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Tips for Efficient Review

Applicants should read the application instructions and review the sample documents prior to completing an application. Applicants proposing online data collection should review the section describing the special requirements for online research.

All boxes within the application require a response, even if that response is "No" or "N/A."  Incomplete applications will not be reviewed and will be returned for completion. Keep in mind that hand-written responses on the paper copy will appear blank on the electronic form (and it is the electronic form that is distributed for review).

It is understood that electronic copies will appear unsigned. Do not scan and include the Assurances page, it makes the document unnecessarily large.

The application and all supporting material should be submitted as a single Word file; exceptions should be discussed with the Chair of the IRB prior to submission.

Supporting materials should be submitted with the instructions and layout that will be presented to participants. It is acceptable to include a title for supporting materials that will be removed prior to presentation to the participants. Photographs and other graphical materials should be submitted in a compressed format, if possible.

If "track changes" or other electronic highlighting techniques have been used during the preparation of the application (or during the revision of an application), they should be removed prior to submission (or re-submission).

Review Process

An electronic notice will be sent to the applicant when the review process has begun and that notice will include an estimated timeline.  It is the goal of the IRB to provide a report of the review outcome within two weeks of the receipt of a completed, signed application and its electronic counterpart, assuming the application qualifies for expedited status.  The timeline for review of expedited applications may be longer if the application is received outside the regularly scheduled fall or spring semesters (or very near the end of either).  The timeline for determination of exempt status is typically much shorter, while the timeline for applications that require review by the entire Board (“full review”) are dictated by the Board’s meeting schedule.
The outcome of the review will be sent to the applicant with a clear indication of whether the research is acceptable in its current form or whether the Board is requesting modifications.  Recommended changes are typically included.  In the vast majority of cases, the Board does not prohibit research, but rather requests that changes be undertaken to comply with ethical standards. 
The review process is intended to be a dialogue between the applicant and the Board.  The Board makes every attempt to avoid changing the fundamental methodology of the research, but reserves the right to do so.  In all cases, the applicant may appeal a decision by the Board.  The appeal must be submitted in writing to the Institutional Contact and the Provost; the applicant should describe the contested issue(s) and the basis for their disagreement with the Board.

Forms & Instructions >>