IRB Overview

  • What is an IRB? IRB is an acronym for Institutional Review Board. The IRB is responsible for the review and approval of all research involving human subjects, as well as scientific validity and ethical review.  
  • What is Research? In general, research is defined by the Department of Health and Human Services as a “systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge. (45 CFR, part 46)  
  • What is a human subject? Per Federal regulations (45CFR46.102(f)), a human subject is defined as: A living individual about whom an investigator (whether professional or student) conducting research obtains: 1.) Data through intervention or interaction with the individual, or 2.) Identifiable private information.  
  • What are the different review options? Research applications are reviewed at one of three levels, depending on the level of risk to the human participants and on the federal regulations that define the categories of review. The levels of review are exempt, expedited, and full board review. The determination of what level of review is required is determined by the IRB staff, NOT the researcher.
  • What are the timelines for review?IRB approval timeline for minimal risk studies/study submissions: Review time for IRB members: 5 business days Processing time for IRB Staff: 5 business daysReview timeline for greater than minimal risk studies/study submissions (full board review): The study must be submitted before or on the deadline; the study will be reviewed at the meeting associated with the deadline. Processing time for IRB staff, after the IRB meeting: 5 business days.  
  • Do classroom projects require IRB review? To make a determination whether your study requires IRB approval, please email the IRB office or call 4457-8472.