This Handbook provides an overview of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at United States University (USU). While the USU IRB follows a detailed standard operating procedure (see section 700 of the USU Policy and Procedure Manual), this Handbook will give you, the doctoral student, just what you need to know to navigate the IRB process. Understanding the information provided in this Handbook will allow you to accomplish another critical milestone on your doctoral journey -- receiving official instruction from USU's IRB to proceed with implementing your project or study. If you have questions, contact your Chair. Your Chair will work directly with the IRB on your behalf (doctoral students should not contact the IRB directly).

As a doctoral student, the IRB will come into play after your proposal has received all required university approvals. Once this happens, you are ready for IRB review. While you will be responsible for completing the required IRB Review Form (available in your Doctoral Community and in policy 700-41: IRB Forms) and supporting materials, your chair will submit the materials to the IRB on your behalf. The requirement for the Chair to submit on your behalf expedites the process by ensuring only complete packages are submitted (submissions coming directly from students will not be reviewed). 

The IRB cannot retroactively review your project or study – this must be done prior to implementation. Failure to secure review from the IRB may result in serious actions up to and including dismissal.