IRB Resources

Every research project must receive approval from the MSU Cayuse IRB. If you are going to use human subjects in your research, it is important that you understand the role of the IRB. The IRB’s job is to protect participants from physiological, psychological, and reputational harm—which is your responsibility as well. You will submit your IRB proposal electronically through MSU Cayuse IRB.

Complete the required training

The first step is to make sure that you understand the rights of your participants and how to protect them. To do this, you must complete CITI Human Subjects training. CITI is the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative at the University of Miami. When you finish, you will need to print a copy of your CITI Certificate of Completion to include with your IRB application. You should keep an electronic copy for your records, as well as the user name and password that you used to register for your CITI account. Depending on your research area and source of funding, there may be other training requirements for you to meet before beginning research. For instance, if your research involved Protected Health Information (PHI), you will also need to complete HIPAA training. Check out our training page to see if any of these further courses apply to you.

Informed consent form

Create an Informed Consent Form for your participants. If your research design involves you meeting with your participants face-to-face, you will need to have your participants sign this sheet and provide them with an additional copy for them to keep. If you are doing your study online, you will need to explain that the participant’s continuation of the study constitutes their consent to participate. In either case, the IRB will need to see a copy of your consent form.

Here are some samples of completed consent forms:

Formulate methods

Next, you will submit a description of your research question, your plan of action, your participants, and any benefits or risks that might result from the study (Note: there is an extensive list of what to include at the bottom of the Human Subjects Application Form). You should also include any unique or notable characteristics of the study not addressed by these categories.

Collect research materials

Finally, include a copy of any testing materials. If you’re using a questionnaire, include it with your application. If you are using an online questionnaire, include a document demonstrating what participants will see. If you intend to interview your patients, submit a transcript of your questions. If you are administering a physical examination, describe the precise protocol involved. Any photos or media that your participant will see should be included whenever possible.