Submitting an Application to the IRB

psychology research

The steps for completing an IRB application are outlined below. Please contact an IRB committee member if you have any questions.

Protection of Human Participants Training

All researchers involved in a study, even if they will not directly work with human subjects, must participate in ethics training regarding the use of human subjects. The Centre College IRB encourages the use the National Institutes of Health’s “Protecting Human Research Participants” training module, available at This free, online training should take no more than two hours to complete. Researchers should keep a copy of their training certificate on file. Centre’s online IRB application cannot be submitted without the researcher’s IRB training certification number.


Application for IRB Approval

Start your application here.

Centre’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) accepts online applications via a Qualtrics survey. A preview of the survey questions is available for review. The survey will ask researchers to describe their project, methodology, research population, the possible risks and benefits of the study, and other details of the study. Researchers must also be prepared to upload an informed consent document, research instruments, and other materials relevant to the research.
While the application survey contains many definitions and examples, researchers are encouraged to refer to Centre College’s Policy on the Protection of Human Subjects for additional information. The IRB Committee, Forms, and Links page also has sample consent forms that can be used as templates. Researchers may also contact the IRB chair with any questions.


Class Projects involving Human Subjects

Professors teaching a research methods class, independent study seminar, or other research-heavy course are strongly encouraged to contact the chair of the IRB before the beginning of the term. Working together, the IRB Chair and the professor will insure that applications are submitted and reviewed in the most efficient and timely way possible. No research may move forward until it has received written approval by the IRB.


How long does IRB review take?

The IRB requires a complete application and relevant supporting documents no later than thirty (30) days prior to the intended start date of the research. An IRB committee member will be assigned to guide the researcher through any necessary revisions. Depending on the level of risk and the extent of revisions needed, the IRB could take less or more than 30 days to issue decision documents.