IRB Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Generally, you need the IRB to review your project if …
    • You (or a student of yours) is getting data from human participants.
  2. But not if …
    • the projects are for a class only. If the findings might be shared outside the class, such as at the Festival of Excellence, a journal article, or a masters thesis, then IRB review is required.
    • The project is about specific individuals, such as an interview about someone.
  3. If you are unsure, contact the IRB. We are happy to help you figure out these kinds of things.
  1. A completed “IRB Proposal Submission Form”. If you are experienced with the IRB process and have a simple project, you can use IRB Application for Exemption Status. You can download the IRB Proposal Submission form on the IRB Homepage.
  2. CITI training for all researchers, including undergraduate research assistants. You can find instructions on navigating the CITI webpage and selecting the proper training on the IRB Homepage
  3. An informed consent form. You can download the Informed Consent Guide and two examples of Informed Consent Forms on the IRB Homepage.
  4. All materials that participants will see/experience. These are materials you create. You can submit links to online surveys, consent forms, etc. Otherwise, please submit all documents as attachments rather than links to Google documents.
  5. If you are doing research in a K-12 context, provide a site letter (which says you have permission to do your project at the school, provided by the principal, district, or other person with appropriate authority). A formal letter is fine, as is a forwarded email.

A little over two weeks, on average. Specifically, for the academic year 2020-2021:

  • 16 days was the average time under review for all approved applications
  • 40 days was the average time under review for IRB applications approved by the full board
  • 30% of applications were approved within 7 days, 61% within 15 days, and 92% within 30 days.
  1. Generally, you should expect to hear back with an initial review within 1-2 weeks after submission. Most initial reviews ask for clarifications or modifications.
  2. Once you submit clarifications or modifications, you can expect to hear back within 1 week. The IRB may require additional clarifications or modifications.
  3. Once your project can be approved, the IRB will send you a formal approval letter for your records. Once you get that letter, you can begin your project.
  4. What if I have a research project on a short timeline and I need the review done quickly?
    • Email your completed IRB application to, like usual, but also cc the email to Let Dr. Koenig know your situation that is affecting your timeline.

If you are engaged in a research project that has human subjects, you will need to complete CITI training and submit your CITI training certificate to the SUU IRB along with your IRB application. To get started, visit our Citi Registration Page.

  1. Email it to
  2. If you have a suggestion for a useful addition to the FAQ list, please email them to