Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects
The Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects (IRB) is responsible for ensuring that the University complies with federal regulations regarding research with human subjects. For those faculty whose work falls under the auspices of the IRB, work with the IRB is expected as part of faculty professional development and is a sign of a successful, scholarly faculty. The IRB reviews and approves research activities which involve human subjects on the Christopher Newport University Campus as well as research activities that are conducted by agents of the University at off-campus locations. See the CNU IRB Guidelines for more information. For all projects, including exempt projects, when investigators are faculty members, care must be taken to ensure that participation is not made a condition of student participants’ course performance. However, extra credit may be given for participation, as long as equitable alternative assignments are provided.Research is a broad term that refers to any “systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge. Activities which meet this definition constitute research for purposes of [federal] policy, whether or not they are conducted or supported under a program which is considered research for other purposes.” (45 CFR 46.102). Under this definition, research includes, among others, such data-gathering activities as surveys, interviews, and observation.
Questions about CNU's Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects should be directed to the Committee Chair or by email: IRB@cnu.edu.
Time Frame of Project: Federal regulations require that projects be reviewed no less than once per year (45 CFR 46.109). Therefore, approvals will be granted for no more than one year. If you wish to continue a project beyond the one year period, you must complete a Continuing Review Form.
Exempt Projects: Your research may be exempt from review if it falls into one of the following categories:
- Research on Normal Educational Practices
- Surveys, Interviews, Cognitive & Educational Tests
(This exemption is not applicable to research with children and may not apply when identifiers are linked to subjects’ data.)
- Archival Research
- Observational Research
- Research for Internal Agency Use
- Taste and Food Quality Research
If you believe your project qualifies for Exempt Status, complete the Exempt Status Application and submit it electronically to IRB@cnu.edu. Consult the Exempt Status Guidance document for additional clarification.
Expedited Review: Your research may qualify for expedited review, which is a more rapid review completed by the IRB chair or the chair’s designee(s) rather than the full IRB committee, if it falls into one of the following categories that present no more than minimal risk to human subjects:
- Collection of blood samples
- Collection of biological specimens by noninvasive means (e.g., hair)
- Collection of data through noninvasive procedures routinely employed in clinical practice (e.g., EEG)
- Research involving materials that have been collected solely for non-research purposes
- Collection of data from voice, video, digital, or image recordings made for research purposes
- Research on individual or group characteristics or behavior (including, but not limited to, research on perception, cognition, motivation, identity, language, communication, cultural beliefs or practices, and social behavior) or research employing survey, interview, oral history, focus group, program evaluation, human factors evaluation, or quality assurance methodologies
Full Committee Review: Research that is not exempt from review or that does not qualify for expedited review will receive full committee review. If you believe your project requires full review, complete the Research Proposal Form and submit it electronically to IRB@cnu.edu.
In some cases, researchers wish to make minor modifications to previously approved proposals (e.g., by adding additional survey items or revising a test based on participant feedback). If you wish to make minor modifications to a previously approved proposal, complete the Continuing Review Form.
- Federal Guidelines: Code of Federal Regulations, Title 45: Public Welfare, Department of Health and Human Services, Section 46: Protection of Human Subjects
- Guidelines for Conduct of Research Involving Human Subjects at NIH (gray Booklet) (pdf file)
- The Belmont Report: Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research
- Nuremberg Code Directives for Human Experimentation
- NIH Free Online Human Subjects Training: Protecting Human Participants
(Requires a login or creation of account. You will receive a certificate of completion, which remains on file at NIH. The training takes less than an hour.)