Though it no longer faces a faculty lawsuit, Brown University is considering an outside review of its troubled IRB.
As readers of this blog may remember, Brown faculty have been complaining about the IRB since 2007, if not before.
In 2011, a Brown professor, Jin Li, took the highly unusual step of suing the university because of IRB interference in her work. In March, Li abandoned that effort, her attorneys agreeing to a dismissal with prejudice.
According to the Daily Herald, Brown faculty and administrators are discussing possible reforms, including an external review, broader disciplinary representation on the IRB, the creation of an additional IRB for non-biomedical human subject research, and "changing the charge of the IRB to make it not only a monitory board but also one that provides a more supportive and guiding role to research teams."
[Aparaajit Sriram, "IRB Likely to Undergo Review," Brown Daily Herald, 26 April 2012.]
The article does not mention the possibility of an appeals process, the lack of which was one of Li's complaints.