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IRB Responsibilities

  1. All research projects involving the use of human subjects must be submitted to the IRB for approval. If it is unclear whether the proposed research involves human subjects, the investigator should seek assistance from the assistant dean for Research or the IRB chair. Applications shall be submitted to the IRB chair well in advance of the deadline for which the proposal is to be submitted (if being submitted to an external funding agency) or on which the research is to begin. If external funding is being sought, one copy of the complete proposal must be submitted along with the IRB application. Application forms are available in the IRB Forms and Applications webpage. The IRB Office will then log in the protocol and send it to the IRB chair to determine the appropriate level of review (i.e., exempt, expedited, or full board). Information about which protocols meet these levels of review are provided along with the applications and forms.
  2. The IRB will have a scheduled full board meeting at least once per month in order to review protocols requiring full board review. The IRB meeting schedule for the full board will be distributed to college and department offices and is available here. Exempt and expedited protocols may be submitted to the IRB office at any time for review and will undergo initial review within two weeks of receipt. If investigators believe their protocol requires full board review, the principal investivator must initially submit one copy of a completed protocol to the IRB office no later than 10 days prior to the next scheduled meeting. This will allow sufficient time for the screening process prior to the monthly IRB meeting. When the proposal contains copyrighted materials, the investigator is asked to send one original set of these materials. The board will share access to the one copy as needed.
  3. Some departments have established a special departmental committee to review applications prior to submission to the IRB. Although not a requirement, the IRB encourages this practice. If your department has such a committee, please complete this review before forwarding to the IRB.
  4. An expedited or exempt review procedure is possible for those applications which involve no more than minimal risk to subjects and also fall under one of the research categories eligible for expedited review or fall under the categories exempted by federal regulations. (See the list at Expedited Categories and Exempt Categories.) Final determination as to whether a specific project is eligible for expedited review can only be made by the IRB. For information as to whether or not your research project falls under either of these category definitions, contact the IRB chair.
  5. For exempt and expedited projects, final approval is made after a review of the protocol by at least one board member. Protocols may require modifications and revisions after this initial review. Final approval for protocols requiring full board review shall require a majority vote of members present at the monthly IRB meetings (quorum required). If the IRB agrees that the proposed research protects human subjects in accordance with established standards, its conclusion shall constitute certification of approval. A letter of approval will be sent to the investigator. The faculty advisor will be copied on any correspondence sent to a student investigator.
  6. In the case of a proposal being submitted to an external funding agency, certification of IRB approval of the protocol will be included in materials submitted to the external funding source. Documentation of IRB approval will be submitted in the form required by the agency.
  • School of Graduate Studies and Research
  • Assistant Dean for Research
    Stright Hall, Room 113
    210 South Tenth Street
    Indiana, PA 15705-1081
  • Phone: 724-357-7730
  • Fax: 724-357-2715
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
  • 1:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m.