IRB FAQ

  • If this is a student’s research, they should be the PI, not the faculty supervisor. The faculty member will still have responsibility to supervise the research, as attested to on the last page, but they should NOT be listed as a PI.

  • Do NOT add chapters from theses, grant proposals, papers, etc.

  • When minors (those 17 or under) are used as participants, both parental consent and assent from the minor must be obtained.

  • Question 1 indicates a limit of 250 words, do NOT exceed this limit. Anything over 250 words may not be read, and approval might be denied.

  • If the PI is using Southeastern students as subjects, they must provide information in question 5 as to how they will ensure only those who are 18 or older will be included, or how parental consent will be obtained for those under 18. In Fall 2019, there were over 2,200 students under the age of 18 enrolled in Southeastern, therefore, any course that is used (regardless of level) must address question 5.

  • Very little research done at Southeastern involves no risk. Most research (including surveys) will involve at least minimal risk. If question 6 indicates that there is no risk involved, the PI must be ready to explain how all risk has been eliminated.

  • The application asks for information on any benefits to participants and humans in general. This question MUST be answered, even if the answer is No Benefits.

  • When asked how participants will be identified, this does not mean how you will code their data, rather it is asking how you will identify potential participants to invite them to participate. Examples could be through a local community group, selected Southeastern courses, through a local school, etc.

  • When addressing how data is stored, please consider that data needs to be securely stored and indicate how you intend to secure the data. This could include keeping paper under lock and key, encrypting files, password protecting drives, etc.

  • The length of time data is required to be kept varies from discipline to discipline. The IRB does not have any set length of time that data should be kept, the PI is encouraged to follow their discipline specific guidelines. However, the IRB does expect an actual date (month and year is sufficient) to be provide for when data will be destroyed. There is a difference between original data and electronic data (typically the actual data analyzed) and as long as there is no identifying information in the electronic data, electronic data could be held indefinitely to be used for future research.

  • Approval can not be given until proof of completion of IRB training is submitted to the Chair.  A link to CITI training can be found on the IRB website.  It is recommended the PI keeps a copy of their completioin certificate for future IRB submissions.  The training certificate is valid for three years, after that the refresher course will need to be taken.

  • For the date research is ending, be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to collect your data.  Unexpected events can impact data collection, so it is recommend to extend the end date past when you plan on finishing data collection.  
  • Retroactive approval can not be given.  All project involving human subjects must receive approval prior to collecting data or even contacting potential participants.