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Are you planning on conducting a research project for a psychology course you are taking? Will your study participants come from the Psychology Department participant pool (Psych Pool)? If so, the following information will assist you with the IRB application process.

Note: An excellent example of an “approvable” Psych Pool IRB application (updated January, 2017) is available for you to use as a reference.* In order to abide by copyright laws, published data instruments originally used and submitted in this study (appendices F-H) have been omitted from this modified application.

Required Submission Materials: The items listed below must be included in your IRB application. Please also read the Submission Process section at the end of this page for additional important information.

1. IRB Application Form
All JCU faculty, staff, or student researchers must complete the IRB Application for Human Participant Research form for research projects involving human participants.  See IRB Application Guidelines the for general instructions on how to complete the application form. Please remember that you (and all members of your study team, if you are working in a group) must sign and date the last page of the application form. Your faculty advisor’s signature is also required on the first page of the form (Item 3c).

2. Documentation of participant informed consent (MODIFIED in JANUARY, 2017)
The following information regarding documentation of participant informed consent is appropriate for minimal risk studies. Most of the research conducted by students in the Psychology Department falls under this risk category. See Types of IRB Review for more information on IRB review categories.

Students who are enrolled in the JCU Psych Pool can sign up to participate in a research study through the SONA System (human participant management software). Participants provide some of the elements of informed consent electronically when they sign up on the SONA System. Therefore, a print-out of the SONA System study description page is required to partially document the informed consent for these participants (see Appendix A of the sample IRB application). The study description page should list the title of the study, a description of the study purpose, the procedures participants will be asked to perform, a statement that participants must be 18 or older, and the amount of research credit that will be awarded for participation.

In order for student participants to provide all of the required informed consent elements, they should be presented a Study Information Sheet just before they participate in the study (see Appendix D of the sample IRB application). Like an Adult Consent form, a study information sheet contains all of the required informed consent elements but does not require the participant’s signature. Instead, the information sheet must include a sentence stating that by completing the study tasks, the participant has provided the researcher with his or her consent to participate.

A paper copy of the Information Sheet can be given to the participant or it may be presented electronically. Researchers who use an electronic experiment such as a Qualtrics survey or a computerized task should use this Study Information Page as a landing page or “first screen” of their on-screen experiment.

You must submit the BOTH the Study Information Sheet and SONA study description page for review with your other IRB application materials. Please use the Study Information Sheet Template as a guideline for writing your document.

3. Participant Recruitment Material:
If you will use any recruitment material to advertise your study (e.g., flyers, study announcements, advertisements, verbal or email solicitations, etc.), these items must be included in your submission materials (see Appendix B and Appendix C of the sample IRB application). Generally, the only recruitment material required is the SONA study page that gives the description of your study.

4. Data Instruments:
You must submit copies of all data collection instruments (e.g., surveys interview questions, tests, tasks, etc.) that participants will be asked to complete or perform as part of your study (see Appendix E of the sample IRB application form). Please be sure to include any instructions (verbal or written) that will be provided to participants. If data instruments are available online (e.g., a survey posted on SurveyMonkey or Qualtrics), please provide the link to the finalized version of the instrument along with a printed copy of the instrument(s).

5. Debriefing Statement:
If you plan to debrief the participants after they have completed the study procedures, you must submit the debriefing statement along with the IRB application materials (see Appendix I of the sample IRB application form).

6. Photographs, Video Clips, Music, etc.:
Any visual and auditory media your participants will be exposed to must be reviewed by the IRB. Only printed copies of photos are accepted (so they may be easily sent out to reviewers); these do not need to be high-quality prints. For music or video clips, a CD or flash drive may be submitted. If these items will be viewed online by participants, please submit the appropriate link. Please be mindful of copyright issues when using visual or auditory media for your research.

Submission Process: You must submit one, fully signed hard copy of the IRB application form and all associated study materials. Signatures must be entered by hand, in pen. Please do not submit documents on flash drives or CDs (except music or video clips). Please label all study documents as appendices and refer to them accordingly in the IRB application form.

Draft Copies: If you are new to the IRB process and would like to submit a draft of your application or any of the supporting documents to the IRB Administrator for a pre-review, you may do so by an email attachment to Carole Krus Please note: your application will not be logged in as an official submission until a complete, fully signed hard copy is received in the IRB Office.

If you have any questions, please contact the IRB Administrator.

*We wish to thank the JCU student who gave us permission to modify and post her approved IRB application on this web page.