SMU Research

SMU Research

IRB Submission Process

The IRB reviews applications, determines review types, and evaluates protocols during the submission process. Human Subject research may not be conducted without an approval letter from the IRB. Please see the steps below for details regarding the application and review process. All researchers will also be required to complete Human Subjects Research training prior to approval of the protocol. Training is offered through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI).

Submission Process

Please Note:  The IRB submission process changed on January 21, 2019. We no longer use two applications; instead, a single application is used for all submissions. The new application form is available below.


To propose new human subject research, an application with supporting documents (e.g., consent forms, surveys, questions, scripts, recruiting material, etc.) should be submitted to for review by the IRB. During the initial application review by Research Compliance, additional information may be requested to complete the submission.  Please note that the PDF application works best if you download it to your computer and open it using Adobe software, NOT in your browser.

**NEW** Application Form (PDF)

**NEW** Application Form (Word)

IRB Review

The IRB reviews the submission to determine the application review type as one of the following:  1) Exempt, 2) Expedited, or 3) Full-board. If the protocol is Full-Board, the IRB Committee will review it during a regularly scheduled meeting.

Evaluation of Submission

The IRB Committee uses the following criteria to review the submission:
  • Have the risks to participants been mitigated or minimized?
  • Are the anticipated and potential risks reasonably balanced to the anticipated benefits of the research?
  • Are the recruiting and selection processes of subjects fair/equitable (e.g., free from bias and not unintentionally targeting special groups)?
  • Is the consent process such that participants can make an informed and voluntary decision to participate (e.g., understandable language, accurately reflect what to expect, anticipated risks, rights, not coerced, etc.)?
  • Are the data protected to assure the privacy and the well-being of participants?

IRB Review Meetings

The IRB Committee reviews new protocols, Continuing Reviews, and Amendments throughout the month. Review time is dependent upon the type of research, and the level of risk associated with the project. Please plan your projects to allow sufficient time for the IRB review and approval process using the below table.

View the IRB Meeting Schedule