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Institutional Review Board (IRB): Online Surveys & Questionnaires

IRB Documents Checklist

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

Contact the IRB

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Introduction to Online Surveys & Questionnaires

If you are using an online survey or questionnaire, you will need to create your survey and have it ready before submitting your IRB application. You will provide your survey link within the IRB application so that the IRB member can open and test the survey. The survey link you provide should not require the IRB to login or use any special permissions in order to view the survey.

Do I have to use a specific survey platform?

NCU researchers have free access to Qualtrics through NCU. Researchers who use Qualtrics can take advantage of the Qualtrics Consent Review Service, in addition to other resources available on our website. To request a free Qualtrics account, email your name and NCU email address to the Office of Planning and Institutional Effectiveness (

Researchers can choose to use other survey platforms as long as they are secure. However, researchers who use other platforms are responsible for formatting their own consent letters to meet all NCU IRB requirements.

What are the IRB requirements for online surveys?

Online surveys should meet the following NCU IRB requirements. For a visual example, here is the NCU IRB’s example online survey.

  1. The full consent letter should appear on the first page of the survey. The consent letter text should appear within the survey: the survey should not link to a separate document or attachment.
  2. The consent letter should be formatted in a manner that is easy and clear to read. The letter should match the formatting of the consent letter template, including the headings and the spaces between the paragraphs and headings.
  3. At the end of the consent letter text, users should be asked to select "I agree" or "I disagree."
  4. Users who select “I agree” should be taken to the survey questions.
  5. Users who select “I disagree” to the consent letter should be exited from the survey and should not be able to see or answer the survey questions.

Get help with formatting the consent letter in Qualtrics

The NCU IRB offers a Qualtrics Consent Review service to help you format your consent letter in Qualtrics

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