How Do I Apply?
Federal Law requires that all Research on Human Subjects done at Thiel by faculty, students, and staff be approved in advance by the IRB. This is done by submitting a formal application before research begins. If you are not affiliated with Thiel, please contact the Chair of the IRB for instructions.
If you have not already done so, see our IRB Quiz (Does My Project Require an IRB Application?) to confirm whether the procedure below is required.
What Must Be Included?
Your formal application to the IRB must include:
Common Pitfalls to Avoid:
In most cases your application will be processed within 10 days. There are certain conditions that may elevate risk to the point where we would require adjustments (e.g. removal, restatement, etc.) and/or further clarification and justification. This process takes time, and in some cases, may result in non-approval. In order to expedite your review, please consider and address the following possible pitfalls in your application, if relevant:
1) Photos, audiotapes, names (identifiable information): The IRB considers the privacy and confidentiality of all participants to be of utmost importance. Thus, if at all possible, you will want to avoid obtaining names and other identifiable information (e.g. photos), or at the very least, keep names/identities separate from the data obtained. If however, you intend to reveal the identity of your participants, you must fully explain and justify this need for the purpose ofresearch (i.e. using photos and names simply to enhance the entertainment value of a public presentation would not, in most cases, be allowed). And you must fully inform, request and obtain explicit permission to use such information in the informed consent process.
2) Unfamiliar populations (e.g. prisoners; citizens of remote countries): Please keep in mind that the IRB may not be familiar with the context in which certain individuals live and the possible risks faced by such people, thus you will want to fully explain the nature of risk given the participant's local context; and when obtaining informed consent, insure that participants fully understand the nature and scope of their participation (e.g. what will they do and who will hear about it). This may require the involvement of a local translator and detailed, culturally sensitive explanation of your research.
How Do I Submit These Materials?
Once you've prepared your documents and saved them on your computer, you should submit them electronically to the IRB by using our online IRB Application.
Make sure to save a backup copy of all documents for your records.
After you submit your online application, your research advisor will receive an email requesting that he or she review the application. Your advisor must review and approve it online before your application is complete and can be processed by the IRB. Be sure to communicate with your advisor to be sure he or she reviews it promptly.
What Happens Next?
Complete applications are processed on Thursdays at 5:00 p.m. Forms submitted days other than Thursday will be held until the following Thursday. Normally within 10 days after processing, the IRB will send an e-mail to the researcher to notify you of approval, or request additional information.
For more details, see I've Applied--Now What?
Summer Submission Deadlines
The IRB Committee will process applications once a month during summer break. Applications will be processed on ___________. Weekly review of applications will resume on__________.
If you have additional questions after reviewing this site, please contact: