biology woman in a lab

About IBC

NOTE: All research involving “biohazardous materials” or “recombinant DNA” requires completion of a Biosafety Form that must be approved by the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) prior to engaging in research with these materials.

Committee Meeting Schedule
The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) meets monthly on the second Tuesday of the month from 10:00am-12:00pm in Ag Science 112. New biosafety forms or amendments must be submitted to the IBC for review ( by the monthly submission deadline found here. There is some variability in meeting dates during months with holidays or to meet protocol demand. If the meeting falls on a holiday, the committee will meet the following Friday. These meetings are open to the public. Should you wish to attend the meeting please e-mail the Office of Research Assurances or call (208) 885-6162 to verify the meeting time.

A. Function
On behalf of the University, the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) is responsible for:

1. Reviewing and approving potentially biohazardous material research, including infectious agents (humans, plants, animals) or biological agents with potential harm to the environment, Select Agent and Toxins and recombinant DNA activities conducted at or sponsored by the institution for compliance with the Select Agent Regulations, the NIH Guidelines, (NIH) and alignment with best practices as provided in the Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories, (BMBL) and other appropriate best practices. This review shall include: (i) independent assessment of the containment levels appropriate for the proposed research; (ii) assessment of the facilities, procedures, practices, and training and expertise of personnel involved in research. As appropriate consultants may be utilized to assist the IBC. (NIH section IV-B-2-b-1) & (University Biosafety Policy). 

2. Notifying the Principal Investigator of the results of the Institutional Biosafety Committee’s review and approval. (NIH section IV-B-2-b-2)

3. Lowering containment levels for certain experiments as specified in NIH section III-D-2-a, Experiments in which DNA from Risk Group 2, Risk Group 3, Risk Group 4, or restricted agents cloned into nonpathogenic prokaryotic or lower eukaryotic host-vector systems. (NIH section IV-B-2-b-3). 

4. Setting containment levels as specified in NIH Sections III-D-4-b, Experiments Involving Whole Animals, and III-D-4-b, Experiments Involving Whole Plants. (NIH section IV-B-2-b-4). 

5. Periodically reviewing research requiring IBC oversight that is conducted at the institution to ensure compliance with the NIH Guidelines and BMBL best practices. These reviews occur every three years. (NIH section IV-B-2-b-5).

6. Adopting emergency plans covering accidental spills and personnel contamination resulting from potentially infectious material and recombinant DNA research. (NIH section IV-B-2-b-6)
The committee also serves as an advisory body to the Vice President for biohazardous research activities.
[ed 7-06, rev.2-10]

B. Structure
The IBC is a faculty chaired committee. In accordance with NIH Guidelines, the IBC 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. These members are nominated by the Vice President of Research and Economic Development. The committee also serves as an advisory body to the Vice President for biohazardous research activities.

Three members of the committee serve as standing members of the committee as part of their job role:

  1. The Biosafety Officer,
  2. The Office of Research Assurances Manager and
  3. The Campus Veterinarian.

At least two members shall not be affiliated with the University (apart from their membership on the Institutional Biosafety Committee) and represent the interest of the surrounding community with respect to health and protection of the environment.

The IBC shall include at least one individual with expertise in plant, plant pathogen, or plant pest containment principles when experiments utilizing Appendix P of the NIH Guidelines, 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 of the NIH Guidelines, 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 IBC.

In order to ensure the competence necessary to review and approve research protocols, every effort is made to ensure that the committee also includes expertise in infectious materials, biological safety, physical containment, a person knowledgeable in institutional commitments and policies, applicable law, standards of professional conduct and practice, and a member of the laboratory technical staff. When changes in NIH guidelines require change in committee structure, such changes will become effective at the time required by federal law, (NIH Section IV-B-2-a). To provide the necessary expertise and continuity of operation, members may serve consecutive three-year terms. The Responsible Official (RO) who is the VP of Research and Economic Development may remove and replace a committee member at any time when the RO has determined that the member is unwilling or unable to perform committee member functions.
[rev. 7-06, rev. 2-10]