Review and Approval Process

Review Process

Review level will be determined by the IRB based on potential risks to participants.

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

Expedited studies (reviewed on a rolling basis) 1-3 IRB members evaluate the submission based on human subjects research regulatory criteria. The researcher receives revision feedback typically within 10-14 business days. Once the researcher has responded to any questions or revisions, and the protocol meets conditions for approval, the IRB office will issue a formal letter of approval. (Only the full board may issue disapproval, regardless of review level.)

Full-board studies 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. Once the researcher has responded to any further questions or revisions, the primary reviewer will consider the revised materials to determine whether the protocol meets conditions for approval. If so, the IRB office will issue a formal letter of approval. (In rare cases, a protocol may require a second full-board review and revision process.) 

For full board reviews, 2-3 IRB members serve as primary reviewers when presenting 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 protocols in the context of federal review and approval criteria. For prisoner-related protocols, federal regulations stipulate that a trained IRB member experienced with the prison population/system must be present as the prisoner representative.