Study in the top left hand corner of the workspace (underneath the yellow box which indicates the current state of the study) to open the application. Note: you are able to make changes to the study at this time;

If the study is with the Committee/Board for review, you will find the study under your ACC tab (Animal Ethics) or your REB tab (Human Ethics) on your Personal Home page.  Click on the name of the study or the study icon to open the study workspace and then click on View Study in the top left hand corner of the workspace (underneath the yellow box which indicates the current state of the study) to open the application form. Note: you will not be able to edit the study at this time; only view the information.

Why does a study appear in the “In-Box” of my personal page?

Studies appearing in your Inbox require action by you or a member of your Study Team noted on the application.

How can I get additional access and user rights (such as Committee member)?

Please send your request to the IRISS Support Desk at:  iriss.support@ucalgary.ca.  Your request will be reviewed and you will receive an email once your request has been processed or if additional information is required.

Who receives study notifications?

For Animal Ethics – email notifications are received by the Primary Applicant (PI) and Primary Administrative Contact if noted on the first page of the application. Co-Investigators will receive notifications if they have been added to the email list.

For Human Ethics – email notifications are received by the Principal Investigator, Primary Administrative Contact, and Student, Medical Resident and Post-Doctoral Fellow Co-Investigators if noted on the second page of the application. Co-Investigators will receive notifications if they have been added to the email list.

How do I add personnel to an application?

ACC – please see information on page 17 - Adding Key Personnel in the ACC Applicant Guide

Who can submit an application in IRISS?

The Primary Applicant/Principal Investigator listed on the application will see a “Submit Application” button located under My Activities on the left-hand side of the Study Workspace. By clicking on the button, the Primary Applicant/Principal Investigator will be prompted to read the attestations page and check the box beside "I agree with the above statements and then click “Ok” in the bottom right hand corner to complete the activity. You will know the application has been submitted as the Current State of the application will change from ‘Pre Submission’ to ‘Awaiting ACC Assignment’ (Animal Ethics) or ‘Awaiting REB Assignment’ (Human Ethics) and Application Submitted will show in the History Tab.

How do I withdraw an application?

ACC - The Primary Application (PI) will click on the Withdraw button under My Activities on the left hand side of the Study Workspace. Please note: you can withdraw an application at any time until it is with the reviewing Committee. If you wish to withdraw your application after that time, please contact the Protocol Administrator showing as the Owner on the right hand side/top section of the Study Workspace.

REB – The Principal Investigator will click on the Withdraw button under My Activities on the left hand side of the Study Workspace.  Please note: you can you can withdraw an application at any time until it is with the Ethics Resource Officer or reviewing Board. If you wish to withdraw your application after that time, please contact the Ethics Resource Officer showing as the Owner on the right hand side/top section of the Study Workspace.

Can I add a pharmacy email to the email distribution list for approval certificates/letters?

Not at this time, however, you can print a copy of the approval certificate/letter as a pdf and email it to the required pharmacy.

REB– View /Print – Certificate and/or Letter of Approval - http://www.ucalgary.ca/iriss/training_reb

Why doesn’t it show the date my study is being reviewed by the Committee / Board?

Depending on the length of time it takes a reviewer to complete a review of your application, this date might change.

Do I have to do a renewal if my review was expedited?

Yes, all studies must be renewed on an annual basis.

How do I add my cell phone number in the “emergency contact information” section of my ACC application?

Contact the IRISS Help Desk at: iriss.support@ucalgary.ca or you can update the information in your researcher profile. The link is on the dark blue navigation bar at the top of your Personal Home page. Instructions can be found at:  http://www.ucalgary.ca/iriss/training_acc

If I can’t find a PI, what do I do?  

If you cannot find the Principal Investigators name on the selection list, it may mean they have not registered for IRISS.  To determine if they have registered for the appropriate Committee/Board, please contact the IRISS Help Desk: iriss.support@ucalgary.ca

How do I update my contact information?

Contact the IRISS Help Desk: iriss.support@ucalgary.ca or you can update the information in your researcher profile. The link is on the dark blue navigation bar at the top of your Personal Home page.  Instructions can be found at:

ACC:  http://www.ucalgary.ca/iriss/training_acc - click on Researcher Profile

REB: http://www.ucalgary.ca/iriss/training_reb - click on Researcher Profile

Can I turn off system notifications?

No, you cannot opt out of receiving system notifications. Notifications are important to ensure you are aware when action is required on a study (i.e. changes are required, renewal of your study is required) or to notify you when your study has been approved.

 

If you have any additional questions not covered here,

ACC / REB: if you require assistance or additional information contact the IRISS Help Desk at: iriss.support@ucalgary.ca