Getting Started

Whether you are a veteran or novice researcher, or a student, faculty, or staff, this section is designed to help you prepare your study for IRB review. In this section you’ll find tools and basic information to get started, including training requirements, ancillary approval requirements, necessary forms, and the IRB submission, review, and approval process. Familiarizing yourself with these fundamental points will save you time and reduce effort down the road. We are here to assist you at each step in the process!

For a visual overview of how to get started with your submission to the IRB, view our submission process flowchart: 

 

The UA IRB provides ethical oversight to all activities that meet the definition of human subjects research. Please refer to our guidance on What is Human Research for more information. If you are still unsure, you can complete the IRB Protocol for Determination of Human Research in eIRB for an official IRB determination. 

If your project is human subjects research, proceed to Step 2.  

All study team members engaged in human subjects research are required to complete the University of Arizona human subjects component of the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) online training program. For social/behavioral projects, researchers must complete the CITI Social Behavioral module. For biomedical projects, researchers must complete the CITI Biomedical module. Note that both the Social Behavioral and Biomedical courses also include the Native American Research module, which is required training for all researchers. For projects that involve Banner Health electronic medical records (EMR), researchers must also complete the UA HIPAA Privacy training. All researchers are required to complete Conflict of Interest (COI) training

Please visit our Training Requirements webpage for more information.

Additional approvals, as applicable, may be needed depending on the nature of your project. These should be obtained prior to submitting your project in eIRB. Additional approvals may include:

  • University of Arizona Health Sciences (UAHS) Research Intake Application (RIA): If your project is utilizing Banner Health resources, your study must first be submitted to UAHS through the RIA. UAHS will also perform Contract, Budget, and Coverage Analysis review, if applicable. You will receive correspondence from UAHS regarding this matter. Please visit our Collaborative Activities with Banner Health webpage for more information. For questions about this process, please contact crc@arizona.edu. For non-funded research, UAHS will provide the research team with feasibility review approval. A copy of this approval must be uploaded to eIRB before the study is submitted in eIRB. This approval is required before the IRB will being its review. For funded research, after the Coverage Analysis (CA) has been approved, UAHS will provide feasibility review approval, which will include the UAR Institutional Proposal (IP) number. Prior to submitting the application in eIRB 1) Researchers must link their funding in eIRB using the IP number provided by UAHS; and 2) Upload a copy of the feasibility review approval to eIRB. This approval is required before the IRB will being its review.
  • University of Arizona Cancer Center (UACC) Scientific Review Committee (SRC): If your project is oncology-related or utilizing UACC, SRC approval is required. This will either be in the form of a signature on your IRB application from the SRC Chair, or UACC SRC will issue an approval letter. For questions about this process, please email UACC-SRC@uacc.arizona.eduUpload the SRC approval letter or Chair signature/attestation to eIRB.
  • Export Control: If your project involves working with or having access to export-controlled technical data, information, materials, and equipment, Export Control review may be needed. For questions about this process, please contact export@arizona.edu. Upload Export Control approval or correspondence to eIRB.
  • UA Travel Registry: If you are traveling outside of the United States, UA Travel Registry review and approval is required. Upload a screenshot of your approval to eIRB.
  • RLSS Biosafety Program: If your project involves the use of recumbent DNA, stem cells, and/or infectious material, RLSS review and approval may be needed. For questions about this process, please contact rlss-help@arizona.edu. Upload RLSS Biosafety Program approval or correspondence to eIRB. 
  • RLSS Chemical Program: If your project involves the use of hazardous chemicals, regulated explosives, controlled substance, and/or toxic/compressed gasses, RLSS review and approval may be needed. For questions about this process, please contact rlss-help@arizona.edu. Upload RLSS Chemical Program approval or correspondence to the eIRB. 
  • RLSS Radiation Safety Program: If your project involves ionizing radiation (i.e., bone scan, bone mineral analyzers - DEXA, DXA, QCT, radioactive source - CT, PET, MUGA, mammogram, X-Ray/radiography, radiotherapy machines, fluroscopy, radiopharmaceuticals/radioisotope/radionuclide) or non-ionizing radiation (i.e., lasers, radiofrequency) exposure to subjects, RLSS review is required. For questions about this process, contact Leon Harris at harris23@arizona.eduUpload RLSS Radiation Safety Program approval to eIRB.
  • Clinical and Translational Sciences Research Center (CATS): If your project does NOT involve Banner Health resources AND will utilize CATS, approval from CATS to use their facilities and resources is required. Approval is obtained from Maria Gordan: cats-med@medadmin.arizona.eduUpload CATS approval to eIRB.
  • School District: If your project will take place in a public school (e.g., TUSD), district approval is required upon submission to the IRB. The IRB will also ask for Principal approval from each school within the district where your study will take place. Upload school district approval to eIRB.
  • Tribal Approval: If your project will take place on a Native American reservation or involve a specific Native American tribe, official approval from the tribe is required. Consider visiting the University of Arizona's Native Peoples Technical Assistance Office for additional resources. Upload Tribal Approval to eIRB. 
  • eDoc Number: If your project is industry-funded or has a single IRB mandate where the UA will be the IRB of record, the UA HSPP charges for review. If a charge applies, IRB review will not begin until the fee is paid. Please visit our Fees for Human Research guidance for pricing and instructions on how to submit payment prior to submission to the IRB. Include the UA Financial eDoc Number in your IRB Protocol document when uploaded to eIRB.

