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Institutional Review Board

What is IRB?

The Institutional Review Board (IRB) is an administrative body established to protect the rights, welfare and privacy of human research subjects who participate in research activities. The IRB at NMHU is charged with the responsibility of reviewing, prior to its initiation, all research (whether funded or not) involving human participants. IRB has the authority to approve, disapprove, monitor, and require modifications in all research activities that fall within its jurisdiction as specified by both the federal regulations and institutional policy.


IRB Membership

  • David Pan, PhD – Department of Psychology (IRB Chair) – dpan@nmhu.edu – 505-454-3375 – Lora Shields 249
  • Robert Karaba, PhD – School of Education
  • Linda LaGrange, PhD – Department of Psychology
  • Lara Heflin, PhD – Department of Psychology
  • Jennifer O’Brien, PhD – Outside Community Member

The IRB Process

  1. Do I need IRB approval?
    • In accordance with procedures set forth by the National Institutes of Health (Office of Extramural Research), NMHU requires that all investigators and other study personnel, including all persons who are responsible for the design, conduct, data analysis or reporting of research that involves human subjects receive and complete training on Human Subject Research Protection. Training must be completed before the University will approve a project protocol or release project funds.
  2. Where do I do I go to receive human subjects training and certification?
    • NMHU offers free human subjects training through the CITI Program (https://about.citiprogram.org/en/homepage/).  You will have the option of printing/downloading a certificate of completion from your computer upon completing the course which will then end up included in your IRB proposal application.
    • Download the IRB’s CITI Program Registration tutorial here.  Or go directly to the CITI Program website here.
  3. What types of human subject research require IRB approval?
    • Research means a systematic investigation, including research development, testing, and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge. Activities that meet this definition constitute research for purposes of this policy, whether or not they are conducted or supported under a program that is considered research for other purposes. For example, some demonstration and service programs may include research activities. For purposes of this part, the following activities are deemed not to be research
      • (1) Scholarly and journalistic activities (e.g., oral history, journalism, biography, literary criticism, legal research, and historical scholarship), including the collection and use of information, that focus directly on the specific individuals about whom the information is collected.
      • (2) Public health surveillance activities, including the collection and testing of information or biospecimens, conducted, supported, requested, ordered, required, or authorized by a public health authority. Such activities are limited to those necessary to allow a public health authority to identify, monitor, assess, or investigate potential public health signals, onsets of disease outbreaks, or conditions of public health importance (including trends, signals, risk factors, patterns in diseases, or increases in injuries from using consumer products). Such activities include those associated with providing timely situational awareness and priority setting during the course of an event or crisis that threatens public health (including natural or man-made disasters).
      • (3) Collection and analysis of information, biospecimens, or records by or for a criminal justice agency for activities authorized by law or court order solely for criminal justice or criminal investigative purposes.
      • (4) Authorized operational activities (as determined by each agency) in support of intelligence, homeland security, defense, or other national security missions.
  4. What human subject research is exempt from IRB review requirements?
    • Examples of human subject research not requiring IRB review include, but are not limited to:
      • Research involving benign behavioral interventions (brief in duration, harmless, painless, not physically invasive, not likely to have a significant adverse lasting impact on the subjects, and the investigator has no reason to think the subjects will find the interventions offensive or embarrassing).
      • Examples: having the subjects play an online game, having them solve puzzles under various noise conditions, or having them decide how to allocate a nominal amount of received cash between themselves and someone else.
    • Research, conducted in established or commonly accepted educational settings, that specifically involves normal educational practices that are not likely to adversely impact students’ opportunity to learn required educational content or the assessment of educators who provide instruction
    • Research that only includes interactions involving educational tests (cognitive, diagnostic, aptitude, achievement), survey procedures, interview procedures, or observation of public behavior
    • Secondary research for which consent is not required
    • Taste and food quality evaluation and consumer acceptance studies
    • The above descriptions are not comprehensive.  For more detailed information about research that is exempt from IRB review, download the Exempt Review Form (pdf) (below).
    • If you believe that your research qualifies for exempt status, any current NMHU IRB member may review your application and assign it exempt status.
  5. Does an expedited IRB review process exist?
    • Research activities that present no more than minimal risk to human subjects, and involve only procedures listed in one or more of the categories listed in NMHU’s Research Handbook in Section 7.7., may be reviewed by the IRB through the expedited review procedure and is usually processed within two weeks after submission if applications are complete.

IRB Meeting Schedule

Any research proposals that need Full Committee review need to be submitted to the IRB Chair (dpan@nmhu.edu) two weeks before a Full Committee meeting at minimum.  If the proposal is submitted less than two weeks before a scheduled Full Committee meeting, it may not be reviewed until the following meeting.

Spring 2019 Full Committee Meetings

Friday, Feb 1, 10:30am

Friday, Mar 1, 10:30am

Friday, Apr 5, 10:30am

May 2019 meeting TBD


IRB Forms

For new IRB proposals (Full and Expedited Review), use these forms:

Consent Form Template (using this form is not required if you have created your own Consent Form):

For exempt research:

For NMHU IRB proposals that need to be renewed: