Human Subjects Review/IRB

Institutional Review Board procedures

As of Fall 2015, all research at UMass Amherst involving human participants must be reviewed and approved by the university's IRB (Institutional Review Board). Reviews are no longer conducted on the departmental level. The most frequently asked questions are answered below. Learn more about IRB procedures at the Human Research Protection Office website.

What needs to be reviewed?

All research that involves interacting with humans, gathering information from them, or interfering with their activities needs to undergo review. Research by undergraduates as part of a class generally does not need to be reviewed unless it involves “high risk.” For details, see the IRB guidelines.

Where do I get training?

Applicants are required to complete the Institutional Training Requirement for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research. This free one-time, two-hour online training is offered by CITI, the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative. Read more about the training process here and then register at the CITI site.

How do I submit my request for approval?

You must submit your request online through the IRB's e-Protocol system. The process is thoroughly described here.

How long will the review take?

University IRB approval typically takes 4 to 6 weeks, so please plan accordingly.