Your application is an important piece of any research proposal and is required for all protocols. We created this guide to provide helpful tips on preparing an application for those researchers working with human subjects. All protocol submissions must be submitted using the Human Subjects Research Application and Protocol Form. This form can be found on IRBNet in the Document Library.
Remember to be as complete as possible when filling out the Human Subjects Research Application Form. The information provided for each section should be complete and should not refer to another section of the protocol.
Your application should be written for a general audience so that anyone without a working knowledge of your field of research can understand what you are researching and how you plan to complete your research project.
Purpose of the Study
State the objectives of the research, and, when appropriate, any hypothesis you have developed for the research.
Explain the need for your research. Describe the data that the project is expected to provide and how the data will contribute to existing information in the field. Provide a concise description of the previous work in the field.
References and Citations
List all references and/or citations on which you will base your research in the 'Research References/Citations' section of the IRB Human Subjects Research Application and Protocol form. All forms are available through IRBNet.
Are references cited according to a standard format? (APA, MLA, etc.)
Methods and Procedures
Describe the methods and procedures to be used in your study. Describe the study design and all activities in which the subject(s) will be asked to participate. Be sure to include a complete description of "the who, what, when, where, and how" of the study design. For example, if you are administering a survey, how will the survey be returned to the researcher? If your research does involve a survey, questionnaire, or interview, include these documents as an attachment in IRBNet.
Some questions to consider:
- How will your data be returned to you?
- Are these sent in the mail or electronically?
- Is the data anonymous or confidential?
- Direct interviews or observations?
- Is your writing clear and concise?
Other forms and Documents
List all attachments related to or referenced in this section of the Human Subject Research Application and Narrative form. In addition to this list, make sure to upload all attachments to your protocol in IRBNet.
Some questions to consider:
Have you included all attachments, including introductory letters, informed consent forms, survey/questionnaires, and any other documents that you discussed in either within the application form or elsewhere in your package?