• Please note: Everyone has to go through IRB.  Please ask your mentor for further information.

To:       All Doctoral Students
From:  Drs. Timmer
Dept. of Education Leadership, Management & Policy
Re:       Submitting IRB applications for pre-review



All research projects involving the use of human subjects must be approved or marked as exempt from review by the SHU Institutional Review Board. Before you submit your IRB application to the university, it must be approved by the department. Once your faculty mentor has reviewed your application and all associated forms, submit it to the appropriate pre-IRB reviewer for departmental approval.

In the 2023-24 academic year, Dr. Timmer (jennifer.timmer@shu.edu) will serve as the pre-IRB reviewer for both higher ed and K-12 program’s pre-IRB submissions.

Process for Pre-IRB Scientific Review

Pre-IRB scientific review in no way removes any input or oversight by the student’s mentor. Mentor approval is required prior to submitting for pre-IRB review. Submission of IRB documents for pre-IRB scientific review can be done at any time after the student has met the following requirements:

  1. the student has successfully passed his/her dissertation proposal defense; and
  2. the student’s mentor has reviewed and signed the application forms.

Students must submit their full pre-IRB application (see detailed instructions below) by 5 pm in order to receive feedback from Dr. Timmer (approximately 10 days before the university deadline – see below for specific due dates). Please plan ahead. Keep in mind that if documents need revision, they will need to be resubmitted and reviewed again. If you need multiple rounds of revisions, if you submit the forms after the deadline, or if your application package is incomplete with missing documents when submitted, your application may not be approved prior to the IRB submission deadline. In that case, you may need to wait another month or more. We therefore encourage students to submit complete applications for pre-IRB review at least two weeks before the IRB submission deadline in order to allow for several rounds of revision, if necessary.

No submissions will be reviewed during July and August (when the university IRB does not meet) or when the university is closed, such as winter break.

If students have specific concerns about the IRB process or questions about forms, they should first ask their mentor for support. If their mentor is not sure of the best way to proceed, students may email Dr. Timmer with specific questions. Mentors should always be cc’d on emails to pre-IRB reviewers, so that everyone is on the same page. Mentors should review IRB requirements with students prior to submitting applications. Recent changes include:

  1. New application and related guidance, including templates for consent forms, available at https://www.shu.edu/institutional-reviewboard/guidelines-and-forms.cfm (Updated October 2021)
  2. Mentors (no other committee members) are required to submit the CITI certificate and form of financial conflict of interest.

Submitting Your Application for Pre-IRB Review

  1. Complete all sections of the IRB application, including your mentor’s signature, all forms (including the unsigned pre-IRB form), letters of solicitation, Informed Consent Form on departmental letterhead stationery, etc. Complete the checklist on page 11 of the IRB application to make sure you have all the appropriate materials.
  2. Collate the sections in the order listed on the application checklist.
  3. Create ONE PDF that combines these documents in the order required, so that reviewers need to review only one single file. Submissions will only be reviewed if they are submitted in the appropriate single PDF format.
  4. Make sure that you and your mentor have signed all appropriate forms. (For the time being, the IRB is accepting digital signatures on all application forms.)
  5. Email the file to the pre-IRB reviewer (Dr. Timmer). Cc your mentor on this email. In your email, note which IRB submission deadline you are hoping to meet.

Once your reviewer has approved your application, she will sign the pre-IRB form in your application packet and return it to you via email. You will then submit the complete application electronically, according to IRB submission guidelines.

If you have any questions, please contact your mentor for additional information.

“Not Human Subjects” Application Forms
Some research projects – such as those involving anonymized assessments or lesson plans that do not require interactions with people, proprietary materials from a publisher or school district, or private anonymized datasets that can be accessed with permission of their owner/district/school – require an abbreviated “Not Human Subjects” application to the SHU IRB.

Research projects that use publicly available datasets (e.g., data that can be found via Google and/or do not have any restrictions on usage) do not need IRB review. However, researchers might wish to have documentation that the SHU IRB has reviewed and approved the project. The “Not Human Subjects” form can also fill this purpose.

“Not Human Subjects” projects do not require pre-IRB certification. Forms should be submitted directly to the IRB and will be reviewed within 7-10 days on a rolling basis. More information about the process can be found on the SHU IRB Guidelines and Forms page.

If you have any questions, please contact your mentor for additional information.

Dr. Timmer will serve as the reviewer for the faculty and students.  Jennifer.timmer@shu.edu

Letterhead Stationary:
Executive K12 Students: Ann Rodrigues (ann.rodrigues@shu.edu)
Traditional K12 Students:  Ann Rodrigues (ann.rodrigues@shu.edu)
HRED Students:  Ann Rodrigues

Letter Guidelines and Forms

IRB Board Meeting Dates

Pre-IRB Dates 2022-2023

Annotated IRB Application Fall 2023