Frequently Asked Questions

This page contains responses to frequently asked questions (FAQ's) regarding the Institutional Review Board and related research ethics and procedures. If you have questions that are not answered here, please contact:
Steven Cope, Chair IRB, at

  1. Must all research be reviewed?
    Nearly all research has ethical implications and they should be considered, but only research involving human subjects is reviewed by the college IRB. See the Purpose page for a complete listing of the rules.
  2. Where can I get application forms for the proposal?
    Application forms are available to print off our online proposal approval form.
  3. Are there any guidelines or help available for completing a proposal?
    One of your best sources of help is your research advisor/supervisor--s/he can help you consider each of the issues, risks, means to minimize risks, and clearly organize your responses. In addition, you might check the IRB Proposal Help Page, it has suggestions and options for each of the proposal questions, and a copy of a sample proposal.
  4. When can I submit an application?
    For projects that require the full-board review, you should submit your application no less than 10 days before the scheduled monthly IRB meeting. These meeting dates are published in this schedule on the IRB home page. Projects that are reviewed at the exempt or expedited levels can be submitted any time as the reviews are performed outside of the monthly full-board IRB meetings.
  5. What can I expect if my presence is requested at an IRB meeting?
    If your research application is receiving full-board review at a monthly meeting, you may be asked to attend. The IRB members will ask you to briefly describe your project. IRB members will ask any questions that are needed to make a decisions about approval. You will be asked to leave when the IRB votes on your application, and you will be notified shortly after the meeting about the IRB's decision.
  6. What if my proposal is not accepted?
    If you work closely with your research advisor/supervisor on your proposal, and carefully and thoroughly respond to the questions, your review should go well. If there are concerns, the committee will identify what should be changed and it often makes suggestions to help you in your revision. As soon as the proposal is revised according to the stipulations and approved by the committee you may meet with your advisor/supervisor to continue your research.
  7. Is there a cost for the application or review?
    There is no charge for the application or review. 
  8. What should I do if I know of research that has violated ethics?
    You should notify the chair of your department and any member of the IRB. They can talk with you about the situation and take appropriate action. If you have any concerns or are uncertain what constitutes a violation, please contact your chair or the IRB.
  9. Where can I find more information on ethical guidelines for human subjects?
    Please look on the Other Resources page within the IRB site.