VU Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)

The objective of the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) at Victoria University is to protect the health and safety of members of the Australian community and its environment.

The committee does this by identifying risks posed by, or as a result of, work within the University with agents that are potential biosafety and biosecurity concerns, and managing those risks by regulating 'dealings' and certifying facilities.

IBC membership & duty statements

The IBC operates within the principles, rules and membership requirements of the Gene Technology Act. In 2014, the role of the IBC was expanded to include the review, monitoring and assessment of all biological material that may be of biosafety or biosecurity concern. In addition to the Chair, the IBC at VU is made up of five main categories (A-E).

The core membership categories are as follows:

  • Category A, External Member: must not be employed by the University and must be assessed to be independent of the University.
  • Category B, Biosafety Expert: is a biosafety or occupational health and safety professional who is an expert in biosafety practices and legislative and regulatory compliance.
  • Category C, Biocontainment Facilities Expert: is an engineer (or equivalent) with expertise in testing biological safety facilities and equipment.
  • Category D, Scientific Experts: are Gene Technologist, Microbiologist, Virologist, and/or Animal Researchers with technical and scientific expertise who can assess the risks and hazards associated with “dealings”.
  • Category E, Non-voting Members: The IBC may also consist of non-voting members whose skills are considered to enhance the capacity of the IBC to undertake its work. Please refer to the Biosafety Intranet site (login required when offsite) for a copy of the Duty statements.

The IBC are guided by its Terms of Reference (PDF, 287.85 KB).

Committee meeting & submission dates

The IBC meets six times per year. Take note of the committee dates, locations and closing of submissions for the agenda.

Submissions must be received before 5pm on:

  • Wednesday 25 January for the meeting on Wednesday 15 February 2023.
  • Wednesday 15 March for the meeting on Wednesday 5 April 2023.
  • Wednesday 17 May for the meeting on Wednesday 7 June 2023.
  • Wednesday 12 July for the meeting on Wednesday 2 August 2023.
  • Wednesday 14 September for meeting on Wednesday 4 October 2023.
  • Wednesday 15 November for meeting on Wednesday 6 December 2023.

To ensure your Institutional Biosafety application is reviewed by the committee, you must follow the agenda closure dates.

Send your applications for pre-review to the Biosafety Manager 10 working days before the agenda closure date for the relevant meeting.

Due to the tight timeline, documents received at Research Services after 5pm on the agenda closure date will be put on hold until the following meeting.

Submission of Annual Progress Report/Final Report

For all ongoing projects that have been approved by the Institutional Biosafety Committee, investigators must complete:

  • Annual Progress reports during the life of the project
  • and a Final report, which is to be completed on completion of the project.
  • Applications for storage of GMOs must be made before expiry of the current IBC project approval.

Annual Reports for all IBC Projects are due to be submitted to [email protected] by mid-December.