Institutional Review Board

IRB Structure

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota’s IRB oversees all human subjects research conducted at the University. The IRB is housed in the Department of Academic Affairs with the Provost and Dean of Faculties Dr. Brian Schmisek serving as the Institutional Official. The Institutional Official delegates the administration of the IRB to the Vice Provost for Faculties and Academic Affairs. The IRB Administrator is responsible for the maintenance of policies and standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the IRB, the IRB support staff, and the functioning of the IRB.

The IRB is made up of members from the Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota community and one member external to the University. Per the requirements of the Office of Human Research Protections, the IRB includes members who are natural and social scientists and at least one non-scientists. The IRB is run by an IRB Chair and Vice Chair. Members are appointed to three-year terms by the Provost.

Decision Timelines

The IRB works to review all protocol applications as promptly as possible. However, the turnaround time may be affected by a number of factors, including:

  • The quality of the submission. Please double check your application or the application of your student to ensure all required information is completed.
  • CITI training was not completed
  • The type of review required/protocol review type
  • The response time of the researcher/research team to requests for modifications or clarifications
  • Faculty Advisor or Doctoral Committee review issues
  • The increase in the number of submissions at any point in time
  • The workload of the IRB members outside of the IRB

Response time for submitting a protocol depends upon the level of review. Protocols requiring exempt or expedited review typically take an average of 10 to 14 days. There is no deadline for exempt and expedited reviews.

Full reviews take longer and must be submitted at least 14 days prior to the scheduled Full IRB meeting. Principal investigators/researchers will receive information from the IRB within 7 days of the scheduled meeting.

Reviews may take longer if the IRB must request needed or additional information, materials, signatures, or clarity from the principal investigator/researcher to complete their review. It is critical that all the sections of the application are completed and all required documents attached with the initial application.

To ensure a timely start to their research project, principle investigators/researchers should apply at least one month prior to the intended start of their research project.

Submission Deadline and Meeting Dates

There is no deadline for exempt and expedited level reviews; these are completed on an ongoing basis.


: Meeting Dates

The IRB meets monthly to review full review protocols and to discuss IRB business. If an application is determined to require full review, the protocol must have been submitted at least 14 days prior to a scheduled Full IRB meeting to be reviewed at that meeting. If you would like to request to attend an IRB meeting, please contact the administrative assistant at 

Fall 2021: Second Monday of each month from 12pm – 1:30pm.