Submission Requirements

Important Note: The IRB will NOT accept applications from students without a faculty advisor's signature. It is preferred that faculty members supervising students sign and submit the IRB application on the student's behalf. Applications, modifications, amendments, continuing reviews, termination/completion reports, etc. submitted by students without a faculty advisor's signature will not be processed by the IRB.

The CSU Institutional Review Board (IRB) reviews research protocols involving the use of human subjects.  No research project involving human subjects can begin until written authorization is received by the investigator from the CSU IRB. Monthly deadline dates for IRB submissions are indicated on the Meeting Schedule link.

Three types of review can be requested depending on the type of study. These are as follows:

  1. Exempt/Limited Review 
  2. Expedited Review
  3. Full Committee Review

The type of review will depend on the nature of the proposed research. Descriptions of criteria for exempt and expedited review are contained in the Application for Initial Review, accessed through the Forms section. Researchers should indicate which type of review they are requesting; the final determination is made by the IRB.

Please note: If the proposed research involves more than minimal risk to the potential subjects or involves a vulnerable class of persons under the federal code, the project does not qualify for exempt review. If the protocol involves collecting audiotape or videotaped data sets, the project does not qualify for exempt review. Finally, if the protocol involves minors, prisoners, pregnant women, handicapped or mentally disabled persons, it is the policy of the CSU IRB to require a full committee review.

The following definitions from the Federal Code should be used to determine whether your project must be submitted to the IRB for review.

"Any living individual(s) about whom an investigator (whether professional or student) conducting research obtains (1) information or biospecimens through interaction or intervention with the individual and uses studies or analyzes the information or (2) obtains, uses, studies, analyzes or generates identifiable private information or identifiable biospecimens." 45 CFR 46 §102 (e)(1)

"Any systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge." 45 CFR 46 §102 (l)

Any data collection activity from human subjects, including surveys, interviews, focus groups, assessments or evaluations, that is designed to contribute to generalized knowledge requires IRB review. The definition of generalized knowledge is broad, and includes theses, dissertations, publications, or public presentations. If you are uncertain if your proposed research falls within the categories listed above, please contact the IRB at (773) 995-2405 or irb@csu.edu for assistance.

For all research and research-related activities involving human subjects, please download the Application for Initial Review under the Forms section of our webpage. This document also contains a set of application instructions, and an Investigator Agreement form. Please submit an electronic copy of your application (PDF is preferred) to: irb@csu.edu. Once a study has been assigned a protocol number, please use this number in the subject line of all email correspondences with the IRB. If you have questions concerning the submission process or the status of your application please contact the IRB office at irb@csu.edu or at (773) 995-2405.

Please allow AT LEAST two weeks for review and notification. Written notification will be sent by email to the principal investigator. As noted, final approval must be received before initiating the research study.

Please note that the above specified timelines for protocol approval are contingent upon completion and receipt of all protocol application materials including initial application form, investigator agreement, consent forms, CITI completion certificates, surveys, tests, and advertisements (where applicable), approval notices from outside institutions (where applicable) and letters of access from agencies or institutions other than Chicago State University.