IRB Support for STH Researchers

REQUIREMENTS OF RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS

If you are completing research involving human subjects (reasons could include but are not limited to: master’s contextual education projects, master’s thesis projects, class projects, or doctoral dissertation projects) the BU Institutional Review Board will need to review and approve your proposed research plan. Dr. Anjulet Tucker is the pre-reviewer for the School of Theology and all IRB proposals must first be submitted to and pre-reviewed by her before being submitted to the Charles River IRB office.

ATTENTION DOCTORAL STUDENTS:
Your completed and pre-reviewed IRB application (http://www.bu.edu/irb/) must be appended to your prospectus. It may be submitted as soon as the Advanced Studies Committee (ASC) has approved your prospectus. When IRB approval has been granted, a copy of the IRB letter should be submitted to the ASC office to remain on file with your approved prospectus.

Note that you may not begin any research that involves human subjects until this letter is received. The IRB office will NOT grant retroactive approval of studies conducted without IRB review.

SUBMITTING RESEARCH PROPOSALS FOR PRE-REVIEW

As of Fall 2012, there is a new protocol for submitting IRB proposals for pre-review. Please answer the following questions and read all sections carefully.

1. HAVE YOU EVER COMPLETED AN IRB PROPOSAL AT BOSTON UNIVERSITY BEFORE?
a. NO – Students completing an IRB proposal for the first time at Boston University MUST have a consultation with Dr. Tucker to go over their proposal draft BEFORE turning the proposal in for pre-review. Please feel free to stop by Prof. Tucker’s office hours on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10-12:30 (fall 2012). While making an appointment is not required, it is recommended that you make an appointment during office hours to ensure that there will be adequate time to discuss your case.
b. YES – Students who have submitted to the BU IRB before and wish to meet with Prof. Tucker before submitting their application may also come to her office hours.

2. WOULD YOU LIKE TO DROP OFF YOUR COMPLETED PROPOSAL ELECTRONICALLY OR IN HARD COPY?
a. ELECTRONIC SUBMISSIONS – Researchers may email their IRB proposal to busth.irb@gmail.com. This address will be checked daily Monday through Friday. Upon receipt of your proposal, you will receive a confirmation email. Electronic submissions will be reviewed and returned to you within seven (7) business days from the date of the confirmation email.
b. HARD COPY SUBMISSIONS – Researchers may turn in a hard copy of their IRB proposal in a mailbox located outside Dr. Tucker’s office, room 424E of the STH building. This mailbox will be emptied daily Monday through Friday by 2:30pm. Please include your email on the front page (or on a cover page) to your application. Upon receipt of your application, you will receive a confirmation email. Reviewed proposals will be returned within seven (7) business days from the date of the confirmation email.

IN-PERSON IRB PR-REVIEWS
In lieu of written comments, after having submitted an electronic or hard copy of the IRB application for pre-review, students may schedule an appointment to have their applications pre-reviewed in person. Send an email to anjulet@bu.edu to arrange an in person review during Dr. Tucker’s office hours. Please note that this is the fastest way to get feedback on your application.

PLEASE REMEMBER that the BU IRB board takes approximately four to six (4-6) weeks from receipt of your proposal to return it to you. Thus, you should submit your proposal for pre-review by Dr. Tucker with this full time frame in mind. Written pre-reviews will be completed and returned with written comments within seven (7) business days of sending the confirmation email. Please note that your application may require adjustment and may need multiple consultations before it is ready to be submitted to the IRB.

In general, it is best to plan on sending your proposal to Dr. Tucker about two months before you want to start research. For example, if you wish to begin research with human subjects by September 10, 2012 your proposal needs to be sent to Dr. Tucker for pre-review no later than July 19, 2012. This ensures seven (7) business days for Dr. Tucker’s review and a full six (6) weeks for IRB review.

NOTE: If you are unsure if your research project requires IRB review, please click here.