When does the board meet?
The full board meets once each term and the dates vary. A board meeting can be called when the full board is required for a review. Most proposals do not require a full review because they are exempt or minimal risk.
What needs to be reviewed by the IRB?
Any research data collected at LSSU which involves Human Subjects Research needs to be reviewed by the LSSU IRB. If it’s an LSSU sponsored research proposal, the Chair looks at the classification of risk to determines the next step.
How long does this process take?
If all of paperwork is completed correctly, the surveys and data collection methodology are completely described, instruments attached to the proposal, and if the proposal is exempt or minimal risk, the turnaround time can be as little as a few days to a week.
What is my role as faculty in this process?
The faculty should review the proposal paperwork and sign it before it is submitted. By verifying that the paperwork is complete, benefits to the subject are noted, risk identification and methodology are described, data collection, survey tools and consent forms are attached can all aid the approval process considerably.
Where do I get the forms?
The forms that are the most up to date are always on the web site.
What if I have multiple proposals to send to the IRB?
If faculty have an entire class of students with proposals, the faculty can submit the proposals at one time, or send them individually to the board. Because the proposals go to different board members, that doesn’t usually impact the process.
What is the process for reviewing the proposals?
We use a process which is consistent with how many university research boards are reviewing proposals. The Chair reviews the proposals classified as exempt. The Chair will review the proposal as well as survey instruments or data collection tools, to make sure it’s truly exempt. For example, any research that could possibly include minors, pregnant women, prisoners, or any of the protected groups, cannot be classified as exempt. If the survey or data collection tools involve human subject testing, such as invasive procedures, or the survey tools contain information about potential or actual criminal or similar activities, the proposal would likely not be classified as exempt.
If the proposal is exempt, the Chair of the Committee can approve the proposal.
If the proposal is minimal risk, the Chair sends the proposal to 2 or more board members, who review the proposal. We review the risk and benefits to the subjects by reviewing the proposal, methodology, survey and data collection tools, and consent forms. We usually respond to the Chair within a few days with feedback and recommendations. The Chair reviews the feedback and will either provide the final approval for the proposal, or request more information or changes to the proposal before the proposal can be approved.
What if the LSSU sponsored research is being collected at another location, off campus?
If a student or faculty at LSSU is collecting data at another institution or location for a project that is for a LSSU research study or LSSU course, the proposal would need to be reviewed by the LSSU IRB first as the research is originating from LSSU.
We request that the student obtain permission from the school or business owner prior to data collection. For example, a local school may require the permission of the superintendent or a grocery store owner must give consent to having students outside their place of business passing out surveys to the public.
What if the research involves another institution such as faculty dissertation research?
If the proposal is a project that is ‘external’ to the University, such as research being completed at another institution where data collection is also being collected, usually that proposal needs the IRB at that institution first before it is reviewed by LSSU.
What if the research involves another institution but is co-sponsored by LSSU?
If the project is co-sponsored between two institutions, where data is collected at LSSU and another location, the IRB prefers the IRB at the other institution review the proposal first, if possible. For example, an NCAA research project went through the national NCAA IRB prior to being reviewed by the IRB, because the research is coordinated through the NCAA.
What if the researcher, is not a faculty or student at LSSU but they want to collect data at LSSU?
As a general rule, the IRB does not review or approve research which is not sponsored by LSSU. Outside researchers that want to collect any human subject research on campus, or involving our students, faculty or campus, should not submit the proposal to the IRB. Rather, please discuss your proposal with the Provost. The Provost will contact the Chair of IRB to determine the next steps.
Who can I contact if I have additional questions?
You can contact the Chair at or any of the committee members listed on the IRB home page.