Institutional Review Board (IRB)

Proposal Process

The Proposal Submission Process.


  1. The Principal Investigator (PI) or faculty advisor should make sure that the IRB has a current copy of their ethics training certification.

  2. The PI is responsible for submitting research proposals to the irb via

  3. PIs must be Southwestern University faculty or staff members.

  4. For student projects, the faculty supervisor must read, when necessary edit, and approve the proposal prior to submission.

  5. Proposals must be submitted as a single attached file to Note: only Microsoft Word or Google Doc forms will be accepted. Do not submit PDF files. 
  6. Proposals must be officially submitted by a faculty or staff member.

  7. For expedited and exempt proposals, PIs should submit their proposals no later than two weeks before the proposed start date. 

  8. For proposals that require a full board review, PIs should submit their proposals no later than three weeks before the proposed start date. 



  1. The review process for expedited and exempt proposals may take up to two weeks and full reviews make take as long as three weeks so please plan accordingly.
  2. When the committee has rendered its decision, an IRB co-chair will email the PI a letter describing the results of the review. Results of reviews range from approval, a request for revisions, or denial of the proposed project.
  3. Researchers may not begin data collection until they receive an official approval letter from the IRB.