On behalf of Thomas University, the primary role of the Thomas University Institutional Review Board (IRB) is to advise on the ethical standards of those conducting research using humans or vertebrate animals, and biological or biomedical research involving Recombinant DNA. The IRB is responsible for safeguarding the rights and welfare of human subjects in any research, development, or related activity, and for assuring proper laboratory practices and the proper care of laboratory or other vertebrate animals used in research conducted by Thomas University faculty and students, or research conducted on behalf of Thomas University in partnership with other universities, external entities, and/or independent researchers.
Please submit all IRB applications to Thomas University’s IRB by emailing the application as an attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thomas University Institutional Review Board (IRB) requires that all students conducting research involving human subjects, vertebrate animals, biological or biomedical research complete the online Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) certification courses for the appropriate research area. All required courses are available on the CITI training website after selecting Thomas University as the affiliate institution. Please review the Thomas University CITI Certification Requirement section for complete details.
Please submit ALL training certificates with your IRB application by emailing the documents as attachments to email@example.com.
The researcher should first complete the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) certification courses for the appropriate subject area prior to submission of their IRB application. A copy of a certificate of completion for the appropriate research area must accompany the IRB application and will not be reviewed without a certificate of completion.
Following the completion of the CITI certification courses, an IRB applicant should submit the appropriate IRB application that corresponds to their particular proposed study. A digital copy of the completed application should be emailed to the Thomas University IRB as an attachment along with the CITI certification document. Please email the application to: firstname.lastname@example.org. All Thomas University student applications must contain the original signature of the student’s Division Chairperson or Assigned Faculty Sponsor prior to submission. Please fill out all questions completely in order to expedite review of the application. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed by the IRB.
Faculty Researchers and External Researchers: If the principal researcher is a Thomas University Faculty or an external researcher (including doctoral student candidates), they should submit their application directly to the IRB via email at email@example.com. Additionally, external researchers must also complete and submit IRB Statement of Assurances for External Persons, along with their IRB application and CITI certification document.
The Thomas University IRB meets each second and fourth Monday of the month. To have an IRB application, modification, or addendum reviewed during the scheduled meeting day, the document must be submitted by the Friday before the scheduled meeting day (i.e., Friday prior to the second Monday of the month, or Friday prior to fourth Monday of the month).
Though the IRB employs a state of rigor when reviewing all applications, we do so in a timely and expedient fashion, regardless of the type of research proposed and in accordance to IRB policy and procedures. To that end, all researchers are asked to please allow up to two weeks (10 business days) for Exempt and Expedited IRB application reviews, and up to 4 weeks (20 business days) for a Full IRB Committee review of proposed research. All decisions of the IRB will be returned to the principal investigator in writing in accordance to IRB policy and procedures.
Please email all applications to the Thomas University IRB via firstname.lastname@example.org.
CITI Certification Requirement
All Thomas University students, faculty, and external applicants are required to complete CITI certification courses aligned with the area of proposed research before submitting an IRB Application. These areas include research proposing the use of humans as subjects, vertebrate animals as subjects, and biomedical research (including specimens only research).
To complete this requirement:
CITI – Thomas University Registration Portal (Register using your Thomas University email account). For support with CITI registration or login, contact CITI support at 1-888-529-5929.
Thomas University IRB Required CITI Course Certifications:
|Protocol/Discipline||Proposed Research Subjects||Required CITI Courses|
|Social, Behavioral, Education||Humans||
|Biomedical Data or Specimens Only Research||No Direct Contact with Humans||
|Vertebrate Animals||Any Vertebrate Animal||
|ADDITIONAL CERTIFICATION REQUIRED FOR RESEARCH SUB-AREAS|
|Research Involving Educational Data||Direct or No Direct Contact
|Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) FOR RESEARCHERS –in Optional Module|
|Public Health Research||Direct or No Direct Contact
|Public Health Research|
|Research Protocol Involving: Clinical Trials with Drugs or Medical Devices||Direct or No Direct Contact
|GCP for Clinical Trials with Investigational Drugs and Medical Devices|
|Research Protocol Involving: Investigation of Devices||Direct or No Direct Contact
|GCP for Clinical Investigations of Devices|
|Research Protocol Involving: Clinical Trials with Drugs or Biologics||Direct or No Direct Contact
|GCP for Clinical Trials with Investigational Drugs and Biologics|
|Vertebrate Animals Research Involving Distress: Mice or Rats||Mice or Rats as Subjects||Minimizing Pain and Distress|
Additional Forms and Resources
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 these regulations, whether or not they are supported or funded under a program that is considered research for other purposes. For example, some demonstration and service programs may include research activities.(45 CFR 46.102 d).
Human subject means a living individual about whom an investigator (whether professional or student) conducting research obtains data through intervention or interaction with the individual; and/or identifiable private information (45 CFR 46.102f).
Vulnerable populations include minors, pregnant women, human fetuses, human neonates, prisoners (detainees, parolees), institutionalized persons, mentally disabled or handicapped persons.
Minimal risk is the probability and magnitude of physical or psychological harm that is normally encountered in the daily lives, or in the routine medical, dental, or psychological examination of healthy persons. That is, 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. (45 CFR 46.102 (i) and 46.303 (d)
IRB approval means the determination of the Thomas University Institutional Review Board that the research that has been proposed and reviewed may be conducted at the institution or within the proposed venue external to Thomas University as described in the proposal (as subject to the approval of the usage of the proposed external venue by the external venue’s governing body) within the constraints set forth by the Thomas University Institutional Review Board and by other institutional or federal, state, or local regulations or requirements as they relate specifically to the research under scrutiny. All approved research will receive IRB Certification (see definition) of that approval.
Full Committee Review
A full committee review is a procedure for research that does not qualify for an expedited review (see definition) that occurs during convened Institutional Review Board meetings at which the majority of IRB members (a quorum) are present, including at least one member whose primary concerns are in non-scientific areas. In order for the research to be approved, it will receive the approval of the majority of those members present at the meeting. (45 CFR 46.108 a-b)
Expedited Review Defined
An expedited review is a procedure for certain kinds of research involving no more than minimal risk to subjects that participate in the research study or project under scrutiny. The expedited review procedure is used to review one or both of the following types of research or similar activities:
Recruitment of Participants for Research Projects
Direct recruitment of students, faculty, staff or affiliated partners by any individual is not permitted by Thomas University or the Thomas University IRB Policy for any research study without express written permission from the Thomas University IRB Chairman or appointed administrator. All recruitment conducted at Thomas University for approved human subjects research (or any form of approved research) is facilitated through the Thomas University IRB’s Research 101 digital system.
To send announcements requesting participation for an approved IRB research study, the Principal Investigator (PI) of the approved study must forward an announcement in the form of email text, along with the approved TU IRB Application Number and the PI’s contact information to the email: Research101@thomasu.edu. An electronic communication will be distributed to the student body or the appropriate Thomas University population containing the PI’s email message. Those who want to participate in the approved study will contact the PI directly or access participation information as described in the email content provided by the PI.