Institutional Review Board

  • SU IRB: Helping Your Research Happen

    We encourage and facilitate the research endeavors of SU faculty, students, and staff while ensuring that human research participants receive the highest ethical protections. In addition to the protocol review process, the IRB offers pre-submission consultations (for students as well as seasoned researchers) to assist with preparing your protocol submission. If you have questions at any stage, we're here to help.

    Always download and submit the most recent forms from our website! Send paper submissions to Admin 201 and electronic applications to  (electronic submissions must be signed by PIs and faculty advisers).

    What is Human Subjects Research?

    Although many activities conducted by faculty, students, and staff may be labeled as research, the IRB reviews only those projects meeting all three criteria established by Federal regulations:

    1. The project involves obtaining data from a living human subject through intervention or interaction with the individual, or identifiable private information, AND
    2. The project is an intentional and systematic investigation using the prevailing methodologies in the discipline, including research development, testing, and evaluation, AND
    3. The ultimate aim of the project is to generate generalizable results expected to contribute to the development of knowledge in the discipline. (The concept of generalizability is usually applied to quantitative research, but applies to qualitative research as well because of the expectation to contribute to knowledge.) "Contribute" may mean publication but can also mean dissemination in another venue, such as a conference, poster session, etc.

    Source:  Code of Federal Regulations, Title 45, Public Welfare, Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, Office for Protection from Research Risks, Part 46, Protection of Human Subjects (hereafter, 45 CFR 46). 

    Activities that meet these criteria constitute research for purposes of this policy, whether or not they are conducted or supported under a program considered research for other purposes (e.g., some demonstration and service programs may include research activities.)

  • Our Location

    Contact us by calling 206-296-2855 or emailing The IRB is located in Admin 201 -- at the north end of the 2nd floor. NOTE: To align with the University's efforts to reduce paper consumption, we are no longer accepting hard copies of IRB forms. Please submit all materials electronically to If you need assistance, please call or email us.
  • Review Dates

    Deadline/Full Board
     Full-board deadlines fall on Fridays, two weeks prior to the full-board meeting. Deadlines/meetings for Fall Quarter 2014 are as follows:

    Oct. 10 / Oct. 24

    Nov. 7 / Nov. 21

    Submissions for Exempt and Expedited Reviews may occur any time. Protocols meeting exempt criteria are typically processed within 2-3 business days. The IRB returns feedback for expedited protocols within approx. two weeks; however, time to approval may take longer depending on required revisions. (Turnaround may be slightly longer over the summer months due to limited reviewer availability.)

    Full board submissions are due two weeks before the full board meetings; but we encourage PIs to submit as soon as possible to allow for pre-meeting consultation to streamline the approval process. We also prefer that PIs (if able) attend a portion of the meeting to offer any necessary clarification if the board has questions. Note: research involving prisoner research or research with minors may require additional review time.