UMBC IRB Protocol Creation and Submission Process

This information will assist investigators in the planning, development and submission of human participant use protocols for review and approval by the IRB. Review types are described below. The below submission type provides a link to the Kuali Protocols Portal as well as the IRB Protocol User Guide. The Guide has a searchable table of contents to the specific sections to assist in creating a protocol.


The IRB requires that all research personnel, including faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students complete the on-line education module. Training must be completed before submitting an application. Please review the requirements for human subjects use training.

Who Can Be an IRB Principal Investigator 

UMBC personnel who carry out activities involving human research subjects fall under the auspices of UMBC’s Federalwide Assurance – FWA# 00000069 – with the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP). The individual who has the primary responsibility for a project that includes the design and implementation of research involving human subjects is known as the Principal Investigator (PI). The PI ensures that all research staff, including students, are aware of and understand their individual and collective responsibilities for research related tasks including obtaining informed consent, creating and following procedures for safeguards and protections of human research participant well-being, personnel training, etc. In terms of an Kuali IRB submission  a PI is a full time faculty member in a department where human subjects research activities are conducted and may also be defined by UMBC’s  Policy on Principal Investigator Eligibility. 

Graduate or undergraduate students (whose human subjects research expertise is evaluated by the IRB) may also serve as a PI, but a faculty member must co-sign an application and serve as a “research advisor” for the protocol. The IRB expects the faculty member to be knowledgeable about human research regulations and UMBC IRB procedures and complete the required CITI training courses.  

Student investigators can create a Kuali IRB protocol and submit for review and approval. Faculty advisors most also review and “sign off” before the protocol is submitted. Currently, however, Kuali IRB does not have Core Workflow for routing of a student led IRB protocol from the student PI to the faculty advisor. In the interim, download the Faculty Advisor IRB Protocol Certification document, complete and upload into the Kuali IRB protocol. 

Advisors must be familiar with the student’s proposed project in order to supervise the student in the conduct of the research, assist the student in solving issues and be the resource to the student in promptly reporting incidents to the IRB. 

 Humans Subjects Research Protocol Submission Types 

Principal investigators may make the initial determination about the type of review appropriate to the project for submission via Kuali IRB.  However, final review determination rests with the IRB.  If another type of review is more appropriate, the ORPC notifies the investigator to re-submit via Kuali IRB.  

IRB Application and Pre-Review Consultation 

The ORPC staff is available to answer any questions regarding the Kuali IRB submission process and IRB review of research studies. We also provide pre-review consultation to discuss all aspects of IRB review, from preparing the Kuali IRB submission to completion of the study. Questions or comments? Send them to 

When will a Principal Investigator hear from the IRB about study approval? 

The length of time a study will take from submission to receiving an approval notification received depends on the type or level of review stated below. The ORPC staff, working in concert with the IRB, will make every effort to work with investigators to process protocol submissions promptly. If additional changes are needed, it can take longer depending on reviewer questions or protocol load. 

Would my proposed project require IRB review?

That depends. There are examples of what “could” be considered Not Human Subjects Research. Contact the ORPC with information and your questions before starting the project.

Existing Protocols 

Have a current protocol in progress? Please review your current protocol in the Kuali Protocols Portal before annual reviews or protocol amendments are approved. Please consult the Protocol Amendment page for information on making changes to these approved protocols. 


Kuali IRB for Protocols must be used for all applications submitted for review. Please select the applicable review type and follow the instructions for submission procedures.


Exempt Review 

The IRB Chair screens studies for exemption determination. Such research must fall within one of the federally designated exempt review categories and be no more than “minimal risk If the study is not found exempt, it will need to go through expedited or full-committee review.This link describes the exempt application and review process. Exempt determinations take approximately two weeks. 

Expedited Review 

Members of the IRB review expedited review protocols to determine “minimal risk” to participants and fit into an expedited review category of research. Thislink describes the expedited application and review process. Expedited reviews take approximately four weeks. 

Full-Committee Review 

Protocols greater than “minimal risk” must be reviewed and discussed at a formally convened meeting of the IRB. Full-committee review protocols must be submitted no later than thirty (30) days before the scheduled meeting. Thislink describes the full board application and review process.  The current committee meeting schedule is found here 

Classroom Projects 

The IRB has developed guidelines to advise faculty instructors on what are acceptable topics, the use of the consent process, and faculty responsibilities for  human subjects research class projects. 

Student Research Using Data from a Faculty Advisor’s Protocol 

Student researchers may wish to carry out research projects or studies that involve using data collected on a faculty advisor’s IRB approved protocol.  Please follow this processto obtain either exempt or expedited IRB approval. 

Secondary Data Use Research  

Investigators who plan to use, study, or analyze restricted or identifiable private information for data for secondary research purposes will follow these steps for data use agreement procedures and to obtain IRB approval. On the other hand, research with publicly available, de-identified sources of data or if information can no longer be connected to the identity of the subjects, follow these steps.

Planning Phase Administrative Request 

When an investigator has plans to perform human subjects research in the future that lead to the submission of grant applications, submit this planning phase administrative request 

IRB Reliance Agreements (formerly called IAAs) 

Involving external research collaborators on an IRB activity? Consider the potential of a reliance agreement 

Not Human Subjects Research 

Human subjects review depends on how regulatory requirements and IRB processes apply.  Review the IRB’s guidance here. 


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