The BHRC is a non-profit organization that consists of seven member organizations. It was created to address a primary barrier to mental health practitioners conducting practice-based research – access to affordable IRB services. Unlike mental health providers who work in university and hospital settings, most mental health providers outside of academic settings do not have free IRB access. Although private IRBs exist, their fees are typically quite expensive and not affordable for practice-based researchers who often do not have external funding for research projects.
The mission of the BHRC is:
Behavioral Health Research Collective (BHRC) is a non-profit organization that was founded by a group of mental health professionals who are in clinical practice and who conduct research outside of a university or other institutional setting. The purpose of BHRC is to host an Institutional Review Board (IRB) that provides a low-cost mechanism for its members to submit research protocols for ethical review. A core feature of BHRC’s mission is to help promote the ethical practice of research in “real world” settings.
The BHRC is a nonprofit corporation registered in the State of Washington. Work on developing the IRB began in 2008 and was completed in 2011. The founding members chose to create a separate nonprofit entity to host the IRB (as opposed to having one of the member organizations host the IRB) in order to : (1) share the potential liability associated with hosting the IRB; (2) provide some additional liability and legal protection for each of the member organizations; (3) create a separate entity was more in line with the collective spirit of the project; and (4) permit flexible membership over time (e.g., organizations could leave without having to change the host entity).
The BHRC IRB has been registered with the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), since 2011 (IRB00008109).
The BHRC IRB consists of one member from each of the member organizations and also includes two community members. These members are not mental health professionals, and their participation on our IRB brings a valuable perspective from the community to bear as we consider the ethics of our proposed research studies.
The IRB typically meets monthly via conference call. Meetings are chaired by Travis L. Osborne, the Chair of our IRB.