Institutional Review Board

Southern Virginia University’s Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects (IRB) protects the rights and welfare of human subjects participating in research. IRB members recognize the dual burden of ethical research to advance relevant knowledge while maintaining the integrity and respect of human participants. All research, whether funded or not, that involves human subjects and is administered on campus, or conducted elsewhere by university faculty, staff, or students, must be reviewed and approved by the IRB prior to its commencement.

The IRB meets every other week each semester to review research proposals. Please note: in order for the IRB to review your materials at these meetings, you must submit them to the committee no later than the Friday before the meeting.

For liability reasons, the IRB cannot consider proposals for studies which involve the ingestion of food, liquid, and/or nutritional supplements.

Researchers must submit their documents as email attachments in PDF or Word format. Do not send links to Google drive folders or submit documents in any other way.

IRB Members

Required Forms

Ethics Training

For IRB Members

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need to include with my application?

  1. Complete and correct contact information
  2. If the principal investigator is a student, include a faculty signature along with the student’s signature
  3. All consent documents being used in the project
  4. All questionnaires, surveys, interview questions, and discussion questions
  5. Letters of support from sponsoring institutions or organizations, if applicable
  6. Photographic Release, if applicable
  7. Video Release, if applicable
  8. Recruiting Materials (including scripts, flyers, posters, letters, emails, screenshots of online recruiting advertisements, classroom announcements, etc.)
  9. Signed Attestation Form

I am not collecting any identifying information in my research study. Do I need to submit my proposal to the IRB for review?

Yes, if your research project involves active data collection. Federal regulations and Southern Virginia policy require that all research involving intervention or interaction with human participants, regardless of whether or not identifying information is being collected, must be submitted for review prior to beginning the research study.

I am only working with previously collected data; do I need to submit an application?

Yes. Federal regulations require that if the study will use existing data, documents, records, pathological specimens or diagnostic specimens from human subjects, it is to be submitted for review.

I believe my protocol is exempt. Do I have to submit an application for IRB review?

Yes. Southern Virginia policy requires that all proposed exempt research is reviewed by the IRB for final determination of status.

My research will be done in another state or country. Do I have to obtain review and approval from Southern Virginia IRB?

Yes. If you are Southern Virginia faculty or staff, or a Southern Virginia student, you must obtain Southern Virginia IRB approval to conduct your research regardless of where the research will take place. Moreover, you will also need to submit proof that the research has been reviewed and approved by the IRB or human ethics committee where the study will be conducted. You should also be aware of local and state laws that may impact the conduct of your research.

In the case of a potential unanticipated problem involving risks to participants or others, when is the principal investigator expected to report this occurrence to the IRB?

Serious adverse events must be reported to the IRB immediately, with a written report by the principal investigator following within 24 hours of becoming aware of the event. Serious adverse events are (1) death of a research participant; or (2) serious injury to a research participant.

All other non-serious unanticipated problems should be reported to the IRB within 2 weeks of the first awareness of the problem by the principal investigator. Prompt reporting is important, as unanticipated problems often require some modification of study procedures, protocols, and informed consent processes. Such modifications require the review and approval of the IRB.