The Institutional Review Board at UNL

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Click here for more comprehensive information about UNL’s IRB guidelines and policies.

The Institutional Review Board reviews research projects that involve human subjects to ensure that subjects are not placed at undue risk, that they give informed consent to their participation, and that their rights and welfare are protected throughout the project.

The scope of the IRB’s charge is broad. Generally, any University research (in the social and behavioral sciences, as well as the health and biological sciences) that uses humans, human tissue, surveys of human subjects or human subjects’ records requires IRB review, regardless of its funding source.

A project is first reviewed in its proposal stage, even before any subjects are recruited. Each approved project is reevaluated at least annually. The IRB has the authority to approve or disapprove a project or require modifications. The IRB works with investigators to modify projects to ensure adequate protection for the subjects’ welfare. The IRB also observes and verifies changes and has the authority to suspend or terminate approval.

Board Composition

The IRB is composed of members representing the diversity of the University and local community. Board members are appointed by the Vice Chancellor for Research for staggered terms of three years. The IRB is administered through Research Compliance Services, located in 2200 Vine Street, 278 Whittier Research Center, Lincoln, NE 68583-0864.

Basic Criteria of IRB Review

In assessing the adequacy of human subjects’ protections in research, the IRB considers a number of basic criteria, specifically whether:

  • risks to subjects are minimized
  • risks to subjects are reasonable in relation to the anticipated benefits to subjects and the advancement of knowledge
  • selection of subjects is equitable in light of the research aims
  • informed consent is sought from each prospective participant or legally authorized representative, and properly documented
  • the research plan makes adequate provision for monitoring the data collected to ensure safety of subjects
  • adequate safeguards are in place to protect the privacy and confidentiality of subjects
  • adequate provisions are made for the ongoing monitoring of the subjects’ welfare.

The assessment also includes additional factors important in the context of the individual proposal.

Full Board Project Submission Requirements

Please note:  Full board protocols must be submitted on or before the month’s submission deadline to be eligible for Full Board review at that month’s meeting.

*Friday, December 13, 2013 – submission deadline November 25th

Spring 2014 IRB meeting dates and submission deadlines are as follows:

*Thursday, January 30th – submission deadline January 7th
*Thursday, February 27th – submission deadline February 4th
*Thursday, March 20th – submission deadline February 27th
*Thursday, April 24th – submission deadline April March 31st
*Thursday, May 29th – submission deadline May 5th

If you have any questions or are unsure if your project is subject to submission deadlines, please contact us at 402-472-6965; however, please be aware that submission deadlines are applicable to Full Board review; Expedited and Exempt projects are reviewed in the order they are received with no submission deadline requirements for review.