The Institutional Review Board (IRB) has been created to protect the rights of human subjects. As such, the IRB pays special attention to the Methodology section of a proposal, as well as Informed Consent. An investigator must clearly spell out what a subject is required to do, the risks that the subjects might incur, and how subjects will be protected from these risks.
Within the context of a review, student investigators often do not provide enough detail about methodology, research design, and statistical analysis in their proposal. When questions arise, either prior to a formal proposal review or following it, the investigators will be asked to address each item prior to final disposition of the proposal.
The level of review for each proposal is determined by the IRB.
Two categories of review include Exempt, and Non-exempt. Research proposals within the Non-exempt Category may undergo either an expedited review or full review based on their complexity relating to the protection of human subjects.
Research fitting this category will be reviewed by two members of the HSU IRB, usually the Chair and Vice-Chair.
Most proposals are reviewed and feedback provided within 3-4 weeks unless they are submitted close to or during a typical vacation time (ie. spring break, Christmas and summer vacations) when a delay can occur. Investigators are encouraged to communicate with the IRB chair anytime during business hours in in particular 2-weeks after a proposal has been identified as being received by the IRB to learn of the proposal's status.
The IRB Chair will communicate with the investigator as necessary. Upon receiving a proposal, the IRB Chair may request clarificiation or the submission of missing information. Investigators should respond to the IRB Chair as promptly as possible.As feedback arrives from the committee members, the Chair compiles comments and communicates with the investigator using detailed, numbered comments. The investigator should respond to each numbered comment, and make appropriate modifications within the proposal, consent forms, or appendices. A letter, restating each comment, where and how comments were addressed should be included in a response to the IRB. Color highlighting (and mention of that in the cover letter) is often helpful in demonstrating where changes have been made.
A consent form is needed for all proposals. This consent form may take several forms and examples are provided under Documents. All subjects should be provided with a personal copy of the consent forms.
Yes. In order to avoid survey fatigue, survey research is limited to the delivery of 1-2 proposals per month. Please check with the IRB chair in this regard. Survey research will be managed in collaboration with the IRB and Institutional Technology. Student email addresses are not shared with investigators. There may be a charge for the conduct of these projects depending on the their complexity and availability of IT staff.
Interested investigators may complete a free three (3) hour Protection of Human Subjects course if they so desire. The purpose of the course would be to provide a more in-depth education on the responsibilities of an investigator conducting experiments involving human participants.
2200 Hickory, Abilene, TX, 79698
Operator: (325) 670-1000
Campus Police: (325) 670-1461