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Overview of IRB Policy – Institutional Review Board

Overview of IRB Policy

This brief overview of the Furman University Institutional Review Board policy is written to aid researchers in negotiating the IRB procedures.  It is not intended as a replacement for the FUIRB Guidebook [PDF], which is available to all Furman Faculty.  Researchers may use this brief guide to ensure that they are following the IRB submission protocol but should consult the full guidebook for specific concerns related to their submission.  Below are listed steps in submitting an IRB proposal:

  • In order for researchers to submit research proposals to the FUIRB, that researcher must demonstrate completion of the educational criteria for access to human participants.  IRB proposals will not be reviewed until and unless the researcher has obtained educational certification.  Criteria for certification include: completion of the CITI course​ for the protection of human subjects in research, reading of The Belmont Report [PDF] and Responsibilities of the Investigator Prior To and After Project Approval.
  • The FUIRB maintains the right and responsibility to oversee all activities, research and otherwise, in which teachers and researchers submit human participants to activities that are of minimal or greater risk.  Minimal risk is defined as risk(s) of harm anticipated by the research protocol that are no greater, considering the probability and magnitude, than those encountered in daily life or during the performance of routine physical or psychological examination or tests (45 CFR 46.102i). Classroom activities in which disclosure constitutes minimal or greater risk.
  • The FUIRB maintains three levels of evaluation for IRB submissions.  These include 1.) Exempt Status, 2.) Expedited review and 3.) Full-review.  Researchers and teachers should consider the definition of each level of submission prior to completing the IRB Forms.  See sections VIII-1, VIII-2, and VIII-3 for respective description of each of these categories.
  • All submissions to the FUIRB should include FUIRB Form A [DOC], plus Form B [DOC] (exempt review), Form C [DOC] (expedited review), or Form D [DOC] (Full-board review).
  • Use of human participants, which does not constitute research and does not place participants at greater than minimal risk (section V) should submit Form A [DOC] plus an exempt review Form B [DOC] .  Submissions for Exempt Review will be acted upon by the FUIRB within one week of receipt.
  • Expedited Review requires the evaluation of the FUIRB Chair and two IRB members. Proposals will be acted on within one week of the submission to the IRB administrators.
  • Researchers must await approval and notification by the FUIRB administrators prior to commencement of any activities being reviewed by the FUIRB.
  • Full-Review proposals require evaluation by all of the FUIRB members. The FUIRB committee meets monthly and considers Full-Review proposals at the monthly meeting.  The FUIRB administrators must receive proposals two full weeks prior to the committee meeting.  Researchers should consult with the FUIRB administrators for specific deadlines.