Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who needs to submit a protocol to the IRB (Institutional Review Board)?
If you plan to conduct research that involves people (human subjects) in any way, you need to prepare and submit a Research Protocol to the IRB.
2. What is an IRB?
An IRB, or Institutional Review Board, is a committee comprised of community members and faculty, both scientists and nonscientists, who have training in research ethics and who are conversant with federal regulations governing research involving human subjects.
The purpose of the IRB is to 1) review and monitor all research proposed by university students, staff and faculty that involves human subjects; 2) ensure that the welfare of human subjects is protected to the extent possible; and 3) ensure that research is compliant with federal regulations.
3. What is a Research Protocol?
A Research Protocol is a document that describes the research that you propose to do with special reference to the risks and benefits to human subjects. A protocol is not the same as a research proposal submitted to a funding agency. For more information, see Required Elements of a Research Protocol.
4. What forms do I need to complete?
All protocol submissions must contain the following:
• Protocol cover sheet (Form 1)
• Protocol narrative (this can be a Word document; it must include all required elements)
Most protocol submissions for anthropological, behavioral, and educational research require:
• Request for exemption (Form 2).
For more information, see Exemption Categories.
Many protocol submissions require:
• Sample informed consent document
• Sample script or text of request for assent (for research involving children only)
• Sample text of request for parental permission (for research involving children only)
• Research involving children (Form 3)
5. Is my research Exempt?
If your research involves minimal risk, it may be considered exempt from the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Research Subjects. Anthropological, behavioral and educational research is frequently exempt because it involves methods posing minimal risk, such as interviewing, surveys, questionnaires, and observation.
If you think your research poses minimal risk, complete Form 2, the Request for Exemption. To qualify for exemption, your research must fall under one or more exemption categories described on Form 2. See Exemption Categories for more information.
6. How long will it take to review my protocol?
The more complete your research protocol is, the faster the review will be. If you are applying for an exemption and your submission is complete, you may receive a letter by email in less than 48 hours.
If your submission is incomplete or the protocol narrative is unclear and confusing, you will be asked to submit a revision.
If your protocol is an Expedited protocol or if it requires full IRB review, allow a minimum of two weeks to receive a determination. Expedited protocols do not require full review, but they are more involved than Exempt protocols and so require more time for evaluation.
7. Whom do I contact if I have questions?
Contact Erica Hill, chair of the UAS IRB, at email@example.com or by phone at 907.796.6017. You may also contact the Vice Provost for Research, Marsha Sousa, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 907.796.6531.