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Northwest Missouri State University

When to Submit

Applications for IRB approval can be submitted at any time. During the academic year, the IRB works continuously on the review of applications and meets on a monthly basis, usually in the first week of each month. Research applications that are received by the 15th of each month will be acted upon at the meeting that takes place during the following month.

For example, if a proposal needing a full committee review is submitted by October 15th, a committee decision concerning that proposal will be reached during the November meeting. A proposal submitted on the 16th of October, however, is not guaranteed committee action until the December meeting. Thus, the turnaround interval for committee action on a reviewed proposal can be as brief as three weeks, or as long as six weeks. Note that if the 15th of the month falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline for receipt of a proposal is extended to 5:00 p.m. on the next full work day.

The IRB recommends that lead time for committee approval be figured into the schedule for the conduct of research, especially since committee action (i.e., discussion and vote on approval of the project) is not necessarily equivalent to or a guarantee of committee approval. Furthermore, it should be noted that the same turnaround schedule cannot be guaranteed during the summer months, because some of the committee members are on nine month University contracts, and are thus unavailable to review projects or attend meetings during the summer months.