The SU IRB is committed to working with our researchers to protect the privacy, welfare, and personal information of all individuals from whom data may be collected. Thus, whether for a class, pedagogical project, or other activity that involves collecting information from living individuals or their private records, SU students, faculty, and staff must first consult with the IRB or submit an application for review before initiating any aspect of a project (including recruitment). You might never intend to publish or present your findings, but the IRB must assess whether risks to potential participants could exist in the recruitment or data collection process, regardless of what you plan to do with the information. Even pilot studies need IRB approval if they involve human participants.
Students should read our Student Researchers page, as well as the For Student PIs, read the Step-by-Step Guide and consult with your Faculty or Staff Adviser at all stages of the process.
Collaboration with Non-SU affiliates: SU faculty/staff collaborating with researchers at another institution may request that the SU IRB cede oversight to that institution. Additionally, for some programs -- such as the College of Nursing -- where researchers must go through a separate IRB (e.g., the Swedish/Providence IRB, etc.), the IRB will consider ceding oversight even when the SU affiliate is the sole investigator. When planning collaborative research or if required to go through a non-SU IRB, always consult with the SU IRB early in the process. No SU affiliate may engage in any aspect of a collaborative study before receiving written permission/documentation from the SU IRB. Click here for more information about ceding oversight.
At the earliest stages of planning, you should complete human participant research training. Understanding foundational principles of human participant research (e.g., informed consent, voluntary withdrawal, etc.), as well as potential risks in data collection and storage, will help you design a robust, ethical protocol.
Expedited and full-board submissions require CITI training certification for all SU researchers and key personnel, including faculty advisers. Some protocols may require supplemental modules, depending on the nature of the population and research. (While applications for exemption do not require this training, best ethical practices recommend completing it.)
Note: If collaborating with non-SU personnel assisting with recruitment or data collection, or if you will have research partners or assistants for whom you believe traditional human participant training may not be appropriate, contact the IRB. (For example, in one study involving unhoused individuals, certain representatives from that population helped with data collection, and the researchers gave these individuals basic oral instruction on informed consent, confidentiality, voluntary withdrawal, etc.)
Most IRB reviewers are faculty members; thus, review timeframes will be slower during final exam weeks, holidays, and official University breaks. The IRB does not review full-board submissions during the summer months. More details about Review Categories & Timelines.
Note: No research activities (including recruitment) may begin until you have received a written IRB determination.
Once the IRB approves your expedited or full-board study, you (and your faculty adviser, if applicable) are responsible for the following post-approval actions:
Project reclassification or conclusion
All forms are available on our Forms & Templates page.