General Application Procedures

No research may begin, including recruiting subjects or initiating the informed consent process, until Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Exempt Review Committee (ERC) approval has been granted.

All applications to the IRB or ERC are to be submitted online via IRBNet at For detailed instructions on how to submit, please see our Forms and Instructions web page. Please note that there are three boards in the system for the Institutional Review Board (full or expedited applications), the Exempt Review Committee (for exempt applications) and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (for animal applications). Researchers are asked to submit to the correct board so that review will not be delayed.

To help determine the type of review required, researchers should first consult the Office for Human Research Protections' (OHRP) decision charts. If a researcher continues to have difficulty in selecting the appropriate level of review, s/he should consult with the IRB Office.

Federal regulations require additional protections for pregnant women/fetuses, prisoners and children under various subparts of 45 CFR 46. Please see subparts B, C and D for detailed information.