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Institutional Review Board (IRB): Research at a Site

IRB Documents Checklist

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

Contact the IRB

email icon Email us at irb@ncu.edu and CC your dissertation chair

Please note: IRB office hours are cancelled through December 2021.

Quick Links

IRBManager. Links to IRBManager platform

CITI Program

Research at a Site

You are using a research site if you are planning to use the resources of an organization/school/business to recruit your potential participants and/or collect your data. Examples of using resources include:

  • Conducting research activities on the property of an organization/school/business
  • Someone at an organization/school/business is distributing your recruitment materials to their staff, students, or customers
  • Someone at an organization/school/business is providing you with private contact information for their staff, students, or customers

If your research site does not have an IRB (or IRB equivalent), you will need to obtain written permission from an administrator at the site.

If your research site has an IRB (or IRB equivalent), please refer to the next section.

Research at a Site with an IRB or Human Research Protection Program

If you are planning to use a research site that has its own IRB, Human Research Protection Program (HRPP), or equivalent research office, you should reach out to that office early on to determine if your study will be feasible and to plan your next steps.

You should ask the office the following questions:

  • Do you need to submit an application to their office?
  • How long does it typically take for that office to review and approve applications?
  • Do they have their own consent letter template that they want you to use? Or do they want you to use the NCU IRB consent letter template?
  • Do they want you to have approval from the NCU IRB first, before they will review your application?
  • Do they want an Institutional Authorization Agreement with NCU?

The answers to these questions will determine what you submit to the NCU IRB (review next section).

If you choose to submit an application to an additional IRB (or IRB equivalent), please note that you will be responsible for learning about their process, following all of their instructions and guidance, and contacting them directly if you have questions about their requirements.

Keep in mind that some IRBs (or IRB equivalents) may not review applications frequently, and their review process might take months. You should determine how long it might take to go through their process and decide if you are willing to spend that time. If you decide to go through a lengthy review process with another IRB, you can talk to your chair or advisor about taking a leave of absence.

What to Submit to the NCU IRB

If you submit to another IRB, you will still submit to the NCU IRB as part of the requirement for your degree. What you submit to us will depend on the decisions from the IRB at your research site.

The site IRB doesn't want or need you to go through their application process.

You will submit the site IRB's decision in writing. You will then prepare supplemental documents that follow NCU IRB requirements and guidance.

The site IRB does want you to go through their application process, and they will review your application without a determination from the NCU IRB.

You will submit a copy of the application and supplemental documents you submitted to the site IRB. You will also submit the site IRB's approval/determination letter.

The site IRB wants you to go through their application process, but they want the NCU IRB to review and approve your application first.

You will submit the site IRB's decision in writing. You will then prepare supplemental documents that follow NCU IRB requirements and guidance.

The site IRB wants you to use the NCU IRB consent letter template.

You will submit a consent letter that follows the NCU IRB template and has been reviewed in an NCU IRB writing service.

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