Steps for IRB Approval: What to Expect

In general, for a well-written proposal eligible for expedited review, a researcher should anticipate that the IRB process will take approximately one month (from submission to approval).

Following are typical steps in the process. Contact irb@augie.eduwith any questions.

  • Preparation: Learn about Augustana’s IRB procedures and consult sample forms. Complete the required NIH ethics course, and consult (if needed) with the IRB Chair about ethics and/or methodological questions prior to submission of your proposal. Students, you should work with your faculty advisor to develop a proposal they approve (only faculty may serve as Primary Investigator and submit proposals).
  • Submission:  Submit online. You will receive an e-mail acknowledgement that the proposal has been received, along with a copy of your submission.
  • Initial response: If your proposal is exempt or expedited, you should receive an initial reply from the IRB via email within two weeks (longer in the summer/holiday breaks). If your proposal requires full review, you will receive notice of the meeting date at which the proposal will be heard: your presence will be required.
  • Revise and resubmit. The initial response (or full review) will likely include a list of requests for revision and/or clarification; the amount of time this process takes is researcher-dependent. Upon resubmission, you should again anticipate a reply from the IRB within two weeks. The revise/resubmit cycle will continue until the IRB is satisfied that human subjects are protected and ethical considerations are sufficiently addressed.
  • Approval: If your proposal is approved, you will receive an email followed by a formal memo for your records, and may begin recruitment and data collection. This approval lasts for one year.
  • Completion/Continuation: When the research is finished (or the year is up), you must complete a brief report on the study. If you wish to apply for an extension, you can submit a request, and should receive an email response within a week.


Updated May 2017