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Academic Resources

Institutional Review Board

Institutional Review Board (IRB) (Formerly HRRC)

An Institutional Review Board (IRB), is a committee that applies research ethics by reviewing the methods proposed for research to ensure that they are ethical. Such boards are formally designated to approve (or reject), monitor, and review biomedical and behavioral research involving humans.

To submit a protocol, please go to Submittable at https://nnu.submittable.com/submit. Here you will find the forms for exempt, expedited and full review protocols.  All protocol forms must be completed and submitted online using the Submittable website. The IRB no longer accepts hard copies or email attachments.

All research involving human subjects must be cleared through the IRB prior to commencement of data collection.  The IRB will not review a proposal unless a protocol for the research has been submitted.  Protocols must follow the instructions laid out in Guidelines 1, 2, and 3 of the IRB handbook (located on this webpage).  It is the responsibility of the principal investigator to complete these forms and attach all necessary documents as indicated in guidelines 1, 2, and 3.

Full research protocols are due no later than the 1st of the month in which the researcher wishes the protocol to be reviewed.  For example, for a Full research protocol to be reviewed at the November meeting, the completed protocol must be submitted to Submittable at https://nnu.submittable.com/submit by November 1st. Exempt and Expedited research protocols are reviewed on the 1st AND the 15th of month. 

See Guideline #2 for a full explanation of the different levels of review.

The IRB will meet no later than the third week of each month starting in September through June to review protocols.  Researchers submitting full review protocols can expect to receive feedback no later than the end of the month.  If you have not received feedback by the end of the month, please contact the IRB directly at irb@nnu.edu.  For exempt and expedited protocols, researchers can expect to hear back from the IRB within 15 days after submitting a protocol.

Ways to avoid the top 7 mistakes made in IRB submissions:

  1. Review the IRB handbook to make sure you understand the requirements.
  2. Protocol reviewed completely by the supervisor for corrections before submitting to the committee.
  3. Confirm that the researcher actually intends on doing the research. (Please NO submissions that are not going to be carried out to consume time from the committee)
  4. Include all permissions from study sites with the original submission.
  5. Ensure the correct form is used. (Exempt/non-exempt)
  6. Consent and assent forms need Principle Investigator and Faculty contact information on them and should be separate (not embedded in the report).
  7. Spell out abbreviations.


IRB Handbook (PDF, updated 2021)
Glossary of Terms

Examples for Protocols:
Confidentiality Agreement- IRB.docx
Sample Electronic Informed Consent-IRB.docx
Sample Informed Consent MINOR-IRB.docx
Sample Informed Consent- IRB.docx

IRB Committee Members

Heidi Curtis, Ph.D
Joseph Bankard, Ph.D
Rick Boyes, Ph.D
Duke Bulanon, Ph.D, Non-Researcher-at-Large Representative
Jennifer Hill, Ed.D
Bethani Studebaker, Ed.D, Chair
Jason Colwell, Ph.D
Donna Allen, Ph.D
Sarah Marion, Ph.D
Amy Ackley, Ph.D
Joshua Jensen, Ed.D
Mike Gregg, Non-Affiliated Representative