Printer-friendly version

Application Instructions

How to submit an application for permission to involve human subjects in research

All research projects involving human participants (subjects) must be approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) before they begin. Proposals are reviewed by the IRB according to the SUNY Potsdam Policy on the Use of Human Subjects in Research, addressing the welfare of the research participants, the methods used to obtain voluntary informed consent, confidentiality and the balance of potential risks and benefits associated with participation in the research. The policy is available for review on the IRB website.

Proposals can be submitted for review at any time. However, for proposals that require full-board review (discussion by the IRB members at a convened meeting),you should plan to submit your proposal based on the proposal deadlines for each scheduled meeting as posted in the Reporter or as listed on the IRB website.

How to begin the IRB review process:

  1. Complete the on line human subjects training - go to principal Investigator, Co-investigator(s), student researcher(s)/assistant(s) and research staff member(s) are all required to complete the training.
  2. Determine theappropriateapplicationtosubmit- To determine which application is required complete Appendix A - Level of Review being requested. Two applications are available - oneforproposals thatwill require expedited or full board review and one that is for exempt review.
  3. Choose the correct application for the level of review being requested - Complete and sign the application. Original signature(s) are required. When completing the application if something does not apply to your research please put n/a in the box to indicate that you have evaluated the question. All questions must have an answer.
  4. Complete and attach all of the appropriate appendices.
    • Appendix A - Level of Review Request - Required for all proposals. This will help you determine what level of review your research will require.
    • Appendix B - Co-Investigator, Student Researcher or Staff Member Information Sheet. One copy of Appendix B is needed for each co-investigator (NOT the principal investigator), student researcher or staff member. Original signatures are required. Appendix B is not required for students conducting research for a Classroom project. Those students must complete Appendix F signature sheet.
    • Appendix C - Source(s) of Financial Support. This is required for any project that is or may be receiving funding from an internal SUNY Potsdam source or from an external source.
    • Appendix D - Conflict of Interest. Required for any project in which any investigator, research assistant or staff has a conflict of interest.
    • Appendix E - Cooperating Organization Information Sheet. One copy of Appendix E is needed for each external organization involved in the study. Attach either an approval letter form the organization's IRB (Required if the organization has an IRB) or a letter of permission from the organization's administrator (e.g. provost, principal, director, CEO, etc.) if the organization does not have an IRB. Permission letters must be on letterhead with an original signature, including the title of the person granting permission. Faxed or scanned copies will be accepted with an assurance that the original hard copy is in the mail.
    • Appendix F - Classroom Project Information Sheet. Required for research projects that students will be conducting as a class assignment or activity. Once the class has begun, all students are required to complete the CITI training. Once they have done so, the Appendix F signature sheet must be submitted to the IRB.
    • Appendix G - Request Permission for On-line Data Collection. This is required for research projects in which participants will be recruited via e-mail or surveyed electronically. Once completed it must be sent to Glenda Morales-Hanley at
  5. Attach all data collection tools - survey instruments, interview questions, solicitation letters, etc.
  6. Attach all consent form(s) and assent form(s). Templates are available on the IRB website at the "Application Materials" link on the left. Note that the Internet Research Declaimer is also available at the "Application Materials" link and must be included in the consent/assent forms for all projects in which data will be collected or sent electronically.
  7. Attach all recruitment materials - flyers, advertisements, letters, emails, press releases, etc...
  8. Submit two copies of the complete proposal to the Research Compliance Coordinator:
    • One complete paper copy with original signatures is to be mailed to the address listed below.
    • One complete electronic copy is to be emailed to the e-mail address below.

Dr. Kelly Bonnar
Chair of the IRB
238 Satterle Hall
Phone: 267-2131

Proposal Guidance and Help:

If you have questions about or need help with the application form or process, contact the Research Compliance Coordinator at the phone number or e-mail address above.