Site Permissions

Site Permissions

If you intend to conduct research at or through an organization or institution, an authorized person must formally permit access to the population from which you wish to collect data. Before granting permission, this person must read your complete research protocol to fully understand the study and what will be asked of participants.

You must include a letter of permission from this  authorized person with your original IRB submission, or you can ask the person to email the IRB directly at In the letter/email, the individual should state that they have read the protocol, understand the research goals, understand what will be asked of the participants, and that they grant you permission to conduct research at their institution/agency, etc. The IRB will not begin processing any protocol submitted without appropriate site permission letters or emails. Be sure you have obtained the necessary permission prior to submission to avoid delays in protocol review.

Examples of organizations and institutions that require site permissions:

Churches, community and volunteer organizations, medical institutions and clinics, schools, governmental offices or departments (such as King County), workplaces, etc. all require site permissions. Some school districts require additional permission from the Superintendent's office, not only from the school principal. Additionally, some institutions (e.g., the King County government, all hospitals) may require you to submit to their own IRB or research ethics committee. Check the research policies of the organization before submitting your IRB protocol. 

For any research involving Indigenous Peoples within the United States, you must provide written permission from tribal elders. Some tribes may have their own ethics committee that reviews research studies with members of their tribal community. Be aware of all expectations of individual tribes and comply with their procedures before submitting your protocol to the SU IRB.