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How to Apply for IRB Review

Due to the subtleties and complexities of the issues involved with evaluating human subjects research, an initial IRB review will take a minimum of 2.5 weeks from the time of proposal submission, but could take longer. The time to a completed review (including notification of acceptance) depends on a number of factors, including the timeliness of the submitter in responding to feedback from the IRB. It is incumbent upon the submitter to allow for that necessary time of review, and to facilitate the review by being diligent in completing the application correctly and responding to feedback promptly.

  1. If this is your first research project at Shepherd, complete an authorized training course. Shepherd will accept its own authorized CITI training certificate, as well as the previously accepted NIH Office of Extramural Research Protecting Human Research Participants course certificate. Any other certificate must be validated by the IRB Chair BEFORE you apply. Retain an electronic copy of the certificate. For more information on the CITI Shepherd course: student investigators must contact their faculty sponsors. Faculty investigators must contact the IRB Chair.
  2. Obtain the Shepherd IRB Application Coversheet, the Shepherd IRB Application, and the Shepherd IRB Policy Manual, read the IRB Policy Manual, and then create and submit a complete IRB application package electronically to the IRB chair. If you are a student PI, CC your Faculty Sponsor on the proposal submission. Please note that the Coversheet is a fillable PDF document. Some PDF readers (most notably Preview on the Mac, but this is also true of Adobe software) don’t always handle these files well.
  3. A complete IRB application package will include:
    • the Shepherd IRB Coversheet;
    • the Shepherd IRB Application containing your responses to all items in the form;
    • a copy of the Informed Consent form to be used;
    • copies of any measurement instruments to be used;
    • copies of any participant recruiting advertisements (if used);
    • any other forms or information that will be shared with participants;
    • a copy of your training course certificate;
    • a copy of your Faculty Sponsor’s NIH training course certificate (if you are a student PI).
  4. The IRB is in session between September and May of each year, and meets at noon on the first Friday of each of those months to consider applications requiring a full review (applications requiring exempt or expedited reviews are considered on an ongoing basis during the academic year). Your application materials must be received by the chair of the IRB at least 10 business days before a meeting to be considered at that meeting; the meeting schedule and submission deadlines for all applications for the current year can be found at the IRB Calendar.