If you are doing research that involves working with living human beings, you may need to get permission from the IRB before you begin. Research that involves interviewing other people, distributing surveys, conducting experiments on people, or even observing particular people in their daily lives is normally what we call “research on human subjects,” and all such research requires some level of approval from the IRB.
This website will help you determine whether your research qualifies as research on human subjects, get answers to frequently asked questions, and submit electronic web applications and forms.
The IRB application process
Once you determine that your research needs IRB approval you should take the following steps:
- Training for research with human participants. Read the Belmont Report and complete the National Institute of Health (NIH) training for protecting human research participants.
- Research summary. A summary of the proposed research must be submitted as an attachment to the application web form. A template for the research summary can be found here. Note that in this summary you must clearly describe whether the information you collect will be anonymous or confidential. A clear differentiation of the two can be found here.
- Informed consent. Before participating in research it is important that participants are aware of the objectives of the research, the procedures to be followed, the associated risks, and the potential benefits. More detailed information about informed consent policies at Hiram College can be found on our policies page and you can follow this link for a Consent Form Example.
- Application form. You can submit materials for IRB applications, addendums, renewals and exemption using the web interface on our forms Please make sure to attach your research summary, informed consent and any additional materials.
- Review. IRB applications will initially be reviewed by an individual IRB committee member. They will make the decision of the level of review needed for your proposal (exempt, expedited, full board). If an application requires a full board review, the committee must be convened to review the application. The timetable for this process is dependent on the level of review required. Typically, exempt/expedited review decisions can be made within the week of submission.
- Approval. If an IRB application is approved the principle investigator will be notified by email.