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Office of Institutional Research and Planning

Institutional Review Board - FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Does your project have to be reviewed by the IRB?

According to federal regulations, research is defined as a systematic investigation designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge. Your project should be reviewed by the IRB if it meets the following criteria:

  •  You are utilizing human participants in your research AND
  •  Your data collection methods are systematic and methodical AND
  •  The goal of your research activities is to contribute to the generalizable scientific knowledge base of a discipline

How do I submit a petition to the IRB?

To submit a proposal to the IRB, please send an introductory email to the Board Chair, Stacey Kadish (skadish [at] qcc.mass.edu) explaining your research project; be sure to include an explanation as to how and to what extent human subjects are to be utilized. If it is determined that your project needs IRB approval to move forward, she will send you the appropriate paperwork to submit a petition.

Once a petition is submitted, what happens?

Once you (the researcher or principle investigator/PI) have submitted the appropriate petition with all necessary supporting documents for research, your petition will be reviewed by a member or members of the IRB. If member(s) of the IRB have any questions or issues with your submitted materials, you will be contacted.

How long does it take to get my project reviewed by the IRB?

Upon receipt of the completed petition and supporting documents to the IRB, a researcher can expect to receive a decision from the IRB within approximately 8 working days after submission.  Non-exempt reviews might take longer.