Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval


General Policy: Any and all research involving human subjects for data collection and analysis are required to go through an IRB approval process. The research may qualify for an IRB exemption or an expedited review. For additional information and access to IRB forms, please visit:


General Process:  Research projects internal to the district and/or funded through district resources must follow the steps described below to attain IRB approval.  Projects funded through external resources (e.g. an NSF grant) may skip the first three steps and begin at step four.

  1. Develop a project proposal that describes:
    1. Purpose of the research
    2. Research question(s) driving the research
    3. Proposed methodology - including a timeline of the project
  2. Submit proposal to college department/division for project approval
  3. Submit proposal to respective Vice President or Associate Vice President for project approval
  4. Submit proposal to College Researcher for IRB check
    1. The College Researcher will determine whether or not the project proposal needs an official IRB review.
    2. If project qualifies for IRB exemption, the College Researcher will grant the exemption.
    3. If project qualifies for IRB expedited review, the College Researcher will work the Executive Director of IR&P to review the proposal.
    4. If College Researcher believes project requires review by the IRB committee, they will submit proposal and any additional documents needed to the Executive Director of IR&P.
      1. Executive Director will determine if review by the IRB committee is needed.  If yes, proposal will be submitted to the IRB committee for their review.
  5. IRB finding will be communicated to all parties


Class Projects:  Research projects conducted as part of a class project can provide a unique context for IRB approval.  To help understand whether or not the project requires IRB approval, please see the document on Class Projects and Human Subjects Research.