IRB Basics for Student Scholars Day

What is the Institutional Review Board?

The Institutional Review Board (IRB) is a committee designated to approve, monitor and review research involving humans. The IRB ensures that the basic rights and welfare of research participants are fostered and protected. The IRB is comprised of GVSU faculty and staff, as well as non-GVSU community members, who review proposed research studies involving living persons. The IRB supports researchers through its coordinated activities in education, regulatory compliance and oversight, and post approval-monitoring.

When is IRB review required?

All research involving human subjects performed by GVSU students, staff, and/or faculty must be reviewed and authorized by the IRB prior to starting the research. This is to ensure that the research team has designed the study to minimize potential risks to the participants. Common steps taken to minimize risk include using appropriate data management practices, ensuring research interactions are completed in a private space, and informing participants of the voluntary nature of being in the study.

How do I know if I need IRB review?

Projects that satisfy the federal definitions of research and human subjects must receive IRB review prior to starting the project. IRB review is required by federal regulations and university policies.

  • “Research” means a systematic investigation, including research development, testing, and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge.
  • “Human subject” means a living individual about whom an investigator (whether professional or student) conducting research (i) Obtains information or biospecimens through intervention or interaction with the individual, and uses, studies, or analyzes the information or biospecimens, or (ii) Obtains, uses, studies, analyzes, or generates identifiable private information or identifiable biospecimens.

For more information, refer to IRB Policy 210: The determination of human subjects research and IRB Guidance Document G-1: Guidance on Determining If IRB Approval Is Required on the IRB Policies page.

How do I submit for IRB review?

1. Click the OneAegis logo above.

2. Enter your GVSU network ID and password. This will take you to your OneAegis dashboard.

3. Click the "Start xForm" button in the bar under the navigation tabs, and a new window will open. If you are unsure if your project meets the definition of research involving human subjects, select, “IRB Research Determination Form.”  If you know your project is research involving human subjects, select, “IRB New Protocol Submission Form.”


The Principal Investigator role on the IRB protocol must be filled by a GVSU faculty or staff member. Students are not allowed to fill this role.

If you are proposing to conduct research with human subjects, all members of the research team must complete CITI training. Find more information on the IRB's Training Requirements page.

Clocktower in sunshine

Who can I contact for questions?

Staff in the Office of Research Compliance and Integrity are available to discuss your project and answer your questions.

  • Phone: (616) 331-3197
  • Email: [email protected]
  • In person: 049 James H. Zumberge Hall, Allendale campus

Page last modified June 12, 2023