If you are on the medical campus please see Med Campus IRB website

On CRCCharles River Campus:
Not all projects require IRB review and approval. Before getting started, determine if IRB approval is required.

How to submit an IRB Protocol


Step 1: Complete the Required Human Subject Protection Training

Principal Investigators and their co-investigators/study staff are required to take a human subjects protection training.

To begin your training, review the Required Human Subject Training information page.

Step 2: Determine Which Application to Submit

Projects that involve human subjects research may undergo one of three types of review:

  • Exempt Review
  • Expedited Review
  • Full Board Review

The type of review depends on the risk level of the research and if the research falls into one of the expedited or exempt categories as defined by the federal regulations.

Exempt Review


Expedited Review


Full Board Review


Step 3: Obtain Appropriate Signatures & Approvals

There are several signatures required on the IRB application. The IRB does accept scanned versions of the signature page. If you do not have access to a scanner, you can mail a copy of the signature page to us at 25 Buick Street, Room 157. Be sure to include a cover sheet that indicates the study title and Principal Investigator.


The IRB reviews most study-related documents. The following documents should be included with your submission, as applicable:

  • Consent/Assent forms or information sheet (submit as a Word document)
  • Recruitment materials
  • Questionnaires
  • Participant diaries
  • A text version of any website or audio/video advertisements
  • Grant application
  • A device description/manual
  • FDA letters
  • Drug label information/package insert, Investigator Brochure etc.
  • Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) Charter

Student investigators: Student investigators should submit a copy of the thesis/dissertation prospectus. If the prospectus is extremely lengthy, students may submit the introduction/summary and the design/methods section including:

  • Research Plan
  • Specific Aims
  • Background and Significance
  • Preliminary Studies
  • Research Design and Methods
  • Human Subjects
  • Appendices that relate to the conduct of the research (survey instruments, data collection forms, etc.)

If the project is federally funded and BU is the prime awardee, submit a full copy of the grant application. If BU receives a subcontract, submit relevant sections of the grant application and/or the scope of work.

Step 5: Email Application to the IRB Inbox

Prior to sending in your application, make sure that:

  1. You and your study staff/co-investigators have taken the required human subjects protection training
  2. You have completed the appropriate IRB application
  3. You have obtained all of the proper signatures
  4. You have assembled all study-related documents

After you complete the above steps, you may email your completed application and relevant documents to the IRB inbox at irb@bu.edu.

Expedited and exempt submissions are reviewed on a rolling basis. If the study qualifies for Full Board review, it will be reviewed at the next Full Board meeting in accordance with the submission deadline dates.

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