IRB Frequently Asked Questions

What kinds of research projects require an IRB approval?

  • My research involves human participants.


  • The intention of the research is to generate generalizable knowledge.


  • I plan to share the results with an audience outside of Providence College (e.g., at a conference, workshop, or another publication).

How do I submit an application?

All applications are submitted online*.  The link to the online applications is here:

*Please note that once a project is reviewed, any subsequent modifications to that project must be reviewed and approved by the IRB.

Do I need to include anything else with the application?

Yes!  You should include all study materials, such as the consent form(s), the debriefing form, any study materials (i.e., surveys, interview questions, images, etc), and/or recruitment materials.  Such materials must be submitted with the application.

How long will it take for my application to be reviewed?

We make every effort to review applications as quickly as possible.  Full review applications are reviewed at the IRB meeting, which is held the 3rd Wednesday of every month.  Expedited applications typically take 5-7 days to review while Exempt applications are usually reviewed in 2-3 days

Can I contact someone at the IRB if my question is not addressed in this list of Frequently Asked Questions?

Of course! Any member of the IRB is available to answer your question. If you do not know any of the members, please feel free to contact IRB Chair Mary Harmon-Vukic.

​Can I submit a paper application?

We are no longer accepting paper applications.

Must all researchers complete the CITI online training program prior to the submission of an IRB application?

Yes. The principal investigator, the faculty sponsor (if any), and the co-investigators (if any) must complete the program. Your application will not be accepted for evaluation until all researchers do so.

Can I solicit participants and/or collect data at an off-campus location?

Of course! But you must first obtain a letter of permission from the organization that is responsible for the off-campus location. Your application will not be accepted for evaluation unless you include such a letter (if appropriate) in your appendices.

Can an investigator who is employed by an off-campus organization recruit Providence College students or employees as participants?

Yes, but not until the “outside investigator” receives an approval letter from his or her organization’s IRB and then applies to (and receives an approval letter from) our IRB.

One of my co-investigators is employed at a different institution. Can we apply to the IRB of the co-investigator’s institution instead of the IRB of Providence College?

Under such circumstances, both IRBs must approve the project. Explain the situation in your application to our IRB, and provide a copy of the approval letter of the other institution’s IRB (as well as a copy of the other application material) in your appendices.​