When is Review Required?
All research and research-related activities involving human subjects must be reviewed and approved by the IRB in writing prior to initiation of a project. Review by the IRB is required whether a project is conducted by faculty members, graduate students, undergraduate students, or staff. It is required whether the project receives external funding, internal funding, or no funding.
Who Should Complete the Application?
This application should be completed by the principal investigator. If that is a student, the application must list the student's faculty sponsor as principal investigator and the student as co-principal investigator, and should be approved and signed by the named faculty sponsor.
What to Submit?
A scanned copy with electronic signature(s) and all supporitng materials must be sent to the IRB In-Box: email@example.com
Supporting materials include, but are not limited to, informed consent forms, questionnaires, survey instruments, letters of approval from cooperating institutions/agencies, etc.
When are Full Reviews Required?
Full IRB review is required for all research posing greater than minimal risk to subjects. In addition, full review is required for all research activities involving vulnerable subject populations, including, but not limited to, pregnant women, prisoners, and psychiatric patients.
What is Informed Consent?
Every researcher (faculty, staff, or student) at WSU must obtain the informed consent of any human subject used in research before involving that person in the research project. The investigator must ensure that the circumstances under which consent is sought will provide the subjects (or their representative) with sufficient opportunity to consider whether or not to participate. Informed consent language and its documentation (especially explanation of the study's purpose, duration, experimental procedures, alternatives, risks, and benefits) must be written in "lay language", i.e. understandable to the people being asked to participate. The written presentation of information is used to document the basis for consent and for the subjects' future reference.
If the subject is a child or minor, an assent form must be signed to accompany the parent/guardian consent form.
Under certain circumstances, the use of written consent documents may be waived. All waivers must be approved by the IRB, and requests for waiver must be fully justified by the researcher when submitting an application to the IRB. Waiver of written consent procedures does not imply waiver of the researchers' responsibility to obtain consent from the subject. Wherever practicable, when a written informed consent form is waived, a cover letter should be submitted to subjects which outlines the purpose and procedures of the project including a statement indicating that completion of the survey and/or return of the questionnaire indicates consent to participate in the study.
How long does it take to get IRB approval?
Turnaround times vary depending on the type of review required (Exempt, Expedited or Full Committee), the complexity of the study, and the time of year. The more time spent by the investigator thinking through the project and creating a complete application package, the faster the review process will go. Being sure all investigators have completed CITI training will also speed up the process. Please plan ahead and allow several weeks for any submission. If you have a specific deadline your project needs to be approved by, please state that clearly in the application and/or the submission email.
Expedited studies – expedited studies are reviewed first by IRB staff and administrative feedback is generally provided to the applicant within 7 days. If you do not hear back in that time, please follow-up to be sure we received your submission. IRB staff will let you know when your study has gone out for review. You should have reviewer feedback within 2 weeks. You should allow a minimum of three weeks for an expedited study review.
Full Committee studies – these studies are reviewed by the full committee which meets monthly (deadlines are on the front page of the IRB website). Please submit your study on or before the deadline to give time for IRB staff to provide you with administrative feedback before the meeting. You should receive administrative feedback within 7 days of submission. After the committee meeting, you should receive additional feedback or approval within 5 days. You should allow a minimum of 45 days for full committee study review.
September-November and February-April are our busiest times so additional time may be needed due to volume. During the summer months many reviewers are unavailable so review times may be longer.