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: About Experiential Learning@MGA : Institutional Review Board

Institutional Review Board

The MGA Institutional Review Board (IRB) oversees human subjects research within the MGA community. The purpose of the IRB is to review all proposals for research involving human subjects before the research is conducted to determine whether the research plan has adequately addressed the ethical dimensions of the project. All research involving human subjects conducted at MGA, or by MGA faculty, staff, or students must be approved by the IRB before the research can begin.


  • How to Apply
  • FAQ
  • Forms & Documents

How to Apply for IRB Approval for your research project.

Detailed instructions on applying for approval can be found in the Principal Investigator’s Handbook. Below is a summary of the steps necessary to apply for IRB approval.


  1. Determine if your proposed activity requires IRB approval

    Most forms of research involving human subjects require IRB approval. There are some circumstances where IRB oversight is not needed. These include classroom simulations of research, and some forms of institutional data collection. Please see the Principal Investigator’s Handbook for more information.

  2. Determine the level of review required by your project

    There are three levels of IRB review: 1) Exempt, 2) Expedited, and 3) Full Review. The level of review is determined primarily by the extent of risk to the participants in the proposed activity. The majority of proposals for research at MGA have fallen under the exempt and expedited categories. Please see the Principal Investigator’s Handbook for more information.

  3. Complete the IRB application.

    The most common cause for delays in IRB approval is an incomplete application. Please make sure that your application includes all needed materials. Please be sure to include the signature page.

  4. Submit application and all supporting materials to

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to apply for IRB approval?

If you are doing research involving human subjects, then you usually need to apply for approval. There are some circumstances where IRB oversight is not needed. These include classroom simulations of research, and some forms of institutional data collection. Please see the Principal Investigator’s Handbook for more information.

Can students apply for IRB approval?

Students may submit an application under the supervision of a faculty member. The supervising faculty member must co-sign the application form.

When should I apply for approval?

You should apply well before you plan to perform your research. Depending on the IRB load, approval for exempt and expedited proposals may take only a couple of weeks. Full reviews require an IRB meeting, and may take a month or more to be approved. Make sure your application is complete. Incomplete applications are the most common cause of delayed review and approval. The IRB cannot approve proposals retroactively.

How do I know what level of approval I will need?

The Principal Investigator’s Handbook describes how to determine the appropriate category. Most forms of classroom research will fall under the exempt or expedited categories.

What does Exempt approval mean? Does it mean I’m exempt from IRB oversight?

No, it means your proposal is exempt from a full IRB review. You must still seek IRB approval for your project.

Do I need to create an informed consent form for my project?

Generally yes, you will need to have your participants sign a document stating their informed consent to participate in the project. There are a limited number of circumstances where informed consent can be waived. Please see the Principal Investigator’s Handbook for more information.

What happens after my proposal is approved?

You may begin data collection after your project approval. If you would like to make a substantive change your to research protocol after beginning data collection, you must notify the IRB. The IRB may choose to audit your project to assure that data is collected and stored according to the approved protocol. Approvals usually expire after one year. If you need to extend your approval, please notify the IRB.







  LAST MODIFIED: 4/25/2017