Submission Process

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.

  1. Complete the NIH Training to earn certification. 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 Determining Level of Review 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 faculty advisor’s e-mail account.
  4. All documents should be sent in their original form as a group to irb@samford.edu.

Required Items for Submission

  • Completed Application with the methodology section fully describing study procedures and methods
  • Informed Consent Form OR Request for Exemption Form
  • Digital copies of current IRB Training certificates for you and all co-investigators, faculty advisor, research assistants, etc.

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

Independent class projects, senior theses, undergraduate research projects, master's projects, and similar exercises must be independently submitted to the IRB by the student-researcher. However, when students conduct research as part of a course of study, a faculty member ultimately is responsible for the protection of the subjects, even if the student is the primary researcher and actually directs the project. Academic advisors shoulder the responsibility for students engaged in independent research, and instructors are responsible for research that is conducted as part of a course.

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. develop a readable consent form following the sample,
  3. plan appropriate recruitment strategies for identifying subjects,
  4. establish and maintain strict guidelines for protecting anonymity and confidentiality, and
  5. 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.

After IRB approval, faculty members should take an active role in ensuring that projects are conducted in accordance with the IRB’s requirements. Meeting periodically with students to review their progress is one way to meet this responsibility.

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.