What is the LU Policy regarding the use of Human participants in research?

All research involving human participants conducted by faculty, staff, or students of the Lincoln University must be reviewed and approved by the LU Institutional Review Board (IRB). The UALR IRB operates according to the guidelines in the Code of Federal Regulations (45CFR46) and other state and institutional guidelines.

What does the IRB do?

It is the responsibility of the IRB to review research protocols involving human participants to ensure that the rights of the participants are protected, that they are not subject to unreasonable harm (physical and emotional), and that information about them is kept confidential.

What is research?

Research is a systematic investigation, including research development, testing, and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge. Activities that meet this definition constitute research for purposes of this policy.

What is human subject?

Human Subject is a living individual about whom an investigator (whether professional or student) conducting research obtains:

  1. data through intervention or interaction with the individual, or
  2. identifiable private information.

How do I know if I should submit a research protocol to the IRB?

If your research project (including observation, interviews and surveys) involves human participants, you must submit an IRB Review request form.

When should I submit my review request to the IRB

You may submit your request at any time, but you must receive IRB approval before you begin recruiting participants or collecting data. For a full board review, please submit your request 2 weeks prior to the next scheduled IRB meeting date.

What do I submit?

You should submit an IRB request that includes the appropriate request form, an informed consent form or survey cover letter, training certifications for all researchers involved, and any tests, surveys, or interview questions you will be using in your study.

There are several types of IRB review and specific request forms for each type of review. Details regarding the types of review and the required request forms can be found here.

What is informed consent?

Informed consent is generally obtained through a document that fully discloses the nature of the research, explains the risks (both physical and psychological) and benefits and allows the individual to voluntarily decide whether to participate in the research study or not.

To whom do I submit my request?

All IRB requests must be submitted electronically as one PDF file to the IRB Administrator, at:

What happens after I submit my IRB Review Request?

The IRB office processes all requests. If the IRB does not receive all of the required submission materials, you will be contacted to submit the missing documents. When your request is determined to contain all of the required materials, a confirmation of receipt letter will be issued by e-mail. The IRB will then route your request to the IRB reviewers for official review and decision.

Regardless of the type of request, there is a two-week turnaround time. If a project is determined to need ‘Full Board Review,’ a letter of invitation will be sent for your attendance at the next full board meeting. If you do not receive a response a couple of days after you submit your protocol/request, please contact the IRB at 365-7696 or email at

How will I be notified of the status of my request?

You and your faculty supervisor will receive an e-mail message from the IRB Administrator (or designee) detailing the review decision.

What is the best way to prepare my IRB Review request?

You should work closely with your faculty chairperson well in advance of beginning the actual research. It will be important for you to apply what you learned in the CITI online training course when you complete your IRB proposal.