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Institutional Review Board (IRB): Minor Assent & Parental Consent

IRB Documents Checklist

Not sure which supplemental documents you need for your IRB application? Use our new IRB Documents Checklist!

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CITI Program

Minor Assent & Parental Consent

You may need to write a minor assent letter and parental consent letter if all of the following are true:

  1. You plan to conduct human subjects research
  2. You will be recruiting participants who are age 17 or under
  3. AND You will be working with minors outside of an everyday K-12 educational setting AND/OR you are working with minors you do not usually interact with.

Since minors are a protected, vulnerable population, this kind of study would likely be Greater Than Minimal Risk (GTMR) and take longer to receive approval. You should attend IRB Office Hours and talk with IRB staff about this kind of study.

Writing Child Assent & Parental Consent Letters

You are required use the following NCU IRB templates for this kind of research, unless you are working with an IRB that requires you to use their templates instead:

You will also be required to provide a Readability Report for these documents. The readability level must be 3 levels below the age of the youngest participant. 

Do I need to reword the templates to avoid plagiarism?

No! Using a required template is not plagiarism. The minor assent and parental consent templates have language that is required by federal regulations. You should not change or revise any of the template language.

Submitting Your Assent & Consent Letters

You will upload your minor assent and parental consent letters in the "Consent" section of your IRB application.

The documents you upload to your IRB application should be ready to send to the participants. Double-check the following:

  • Don't change or reword any of the required template language
  • Remove all blue highlighting, template instructions, and optional sections that aren't applicable to your study
  • Remove any Track Changes or comments from your chair or the IRB
  • Don't include any labeling or formatting from your dissertation (Appendix, etc.)

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