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Give Yourself Plenty of Time to Submit Your Protocol

Submitting an IRB protocol is not like submitting a paper at the end of the semester where you can wait until the last minute to do so.  Reviewing a protocol involves collaborating with multiple people with busy schedules, thus it is not something we can do at the last minute.  If your protocol qualifies for expedited review (it is considered minimal risk), then the review process can take place over email, which doesn’t guarantee a quick response but is usually quicker than a full board meeting. If your protocol needs to be reviewed at a full board meeting, the Board meets only twice per month.  It is possible that the Board could reject your protocol, which means it would need to be reviewed again at a full board meeting. If you know that you are leaving in May to do a summer study, do not submit your protocol at the end of April and expect the Board to respond quickly, especially if your protocol is complicated and involves using vulnerable participantsIf you do not receive a final approval or exemption letter from the Board, then you cannot conduct your study and collect data.  Thus, please be proactive and submit your study as soon as possible.  The IRB-SBS staff and Board will do its best to work quickly and efficiently so we don’t hinder your chance to do research, but it is important that you also act responsibly and make your IRB protocol a high priority. For more information about the submission process, please see Submission.

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