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Institutional Review Board

Review and Approval Process

If the submission meets the necessary criteria for human subjects research, the protocol will be processed according to review type determined by the IRB. See links at the left for detailed information about review type. Contact the IRB if you have any questions about submission type.  

Review Process

Exempt submissions are processed by the IRB Administrator typically within 3-4 business days.

For expedited studies (reviewed on a rolling basis) one or two IRB members evaluate the submission and provide feedback to the researcher within 10-14 business days. Once the researcher has responded to any questions or changes, and the protocol meets the conditions for approval, a letter of approval will be issued by the IRB office. (Only the full board may issue disapproval, regardless of review level.)

Full board protocols must be submitted 2-3 weeks prior to the monthly meeting (see deadlines on the IRB home page). Researchers should plan to attend a short segment of the meeting to answer questions or provide clarifications. The IRB's decision and feedback will be provided within five business days of the meeting.

For full board reviews, one or two IRB members serve as primary reviewers when presenting on the protocol to the full board; however, all IRB members read and review all full board protocols. During the convened IRB meeting, the board discusses all protocols in the context of federal review and approval criteria. Any IRB member with a conflict of interest may participate in discussion but must recuse him/herself from the vote. However, a quorum must be maintained to take any voting action. Additionally, if the non-scientist member must exit or leave the meeting, all discussion/action must stop until that member's return. For any protocols involving incarcerated subjects (whether adults or youth), Federal regulations stipulate that a trained IRB member experienced with the prison population/system must be present as the prisoner representative.  

All voting totals (for, opposed, abstentions, recusals) must be documented in the IRB minutes.