Guide to the IRB at DSHS

The DSHS IRB reviews research requests for data or biospecimens that are collected by programs within DSHS.  These programs include, but are not limited to, the Vital Statistics Section, the Texas Cancer Registry, the Texas Birth Defects Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch, the DSHS Laboratory Services, the Texas Health Care Information Collection or Maternal and Child Health. 

There are two Institutional Review Boards between HHSC and DSHS.  We represent IRB #1, which is housed here at DSHS in the Center for Public Health Policy and Practice. We review research and data requests related to social, behavioral, educational, and health science research.  IRB #2 is housed in HHSC within the State Hospital Central Administration, and they review mental health, intellectual disability, and substance abuse research requests.

Due to the nature of DSHS and certain statutory requirements from the Texas State Legislature, the DSHS research approval process operates somewhat uniquely from other IRBs.

The DSHS IRB serves in three capacities as an:

  1. An IRB for Human Subject Protection for Research
  2. A Committee for Requests on Personal Data (CORPD) for Vital Events Data.
  3. A Scientific Review Panel for Hospital Data Requests.

DSHS IRB OneAegis System

The DSHS IRB utilizes a web-based application that can manage the entire life-cycle of research. The DSHS IRB OneAegis System integrates all IRB review processes including application submissions, status updates, research team logs, and emails. The System is accessed through IAMOnline, our IT single sign-on system.

The IRB website contains information on creating an IAMOnline account and registering for OneAegis.

IRB OneAegis System Training for Researchers

IRB Process

The DSHS IRB process has six main steps:

  1. Researcher request for data
  2. Researcher submission of an IRB application in the DSHS IRB OneAegis System
  3. Program Review
  4. IRB Review
  5. Research Executive Steering Committee Review
  6. Execution of a Memorandum of Understanding

Select Data Sources

Requests for data at DSHS should be sent to the appropriate program. Individuals within each program can provide information to researchers on any restrictions on the release of data. Data may be publicly available (ie. on the website), publicly releasable, or program staff may determine that an IRB application is required before data can be released.

Researchers should contact the programs before submitting an IRB application.