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The King County Behavioral Health and Recovery Division (BHRD) has established an Evaluation and Research Committee to review all evaluation and research proposals utilizing BHRD data and/or staff resources in order to assure that activities are consistent with division policies and with state and federal regulations.

As the Evaluation and Research Committee is not a legally mandated Institutional Review Board (IRB), proposed research may also need to be approved by an IRB (Human Subjects Committee) as well as by the BHRD Evaluation and Research Committee. Program evaluations that are not research do not need IRB review. To help you determine whether your proposal requires IRB review, please see Research Needing IRB Approval and IRB Decision Charts.


Proposals are reviewed by the  King County BHRD Evaluation and Research Committee with the following considerations in mind:

  • Do the aims of the proposal fit within BHRD priorities?
  • Are the consent procedures appropriate and consistent with HIPAA regulations and human subjects research requirements?
  • Is the confidentiality of client information adequately protected?
  • Do the research/evaluation staff have appropriate human subjects training?
  • Are there secure processes for collecting and storing confidential data?
  • Is the proposal methodologically sound?
  • Is the request feasible given BHRD staff capacity?  What compensation is available to reimburse BHRD for staff time devoted to this project?

Submitting a Proposal

  • Researchers/Evaluators proposing studies utilizing BHRD data must submit the Evaluation and Research Proposal Application, Checklist and all required materials as stated in the checklist. The checklist is designed to help investigators make sure they have provided all the information necessary to facilitate approval of their projects.
  • Prior to submitting a proposal, the requester must have a consultation with an Evaluation and Research Committee member. The requester should contact the Research and Evaluation Committee Chair to initiate a consultation request.
  • If identified or identifiable data is being requested from BHRD, the requester must also have a consultation with the BHRD Privacy Officer prior to proposal submission.
  • A data sharing agreement must be submitted along with the proposal if data is being requested from BHRD. The Privacy Officer is available to provide consultation on preparing the data sharing agreement.
  • Individuals whose projects need IRB approval (see Research Needing IRB Approval), must obtain approval from a relevant IRB prior to BHRD approving the research. Investigators may simultaneously submit projects to the BHRD Research and Evaluation committee, but final approval by BHRD will not be given until the IRB approves the study or grants a waiver and the investigator provides documentation of the approval.

  • Applications to the Evaluation and Research Committee must be submitted to the Committee Chair a minimum of one week in advance of the next meeting in order to be reviewed. More time is preferred. The Committee currently meets the first Tuesday of the month. If an application is not received in time, or is incomplete, review may be postponed to the following month.
  • Within a week of review, written communication will be sent by the Chair with the Committee’s decision, which may be approval, rejection, or conditional approval pending modifications or IRB approval. If the project is approved, a designated committee member will be identified as a primary liaison to the researcher/evaluator for the life of the project.
  • If a project is approved, all required documents, including a finalized proposal, documentation of HIPAA and human subjects training, a signed data sharing agreement, and a signed oath of confidentiality must be submitted before any work can begin on the project and before BHRD will supply any data.
  • Approval is granted for one year, and must be renewed annually to remain current. It is the responsibility of the Investigator to submit timely renewal requests.

  • While study/evaluation design and methodology of the project results are the responsibility of the project researcher/evaluator, BHRD requests immediate notification (at the same time that the IRB is notified and before any more data is accessed) in the event of significant protocol changes, protocol changes that impact how BHRD data is collected, used or disclosed, or any adverse unforeseen events throughout all phases of the project. This specifically refers to any events that would have to be reported to the IRB that approved the protocol.

  • A final report and a copy of publications should be provided to the Evaluation and Research Committee at the conclusion of the project.
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