Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to apply for IRB approval?
If you are doing research involving human subjects, then you usually need to apply for approval. There are some circumstances where IRB oversight is not needed. These include classroom simulations of research, and some forms of institutional data collection. Please see the Principal Investigator’s Handbook for more information.
Can students apply for IRB approval?
Students may submit an application under the supervision of a faculty member. The supervising faculty member must co-sign the application form.
When should I apply for approval?
You should apply well before you plan to perform your research. Depending on the IRB load, approval for exempt and expedited proposals may take only a couple of weeks. Full reviews require an IRB meeting, and may take a month or more to be approved. Make sure your application is complete. Incomplete applications are the most common cause of delayed review and approval. The IRB cannot approve proposals retroactively.
How do I know what level of approval I will need?
The Principal Investigator’s Handbook describes how to determine the appropriate category. Most forms of classroom research will fall under the exempt or expedited categories.
What does Exempt approval mean? Does it mean I’m exempt from IRB oversight?
No, it means your proposal is exempt from a full IRB review. You must still seek IRB approval for your project.
Do I need to create an informed consent form for my project?
Generally yes, you will need to have your participants sign a document stating their informed consent to participate in the project. There are a limited number of circumstances where informed consent can be waived. Please see the Principal Investigator’s Handbook for more information.
What happens after my proposal is approved?
You may begin data collection after your project approval. If you would like to make a substantive change your to research protocol after beginning data collection, you must notify the IRB. The IRB may choose to audit your project to assure that data is collected and stored according to the approved protocol. Approvals usually expire after one year. If you need to extend your approval, please notify the IRB.