What is the IRB?

  • The Institutional Review board is a federally mandated function at institutions of higher education that is responsible for overseeing and safeguarding the rights of human subjects in human subject research.
  • The IRB reviews all research proposals on campus that involve human subjects and provides guidance and resources to faculty members and students as they conduct their research activities.
  • The IRB at BYUI is composed of a director and representatives from each college, as well as a member from outside the University.
  • It recommended that faculty become certified with the CITI organization whenever training students for conducting human studies. The following links are provided for registering for the CITI Training.

    Download the  instructions for registering with CITI Training.

    Use this link to register for and access CITI training.

General Instructions and Process

  • If you are planning to conduct a research project that will involve human subjects, you will need to register your study with the University. This entails completing the online registration form for either student or faculty projects.
  • Make sure you complete each question on the registration, or the form will not submit correctly. If it does not submit, the IRB will never receive it and you will be left in limbo wondering why you didn’t hear anything about an approval.
  • For most projects, you should hear back within 3-5 business days on a decision for your project. This may vary during the middle of the semester when high volumes of projects are being submitted or if you are submitting between semesters when the IRB is not meeting.
  • Typically, if you haven’t heard back within a week, something has generally gone wrong somewhere along the line.
    • The most common issue is that something was incomplete on the application in which case you will just need to resubmit.
    • The second most common issue is that our approval or response to you ended up in your “clutter” or “junk mail” folder. Check there just to be sure. 
    • Occasionally we may simply miss it in the mass of emails on our end, in which case, a gentle nudge from you is appreciated.
  • Once you have heard back and been approved to proceed, you can begin collecting data. Please don’t begin until you have received this approval.

Specific Instructions

Survey Studies

  • If you are planning on surveying students be please aware of the following:
    • A copy of your survey will need to be uploaded during your registration process or it may be requested later during the approval process.
    • Students can request emails from the University but due to the volume of survey studies that are requested each semester, the number of random emails is limited to 300.
    • Student research projects are not allowed to survey University employees and should not attempt to use the campus directory to send out surveys.
  • If you requested emails from the University, you will receive instructions in your approval letter on how to appropriately use those. Generally, you will create your survey in a tool (We recommend Qualtrics.  The University has a Qualtrics account that you can access and register for at byui.qualtrics.com), and then send out an email invitation with a link to the survey.
  • If you are conducting surveys using social media, you will still need to have the survey or questionnaire approved before you send the invitation out through your social media connections.

Intercept Studies

  • When you register for this type of study, you are asked to indicate where you will be conducting the intercept activity.
    • Be courteous in both your approach of volunteers and to others in the areas where you are intercepting volunteers. Don’t create congestion or interrupt the flow of movement in these areas.
    • Be clear in what you are inviting them to do.
    • If you plan to intercept people off campus, or around businesses, inform the business and get their permission so you don’t create difficulties for them to conduct their business.
    • If you are requesting them to do a survey or collecting any kind of information from or about them, they should sign an informed consent document.

Observation Studies

  • Observational studies generally do not collect any personal or identifiable information about the human subject beyond their behavior in some setting.
  • If you plan on applying any kind of condition or variable into the observation, please be aware of ethical considerations. Conditions or interventions should not compromise those being observed.