Institutional Review Board at Ohio State

Every university has its own Institutional Review Board (IRB) that is federally relegated. This page of information is for researchers at The Ohio State University. Find and follow your own university IRB guidelines and/or the university associated with your research site.

Who Is In Charge Of IRB At Ohio State?

  • The Office of Responsible Research Practices (ORRP) provides administrative services to university researchers that facilitate research, improve review efficiency, and ensure regulatory compliance with research requirements.
    • Research involving human subjects, common for qualitative research, is reviewed and overseen by IRB under the ORRP.

How To Get Started With IRB?

  • All research activities involving humans as research participants must be reviewed and approved by the IRB unless the ORRP determines that the research falls into one or more of the categories of exemption established by federal regulations. Identify whether your research can be exempted here. You still need to submit requests to obtain exemptions.
  • If not, the following presentations provide brief introductions to the IRB at Ohio State:
    • 2020 ORRP presentation on “Human Subjects Research 101: From Inspiration to Approval.” Recording available.
    • 2021 QualLab Lunch on “Qualitative Ethics and Working with Ohio State’s IRB” by Dr. Leslie Moore, Associate Professor of Teaching and Learning & Dr. Jackie Goodway, Professor of Human Services. Recording available.

Who To Ask If I Have IRB-Related Questions?

  • The ORRP holds office hours to help researchers prepare IRB submissions and exemption requests. Sessions are intended to help navigate IRB forms, policies, and review procedures. Researchers can get assistance with Buck-IRB application responses, clarifying Ohio State HRPP policies, identifying potential regulatory issues, tips to expedite the review process, etc.
    • 30-minute appointments can be scheduled here.
    • Complex projects and/or questions anticipated to exceed 30 minutes should be directed to the specific mailbox for referral to the appropriate regulatory expert.
  • Each time a protocol is submitted to the ORRP, the materials will be claimed by an analyst who will work with the researchers to obtain approval. If you have questions during the review, you can call the analyst to discuss them.

Other Things To Keep In Mind?

  • If you plan to conduct research at a K-12 school, you must have all research methods reviewed and approved by your advisor and the research coordinator (or designated personnel) of the school district before submitting your protocol to IRB. Submitting a letter of support from the school and/or district to conduct research will indicate to the IRB that researchers will follow the local school guidelines.
  • If you use digital tools for data collection, please use appropriate security measures to safeguard participant data. Check with the Office of Technology and Digital Innovation if you have questions.
  • The university expects all non-medical center employees to complete training or an awareness activity about the Institutional Data Policy (IDP) annually, regardless of whether you are on an IRB study or not. In 2024, the window of completion is open from Februray 1 until April 26.
  • 8/1/2023 IRB memo: New review process, implementation of the IRB protocol triage.

You Can Do Research On IRB?

  • Watch the 2022 QualLab Lunch on “IRBs and Research Site Anonymity as Methodological Interest Convergence” by Dr. Michael Moses, Assistant Professor at University of California, Riverside and QualLab Faculty Fellow, and get inspired! Recording available.