Humans: Institutional Review Board (IRB)
Committee & Meeting Information
The Institutional Review Board (IRB) is appointed by the President as one of the standing committees of Iowa State University (ISU). The IRB has the authority to approve, require modifications, or disapprove all human subject research activities at ISU.
The authority of the IRB is derived from the federal regulations and ISU’s federal wide assurance (FWA) with the Department of Health and Human Services. Federal regulations and the FWA require that the institutional official (IO) appoint the IRB members; the Vice President for Research is the IO for Iowa State University.
The committee is required to have at least five members. Membership should include persons knowledgeable in the areas of research conducted at ISU. There should be at least one member in a scientific area, one in a nonscientific area, and one who is not affiliated with the University, nor an immediate family member of a person affiliated with the University.
IRB Meeting Schedule and Application Submission Deadlines
Regular meetings of the IRB are normally held on the first and third Tuesdays of the month. Material for review at a full committee meeting must be submitted two full weeks in advance of the meeting.
Please note: The application due date applies only to applications for research that must be reviewed by the convened IRB. The two-week period is needed to prepare applications for the board and ensure IRB members have sufficient time for review. Applications for exempt research or research that will be reviewed by an IRB Chair (i.e., “expedited review”) do not have submission deadlines; instead, these applications are placed in a queue for review in the order received.
|Location and Time||Meeting Date*||Application Due Date|
2:00 – 5:00 PM
|November 21, 2023||November 7, 2023|
|December 5, 2023||November 21, 2023|
|December 19, 2023||December 5, 2023|
|*January 16, 2024||January 2, 2024|
Links to the current membership rosters are listed below. Should you need earlier rosters, please contact the IRB Administrator at 294-4566 for hard copies.
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
At Iowa State University, the Institutional Review Board (IRB) reviews all research involving human subjects, including proposals to gather data from subjects for theses, dissertations, and other student projects. The committee has representatives from various areas within the university and includes a member from the community. The community member is asked to disclose any conflict of interest they may have with Iowa State University and that information will be kept in their file.
The IRB Committee has the authority to approve, require modifications or disapprove all human subject research activities at Iowa State University.
The full board review process is as follows. The Chair, designee, or any IRB member can set up a meeting. The IRB Committee meets twice per month. A copy of each protocol to be reviewed is sent or delivered to the committee members for review before the scheduled meeting. The Administrator records the minutes of the meeting. Included in the minutes is the attendance, date, actions taken by the board, and the vote on actions taken.
Expectations and responsibilities of the IRB members are to attend each meeting; to be prepared to discuss each protocol and other agenda items; to use all of one’s area of expertise; to maintain confidentiality regarding any information contained in any review; to reveal any potential conflict of interest as soon as it arises; and to be familiar with the SOP and forms.
The IRB Committee will review protocols that have more than minimal risk. Following is the definition of minimal risk as defined in 45 CFR 46:
Minimal risk means that the probability and magnitude of harm or discomfort anticipated in the research are not greater in and of themselves than those ordinarily encountered in daily life or during the performance of routine physical or psychological examinations or tests.
If an IRB member is an investigator on a protocol that is being reviewed by the Committee, they may be present to address any questions, and then the member is excused for the deliberation and vote by the remaining IRB members.
IRB Registration and FWA
Iowa State University (ISU) is required to have a Federalwide Assurance (FWA) with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in order to receive federal funding for research. And, in order for the University to obtain a FWA, ISU’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) must be registered with the Office for Human Research Protections.
An assurance is a statement by ISU to DHHS that human subjects research at ISU will follow ethical principles and federal regulations. All investigators should be familiar with the principles of the Federalwide Assurance (FWA) for the Protection of Human Subjects, and they should conduct research in compliance with its guidelines.
Iowa State University’s Assurance FWA00002678 expires February 16, 2026
Registration numbers for the IRBs linked to this assurance:
- ISU’s IRB #1: IRB00000473
- ISU’s IRB #2: IRB00005531 (IRB #2 Reviews research involving prisoners as subjects)
- IORG0000280 expires September 12, 2025