All IRB applications, including requests for exemption, modifications to prior approved research and research renewals, must be submitted using .pdf forms provided on this website.

Do not use Apple Preview for the preparation of forms. Please use Adobe Reader.
  1. Complete CITI training to earn certification. All researchers listed on the application must have completed training. Retain a digital copy to submit with your applications. These certifications must be renewed every three years.
  2. Determine the level of review of the proposed research and whether the research might be exempt from the need for Informed Consent. Please refer to the “Exemption Guidelines” page. Final determination will lie with the IRB.
  3. Complete and submit your IRB application and any additional documentation that is required. For student researchers, this application must be sent from the faculty advisor’s Samford University e-mail account.
  4. All documents should be sent individually in their original form in one email to

Required Items for Submission

  • Completed Application with the methodology section fully describing study procedures and methods
  • Informed Consent Form OR Request for Waiver of Informed Consent Form
  • Digital copies of current CITI IRB Training certificates for you and all co-investigators, faculty advisor(s), research assistants, etc. listed on the application
  • Any surveys and/or interview text that will be used in the research
  • Any letters of support and/or consent from organizations where the research will take place (i.e. a letter of agreement with a school principal if research will be conducted at a school or research subjects are students/teachers at that school)

Additional Items to Submit, If Applicable

  • Surveys/Questionnaires (paper or online) in final version
  • Psychometric testing instruments and assessments
  • Interview and focus group questions
  • Recruitment scripts (e-mail, telephone, verbal announcement, postcard, etc.)
  • Request for Waiver of Informed Consent document, if applicable
  • Letter(s) of permission/cooperation to recruit participants from and/or conduct the research project from school(s), organization(s) or any off-campus location

Research Conducted by Students—The Faculty Responsibility

During the design of a project, academic advisors and faculty members should instruct students on the ethical conduct of research and help them prepare applications for IRB approval. In particular, students should:

  1. understand the elements of informed consent,
  2. prepare a thorough and technically rigorous application,
  3. develop a readable consent form that is less technical than the application,
  4. plan appropriate recruitment strategies for identifying subjects,
  5. establish and maintain strict guidelines for protecting anonymity and confidentiality, and
  6. allow sufficient time for IRB review and completion of the project.

As assurance that the University's guidelines will be followed, the academic advisor or instructor is required to sign the student's application for IRB approval. The faculty advisor is not just signing off on their approval of the research but on the quality of the proposed work, the readability of the application and consent form, and that the researcher is minimizing risk to human subjects in the proposed work.

Please review all sections carefully before submitting

The IRB strives to review proposals and make contact with the PI within 15 business days that the university is open. This does not mean that you will have approval within this window. Incomplete or unclear applications may result in delay of your application approval.