Submission Process

If it is anticipated that the proposal will be appropriate for review at the exempt or expedited level, it may be submitted at any time for review by the IRB. However, if it is anticipated that the research project will require a full board review, the project must be submitted at least 10 days before the next monthly IRB meeting in order to allow all members of the IRB to fully read and review the project. No review of projects occurs by the IRB during the summer. The final deadline for submitting proposals for IRB review prior to the summer is 10 days prior to the final IRB meeting of the academic year. View the schedule of IRB meeting dates.

The committee will provide a response within two weeks for exempted and expedited research. Proposals requiring a full board review may take longer. Although some proposals are accepted as originally submitted, the author should expect that the committee's response will probably point out areas where modifications are needed, and that the committee will expect the proposal to be modified and resubmitted prior to approval. Occasionally, even the resubmitted proposal will be returned for further modification, lengthening the process to six or more weeks.

Determining Level of Review Required

To determine the level of review your research project requires complete the Determining Appropriate Level of IRB Review survey. This survey will direct you to the appropriate forms to submit based on your research project.

Information on Submissions Qualifying Under Exempt Review

  1. Go through the IRB decision tree for determining the appropriate level of review for your study.
  2. If you received feedback that your study likely qualifies as exempt from IRB oversight, you and all other members of your research team will next need to complete the CITI training for researchers.
  3. Finally, you will need to submit the Declaration of Exempt Status form.

This form will ask you to briefly describe your project and why you believe it meets exemption criteria. In order to help you complete this section, review the summary of exemption criteria below:

  • Studies that are designed to test the effectiveness of educational / instructional strategies are usually exempt, if they occur in a regular classroom setting and do not adversely affect students’ ability to learn or instructors’ ability to fairly assess student performance.
  • Very simple survey / questionnaire studies that do not involve emotional or highly personal content are usually exempt so long as the data are collected anonymously, or the questions are so neutral that any accidental release of the data could pose no conceivable risk to participants.
  • This is also true for studies that are conducted using interview procedures, or by observing public behavior, unless video or audio recordings are being used. For observational studies, you must be certain that the behavior you are observing is truly ‘public’ – that is, if you are observing people in locations where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy, your study cannot qualify for exemption.
  • Other less common exemption criteria exist for taste and food quality evaluation studies, and public benefit program evaluation studies that are overseen by a Federal department or agency.

If you have questions or concerns, contact the IRB.

Submission Process

  1. Prior to submitting a research project for review by the IRB all researchers and advisors, if applicable, must complete the required training course through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI). See the Required Training section for details on how to register for the appropriate training course.
  2. Submit the appropriate forms (as outlined through the Determining Appropriate Level of IRB Review survey) and any requirements to the IRB for review. All forms and instructions can be found on the Forms page.
    1. For student research projects please see the Student Research Submissions section below for additional guidelines.
    2. For research that requires a full board review, ensure that the necessary documents are submitted to the IRB at least 10 days prior to the next scheduled IRB meeting.
  3. The IRB will review your submission and either issue a formal approval letter for your research or communicate with you regarding any modifications required in order to receive approval.
  4. You cannot begin any research involving human subjects until approval is received from the IRB.

Student Research Submissions

For all student (undergraduate or graduate) research all research projects must be submitted for IRB approval by the faculty/staff overseeing the project. Research projects submitted directly by students will not be reviewed by the IRB.

It is the IRB’s expectation that faculty/staff advisors will work collaboratively with students to complete the appropriate submission form and ensure the submission is completed in full. Faculty/staff must complete the Faculty/Mentor Statement of Quality Assurance within the submission form.

All faculty/staff that oversee student research must complete the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) course. The IRB will not review a submission until all members of the research team, including the faculty/staff advisor, complete this training. CITI completion reports are required to be submitted as part of the IRB submission.

Required Training

All researchers are required to complete training through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) prior to beginning their research. To learn more about setting up an account and accessing this training, please refer to the directions on the Office of Institutional Research and Sponsored Programs website.

Researchers: All researchers must complete CITI’s Social & Behavioral Research course prior to submitting a research project for review by the IRB.

Faculty/Staff Advisors: All faculty/staff advisors must complete the CITI prior to students submitting a research project to the IRB for review.