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Submissions :: Before you submit

Before You Submit

If you are in the process of developing your research protocol, particularly if this is the first time you will involve human subjects in your research, take a moment to glance through the Researcher's Guide and look for topics specific to your study. For many studies, the difference between an expedited review and a full board review is the manner in which data are collected, and making a few modifications to your data collection processes can save you time and offer additional protection to your participants.

If you are considering including people in your study, it is important to determine if those people are "research participants" according the definitions in the federal regulations, or if your study even qualifies as "research," two important elements for deciding if your study should be reviewed by the IRB. In addition, there are two IRBs at the University of Virginia and their submission processes are separate, so you will want to verify which IRB should review your study, the IRB-SBS or IRB-HSR, before you waste time on the wrong application.

If you are a graduate or undergraduate student, we recommend that you consider going through any review process required by your department, such review by thesis and dissertation committees. The Board wants to see projects that are in their final stage with all changes from other committees already implemented. In addition, you will be required to have a UVa faculty sponsor’s signature in order to submit, which verifies that your faculty sponsor approves of the materials you submitted. For more information, please see Student Researchers.  

Finally, before you can submit a protocol for IRB approval, you (and everyone else in the research team) need human subjects research training which we provide through CITI. In addition, it is important to understand the responsibilities of a human subjects researcher.

Section Topics

Activities that Require IRB Review
Choosing the Right IRB: SBS vs. HSR
Responsibilities of a Human Subjects Researcher and Team

Additional Topics

CITI Training
Researcher's Guide

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