Frequently Asked Questions regarding COVID-19

Q. Who is the best contact for questions about my COMS review process?

A. For any questions regarding your COMS applications please reach out to or your institutional biosafety officer.

Q. What is the purpose of the COMS office?

A. COMS serves as the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) for Harvard as well as the Harvard-affiliated medical research institutions.

Q. How is COMS reviewing COVID-19 studies?

The COMS Office has instituted a Rapid Review Meeting (RRM) for COVID-19 reviews on the following dates: May 14th, 2021, June 11th, 2021. In addition, COMS registrations/amendments that miss the deadline for the RRM will be reviewed at the following regular monthly COMS meetings: June 25nd, July 30th, September 2nd , October 1st, November 5th, and December 10th.


The Committee on Microbiological Safety (COMS), along with the affiliated Institutional Biosafety Officers, is pleased to announce that the electronic research management system to streamline COMS processes. e-COMS is now live and accepting electronic registrations! The system should greatly smooth the COMS application and renewal process and will now allow you to submit, maintain and renew your COMS registration(s) online. Effective today, all new registrations and amendments must be submitted through the new online system. COMS has developed a quick reference guide and e-COMS fundamentals training to help Principal Investigators and other laboratory staff navigate through the new electronic submission process.

Log in to e-COMS at

BSO-hosted training will be available at all of the affiliated institutions on a regular basis. For further details, contact your BSO.

To consolidate user log-ins across university-wide, eCOMS will be utilizing the HarvardKey for system access. If you do not have a HarvardKey you can obtain one by filling out an application.



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