Student Researchers

Frequently asked Questions

  1. I’m a PVAMU student interested in conducting my own research project do I need IRB approval before I can begin?
  2. Can I be listed as the Lead Researcher on the IRB Application?
  3. Should I submit a new IRB application, or be added to my Faculty Advisor’s protocol?
  4. Is IRB review necessary if my study involves anonymous surveys or interviews?
  5. How do I apply for IRB review?
  6. How long does it take to obtain IRB Approval/Registration?
  7. How will I be notified when my IRB application is approved?
  8. How long is my approval good for?

I’m a PVAMU student interested in conducting my own research project do I need IRB approval before I can begin?

Yes. Students conducting human subjects’ research require IRB approval or registration before they can initiate their project. Please consult with the Office of Research Compliance staff if you are unsure whether your project constitutes human subjects research.

Can I be listed as the Lead Researcher on the IRB Application?

No. PVAMU doctoral students can not be Lead Researchers/Investigators on human subjects’ protocols. Faculty Sponsorship is required for all research applications to include outside investigators that desire access to the university student population.

Should I submit a new IRB application, or be added to my Faculty Advisor’s protocol?

When a student’s research project consists of the collection and/or analysis of data that is part of the scope of an existing faculty member’s IRB approved research, the student can be added to the Faculty member’s protocol, rather than submitting as Lead Researcher on a new IRB Application.

Is IRB review necessary if my study involves anonymous surveys or interviews?

Yes. An application is required if you plan to conduct anonymous survey or interview research.

How do I apply for IRB review?

  1. Faculty Sponsorship – Find a faculty advisor who will sponsor and guide you throughout research process.
  2. Formulate your research question and study design. If your study involves interviews, surveys, or questionnaires identify the standardized instruments that will be used. If a new measure will be used develop your survey or questionnaire instrument or interview protocol.
  3. Define your sample population and develop recruitment procedures.
  4. Determine how you will obtain informed consent.
  5. All study team members are required to successfully complete the CITI training. Even non-PVAMU investigators on PVAMU protocols are required to complete the training(s). Applications may be withheld pending training completion.
  6. Complete the IRB Application. See: IRB Submission Process
  7. Faculty Sponsor and Department Chair’s signatures are required on IRB applications for student research. Applications will be withheld until all required signatures are provided. Please note that if your Faculty Sponsor, or any member of the study team is the Department Chair/Director, the signature of the next highest level of administrative authority is required.
  8. Submit the original and 10 copies of the application to the Office of Research Compliance.
  9. Save a copy of your application packet for your records and back-up all files relating to your application on your computer, as you may be asked to submit revisions following the Initial Review.

How long does it take to obtain IRB Approval/Registration?

Full Committee protocols are reviewed monthly. The turnaround time from submission to approval generally takes 4-8 weeks for full Committee protocols depending on the completeness of the submission including the required additional documents (e.g., informed consent/assent forms, recruitment materials, questionnaires) and whether other PVAMU Committees must first approve the research (e.g., IBC, IACUC).

How will I be notified when my IRB application is approved?

An official IRB approval letter will be sent by e-mail to the Principal Investigator when all requirements are met, according to the IRB deliberations. If you are listed on a full Committee protocol, deliberations from the IRB meeting are sent within a week of the IRB meeting via e-mail.

How long is my approval good for?

Most full Committee protocols are approved for one year from the date of approval (the IRB may grant a shorter approval period). Continuation of an approved protocol requires submission of the Continuing Protocol Application. A research protocol is registered for three years and requires a yearly update. Continuation of a protocol beyond three years requires submission of a new IRB Application.

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