Any individual intending to conduct research involving human participants, whether or not the research is supported by a grant, contract, or fellowship from any public or private agency, has the responsibility to at least file an application for exemption from formal review (see Exempt Review), in order to determine whether the activities proposed require formal Institutional Review Board (IRB) review. All research involving more than minimal risk (see definitions section) must be reviewed by the IRB; such projects should not be sent to the Exempt Review Committee. All research involving pregnant women, fetuses or prisoners must be submitted to the IRB.
Submissions are to be made online via the IRBNet website at www.irbnet.org. 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 review). Researchers must submit to the correct board, or review may be delayed.
Submission instructions may be found on our IRB Forms and Instructions page.
Full applications to the IRB must be submitted at least 2 calendar weeks prior to the date of the next regularly scheduled IRB meeting. Applications received too late to permit proper review will be held until the following meeting. Expedited and exempt applications are accepted weekly according to our administrative schedule. Please see our meeting and application submission schedule for more information.
If the IRB has reviewed a researcher's application and requires modifications, those modifications must be submitted within 6 months, otherwise the IRB will automatically withdraw the application and the researcher must reapply if he/she plans to continue.
If a full review application is not approved or is deferred, the researcher must skip one meeting cycle and submit for the next regularly scheduled meeting. For instance, if an application is reviewed at the January meeting and the Committee votes to disapprove or defer the research, the researcher would need to submit by the March meeting deadline for March review. This holding period will not apply for continuing review applications which are not approved or are deferred.