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University of Wisconsin–Madison

ARROW Updates


Results compiled from the 2016 IRB Survey conducted by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education (OVCRGE) indicated that campus researchers urged the need for changes to the online application for research oversight (ARROW).  The Information Technology division of OVCRGE is taking the lead to implement these changes with the primary goal of alleviating administrative burden on the UW research community.

Work is already underway to address PI concerns with the system.  Three recent changes include:

  • We completed an overhaul of the IRB change-of-protocol process – a part of the ARROW interface that multiple survey respondents mentioned was overly confusing and difficult to use.  In response, we have reorganized how the information and reviewer notes are displayed, centralizing everything onto a single workspace.
  • Several redundant questions from the IRB continuing review process have been eliminated.
  • Informed consent forms will no longer require a dated approval stamp each year as part of this process. This means that upon annual review, consent forms will no longer require a new approval stamp unless there are changes in the version of the consent form that was originally approved by the IRB.

Major updates to ARROW are completed every two months across all research areas that use the ARROW system (IRB, IACUC, Biosafety and SCRO).  Some planned enhancements over the next year include:

  • An import feature that allows a PI to automatically fill out parts of their protocol with entries from a prior ARROW submission (June).
  • An enhanced conflict of interest (COI) section that imports the status of study team members’ management plans and their latest Outside Activity Reports into the form so the information does not have to be re-entered in ARROW (June).
  • A “Getting Started” wizard to help researchers during the initial creation of an ARROW application (July).
  • Major revisions to the IRB Initial Application, making it shorter and more user-friendly (Fall).
  • A cleaner, more modern site design (Fall).

To receive future notifications about changes in the ARROW system and other changes motivated by the IRB survey, please send an email message to