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Minneapolis VA Health Care System Research Service

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Subcommittee on Research Safety (SRS)

The Minneapolis VAHCS Subcommittee on Research Safety, and the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), a subcommittee of the SRS, are collectively responsible for evaluation of chemical, biological, radiological, and physical hazards to employees and the facility. The specific responsibilites and requirements of the Minneapolis VAHCS SRS are defined under VHA Directive 1200.08 "Safety of Personnel and Security of Laboratories Involved in VA Research".

The Minneapolis VAHCS SRS is charged with:

  • Oversight of the control of hazardous agents in Minneapolis VAHCS research laboratories to ensure compliance with all applicable rules and regulations.
  • Oversight of the safety of personnel involved in research including ensuring compliance with all applicable rules and regulations.
  • Reviewing and voting to approve or disapprove initial reviews, continuing reviews, and protocol amendments for all research protocols under the primary oversight of the IACUC or the HRPP that involve hazardous agents or other safety concerns.
  • Reviewing and voting to approve or disapprove initial reviews, continuing reviews, and amendments for all protocols for which SRS is the subcommittee of record ("lab-only" studies).
  • Coordination of all research safety-related activities including research-specific safety training, laboratory inspections, accident reporting, and communication with facility safety committees and officials.
  • Reviewing and updating all SOPs relating to safety issues in research.

The IBC is specifically responsible for review of any studies involving recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules, including use or creation of transgenic animals. All research programs that recieve funding from the NIH must have an approved and registered IBC. The Minneapolis VA IBC registration is reviewed and approved annually by the NIH Office of Science Policy.

The Research Protocol Safety Survey (RPSS), the official VA safety form, is the set of questions that must be considered by the SRS when a project involving identified hazards is submitted for approval at our facility. To submit a new RPSS, or to modify an RPSS for an existing study, complete all necessary forms in IRBNet.

For help with IRBNet, staff with VA network access can review the information on the VA Innovation and Research Review System (VAIRRS) University SharePoint at (copy and paste this link into your browser). All staff can also email our local support team at

For SRS-specific assistance, contact the SRS Coordinator, Kendra Fleming or email

SRS Standard Operating Procedures

Subcommittee on Research Safety

Chemical Hygiene Plan

Laboratory Safety Plan

Guidelines for Handling Biological Hazards

Management of Research Laboratory Spaces

Research Laboratory Safety Inspections

Chemical Inventory

Chemical Disposal

Medical Surveillance and Other Occupational Health Services

Guidelines for Handling Radioactive Materials and Radiation Protection

Laser Safety Policy

Medical and Security Incident Plan

Research Service Evacuation Plan

Use of Controlled Substances