IRB Policies Detail Page

Research Advisors


The purpose is to outline the policies and procedures for research advisors.


A research advisor (or sponsor) is an individual who works as mentor to a student, part-time or unaffiliated investigator. This individual shares the responsibility for the ethical conduct or research, making adequate time for consultation with the advisee and monitoring research progress.

An advisee is the principal investigator of a project who requires mentorship by an advisor.


A research advisor is responsible for the overall management of a research protocol in collaboration with the advisee. Management of the research encompasses the ethical, administrative, fiscal, and applied elements of a project.

A research advisor is expected to discuss the general principles of human research ethics, help the advisee to determine whether the project requires Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Exempt Review Committee (ERC) review, and guide the advisee through the application process. By agreeing to serve on a project, the advisor affirms that s/he has thoroughly read the application materials and that the investigator has not recruited or collected any data prior to application. The advisor must also support the advisee in the conduct of the research project after attainment of IRB or ERC approval and throughout the life of the project until its completion.

The following investigators must identify a research advisor among Marywood University's full-time faculty, staff or administration:

  • All student investigators
    • For doctoral dissertations – usually the chair
    • Full time requirement waived for adjunct professors teaching research courses only (e.g., SSW 701/702)
  • All adjunct or part-time campus investigators
  • Unaffiliated investigators wishing to recruit Marywood University populations or conduct research at Marywood University

An immediate family member of an investigator may not serve as research advisor. If an advisor separates from Marywood University during the life of a project, a new advisor must be identified and approved by the IRB or ERC by submission of a revision request (see related policies).

A research advisor must complete all appropriate human subjects training. An advisor must also register with IRBNet at and apply his/her electronic signature to all initial research applications and any annual renewals.


  1. The PI obtains an advisor and identifies the advisor on the application form.
  2. The PI shares the project with the advisor in IRBNet (
  3. The advisor applies his/her e-signature to the initial submission package and annual renewals (if applicable).
  4. If there are any changes to an advisor's status, the PI submits a revision request to the IRB or ERC via IRBNet and obtains approval prior to implementation.

Related Policies

  • Mandatory Training
  • Responsibilities of Investigators and Advisors
  • Revisions to Approved Research
  • Separation of Principal Investigators
  • Student Research


05/25/2018 – Updated definitions, requirements and procedures