The role of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) is to review all proposed research by CSUSM faculty, students, and staff involving human subjects to ensure that subjects (meaning research participants) are treated ethically and that their rights and welfare are adequately protected.
A "human subject" means a living individual about whom an investigator (whether professional or student) conducting research obtains (1) data through intervention or interaction with the individual or (2) identifiable private information. “Research” in the context of IRB is considered to be a systematic investigation designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge.
The IRB committee is composed primarily of faculty members from various disciplines and members from the community. The role of the IRB committee is to assure that research with human subjects is conducted in accordance with legal requirements and ethical principles of Respect for Persons, Beneficence and Justice. These principles require the balancing of risks to subjects against the scientific knowledge to be gained and the potential benefits to subjects and society.
All research activities involving the use of human subjects must be reviewed and approved by the IRB before data collection can begin. Investigators may not solicit subject participation or begin data collection until they have IRB approval. We recommend that you submit your IRB application at least 3 months before you plan to collect data.
The Institutional Review Board does not fully function during the Summer Session. Applications will be reviewed on an as available basis.
UPDATE: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced that the Common Rule changes that were set to go in effect on January 19, 2018 will be delayed by six months, changing the effective date tentatively to July 19, 2018. Until HHS confirms the effective date, the submission process and application forms will remain the unchanged from 2017. More information on the delay can be found Federal Register.
The IRB review process can take from one to six weeks or more before the researcher receives final approval. The review time depends on what kind of application is submitted, the IRB committee meeting schedule, and the timeliness of responses to requests for clarification.