April 22, 2016

Career Fair and IRB Workshop Conclude Spring Series for Students

Registrar for the College of Public Health Marie Walker, M A

Marie Walker, MA

The Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health (COPH) will host the Spring 2016 Career Fair on Tuesday, May 10, in Bruce Commons from 10 am to 2 pm. COPH students are encouraged to attend and to bring with them their resume, transcripts and portfolio to share with prospective employers.

About 30 Central Arkansas employers have been invited to participate. They include non-profit organizations, corporations, hospitals and other health care providers, state and federal agencies, and the military.

“The purpose of the fair is to connect employers with students and expose students to the many career opportunities available to them,” said Marie Walker, MA, Public Health Practice Coordinator for the COPH Office of Student Affairs (OSA), which is organizing the event.

The fair is in response to student requests to the OSA for assistance in finding employment after graduation.

“It is something we have always wanted to do for students,” Ms. Walker said. “We hope to make the fair an annual event every spring and that it will grow every year in employer participation.”

Back by popular demand, Edith Paal, MSJourn, MPH, gave a presentation on March 30 to COPH students about the UAMS Institutional Review Board (IRB). Ms. Paal is the Director of the UAMS IRB Office. She presented last fall on the same subject.

Her presentation covered what student researchers need to know about UAMS IRB requirements for conduct of a study. She also explained how to navigate CLARA, UAMS’ online system for submitting information about a study. The first step is completing a human subject determination form on CLARA to find out whether a research project will require IRB review.

Ms. Paal told workshop attendees to never assume that their research won’t require a review and skip that step.

“We strongly advise against guessing or relying on the opinions of those around you,” Ms. Paal said. “You need to get an official determination from the IRB.”

A phone conversation or email with someone in the IRB office does not constitute an official decision.

“The ONLY ‘official determination’ we make is the one done in response to the form [submitted through CLARA],’” Ms. Paal said.

Waiting to submit a request for determination until after the project is underway is a huge mistake which may create regulatory headaches for UAMS and could mean delay or termination of a study.

“Don’t wait to submit the form. Do it before you start,” Ms. Paal said.

The IRB workshop and career fair conclude the OSA’s 2015-16 Professional Development for Students series. Other events included workshops in the fall semester on the IRB and APA document formatting and a workshop on job interviews that was held in February.