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Any undergraduate conducting research with human subjects and their data may need to apply for approval of the proposed research project from Ohio State's Office of Responsible Research Practices (ORRP) Institutional Review Board (IRB). The purpose of applying for IRB approval for your research is to ensure that the rights, dignity, welfare, and privacy of human subjects are protected, in accordance with federal regulations.

Below is some basic information about the requirements to conduct human subjects research and the process of IRB approval. More information is available at

Does my project need IRB approval? Refer to pages 6-8 of this Human Research Protection Program Policies and Procedures guide. If you are unsure, discuss this with your research advisor and contact ORRP/IRB for clarification. If you are not sure, it is best to contact ORRP/IRB and ask!

How do I submit an application for IRB approval? All applications must be submitted online by an eligible PI using the Buck-IRB online submission system. As an undergraduate researcher, your faculty research advisor (PI) will have to submit the application for IRB approval for your project.

How long does the process of IRB approval take? Depending on the nature of your proposed research project, it can take 4-12 weeks after submitting an application to receive a decision from the IRB. It is crucial to begin the process of applying for IRB approval well in advance of the intended start date for your proposed research! The earlier you start, the less chance of your project being delayed to due lack of IRB approval for the project. Data gathered without required IRB approval may not be ever be disseminated, presented, or published!

Do I need IRB approval to apply for research funding awards from the OURCI? This depends on the award you are applying for:

  • SOLAR Fund Award: must have submitted the application for IRB approval at time of application for award; confirmation number required with application for funding.

Questions about IRB approval? Contact Ms. Joni Barnard in the IRB at or (614) 688-3405, or view current schedule  of weekly IRB walk-in hours at the Research Commons (3rd Floor, 18th Ave Library).



Research involving animals is also subject to federal regulations and oversight to protect animal subjects. It is extremely rare for an undergraduate researcher to  need their own IACUC protocol for research activities as the faculty research mentor should have an existing, approved protocol in place.  Undergraduate research usually  only need to complete online safety and/or ethics training to be added to existing, approved IACUC protocols in order to participate in research activities involving animal subjects.

What Information about the IACUC protocol do I need to apply for OURCI funding? This depends on the award you are applying for:

  • SOLAR Fund Award: Must provide IACUC approved protocol number at time of application or proof of application to the IACUC at the time of application.

Questions about IACUC? More information is available at