Prior to submitting your study in eIRB, please review our guidance on Other Approvals Required for more information.

For a new project submission, the HSPP requires the most current version of our forms be downloaded, completed, and uploaded in eIRB. Old PDF forms will be accepted until Friday, November 12, 2021, at which time the new HSPP forms will be required upon submission in eIRB. 

The following HSPP forms and other documents are typically required for any new project submission eIRB:

  • IRB Protocol (as applicable)
  • CV or Resume of PI/Co-PI(s)
  • Informed Consent Form(s) - If you’re using Banner resources, the UA Medical ICF template is REQUIRED upon submission
  • Data Collection Tools
  • Recruitment Materials
  • Participant Materials
  • Institutional Approvals - See Step 3 above
  • HSPP Appendices (as applicable)

The IRB Protocol templates, Informed Consent Form(s), and HSPP Appendices can be found on our HSPP Forms webpage. Other documents listed above would need to be created by the study team.

If the UA IRB will be the IRB of Record for a multi-site study, additional forms and documents are needed upon submission. Please visit our Single IRB Research and Forms webpage for more information on multi-site research and associated forms. 

Note: The UA HSPP REQUIRES Microsoft Word® documents of IRB Protocol templates, Informed Consent Forms, Data Collection Tools, and Recruitment Materials.

eIRB can be accessed here: https://eirb.arizona.edu/IRB. Utilize the How-To Videos and User Guides found on the eIRB Information webpage as well as in the eIRB Help Center for assistance with creating submissions in eIRB.

Upon submission to the IRB, applicable approvals are required before the IRB will review your project. This includes approvals from the:

  • Principal Investigator (PI) or PI Proxy
  • Advisor (IF PI is a student or resident)
  • Scientific/Scholarly Review
  • Department/Center/Section Review
  • Responsible Physician (IF PI is conducting medical procedures for which he/she is not clinically certified to perform)

In lieu of wet signatures, the IRB accepts approvals in the following format in eIRB:

  • Email approvals uploaded to eIRB
  • Attestation Forms uploaded to eIRB
  • Comments logged in eIRB

PLEASE CLEARLY IDENTIFY WHO IS APPROVING FOR WHAT. For example, if your advisor is signing for both the Advisor and Scientific/Scholarly Review, your advisor must clearly indicate this in his/her approval by stating, for example, “I approve as both the Advisor and Scientific/Scholarly Reviewer for this project.”  The submission will be returned to you if it is unclear who is signing for what.

Once you've created the submission in eIRB, obtained the applicable approvals, and completed all required and applicable HSPP forms and study documents, the PI or PI Proxies submit the study in eIRB. Note that only the PI or PI Proxies can submit submissions to the IRB in eIRB. 

Tips on submitting documents in eIRB for review:

  • Do NOT upload handwritten IRB forms or other study documents. These will be returned for electronic formatting.
  • Upload only completed documents for review.

Please see our Top 10 Tips page for common pitfalls to avoid when completing your study documents to ensure the most efficient and smooth IRB review!

Once you’ve submitted your IRB materials in eIRB, the submission will enter a Pre-Review state. This means that it with the HSPP for review. 

Your submission is triaged internally depending on the risk level. A reviewer will be assigned, and you can expect to hear from them within 3-5 business days of your submission. You will work with this reviewer, via eIRB, to get your IRB materials ready for either the IRB Chair or Full Committee’s review. You will be informed by the reviewer as to who will approve your project. To expedite review times, please rely on eIRB system notifications. When an action is required on the submission, you’ll receive a notification to your university-issued email.

Approval timelines are contingent upon the complexity of a study, the Investigator's responsiveness, and whether applicable approvals have been obtained. Average approval timelines are broken down by level of review:

  • Non-Committee Review (Minimal Risk/Exempt/Expedite): 14 business days
  • Committee Review: 30 business days

Once your project is approved by the IRB Chair or Full Committee, you will receive an eIRB approval notification. It will include an official approval letter, information on where to go in eIRB to review your approved documents, and references to guidance on what your responsibilities are after receiving IRB approval, including submitting Reportable New Information (RNI) and requirements for modifying your project. Please read the approval notification and letter carefully; it will include information about additional requirements you may need to fulfill before you can officially begin your research.

Let the ethical conduct of research begin! If you have any questions or concerns during the course of your study, please contact VPR-IRB@arizona.edu.