The IBC is federally mandated in the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Modules. The IBC reviews research involving biohazards and inspects/certifies labs using the CDC Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Labs (BMBL). The IBC’s main goal is the protection of public health, environmental protection, and preventing economic harm from biological agents.

An IBC is comprised of at least 5 members containing: 1 animal expert, 1 plant expert, 1 non-scientist, 2 local unaffiliated persons.


  • Review permits and SOPs for research and teaching activities involving biological agents.
  • Inspect and certify labs where biological agents are used.
  • Review and investigate legitimate concerns in research projects involving biohazards and biological agents.
  • Make recommendations to the Institutional Official regarding any aspect of the research facility’s biosafety program, facilities, or personnel training.
  • Suspend an activity involving biological agents when necessary; take corrective action and report to the funding agency

What May Fall Under the IBC

  • Recombinant DNA
  • Synthetic Nucleic Acid Modules
  • Human pathogens
  • Animal diseases
  • Viral agents
  • Vectors
  • Human biological material
  • Bacteria
  • Plant diseases
  • Inoculants

Submission Process

IBC Submission Process
  • The use biological agents falls under a continuing review
  • Technical descriptions should be thorough and easy to understand to a non-scientist
  • Agents and strains should be spelled correctly and consistent
  • Risk assessments should include information of risks to health, environment, and economic damage and exposure control should be described.
  • Expires every 3 years
Introduction to BiosafetyBloodborne Pathogens for Research Personnel
Biosafety RefresherLab Safety
Introduction to Research Compliance Requirements
Biosafety Level 1 or 2
Required Trainings
*Other trainings may be required based on project requirements

*Researchers must complete annual occupational health and safety enrollment