Institutional Review Board
What is the IRB?
The Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Institutional Review Board (IRB) oversees all human subjects research involving SMUMN students, staff, or faculty members. The IRB provides protection for the human subjects who may participate in research.
No research with human subjects that is generalizable or will be publicly disseminated may occur without prior approval from the IRB. Approval is provided through an official letter that is sent to the Principal Investigator (PI) after the IRB has reviewed the protocol and assessed the study.
What is the review process?
- Applications for IRB review are submitted to the IRB Administrative Assistant via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The IRB Administrative Assistant examines the application for clarity and completeness. If anything is missing, the application is returned to the PI for completion and resubmission.
- When the application is ready for review, the application is a protocol identification number and the Administrative Assistant determines the necessary level of review.
- The IRB member reviewing the protocol may take several weeks depending on the number of other submissions at the time. They may request modifications to the study to be resubmitted before approval.
- The IRB Administrative Assistant will notify the PI and their Research Advisor (if applicable) via email as to whether the protocol is approved or further modifications are requested.
How long does the process take?
What types of projects need IRB approval?
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota uses the federal definition of research as defined in the Federal Common Rule (45 CFR 46.102): “Research means a systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge.”
The following activities are deemed not to be research:
I. Scholarly and journalistic activities (e.g., oral history, journalism, biography, literary
criticism, legal research, and historical scholarship), including the collection and use of
information, that focus directly on the specific individuals about whom the information is
II. Public health surveillance activities, including the collection and testing of information
or biospecimens, conducted, supported, requested, ordered, required, or authorized by a public
health authority. Such activities are limited to those necessary to allow a public health authority
to identify, monitor, assess, or investigate potential public health signals, onsets of disease
outbreaks, or conditions of public health importance (including trends, signals, risk factors,
patterns in diseases, or increases in injuries from using consumer products).
III. Collection and analysis of information, biospecimens, or records by or for a criminal
justice agency for activities authorized by law or court order solely for criminal justice or
criminal investigative purposes.
IV. Authorized operational activities (as determined by each agency) in support of
intelligence, homeland security, defense, or other national security missions.
What will I need to submit?
New Application Form!
The Application for Initial Review has been revised and reformatted. We aim to continually improve our processes so they are user-friendly and accessible. Please use this most updated version for your submission! Note that the best way to edit this application is by using Microsoft Word. See the IT Helpdesk website if you need this software.
Submit documents, ask questions, and get updates: email@example.com
The inbox is monitored Monday through Friday by the IRB Administrative Assistant, Emma Erdahl.