I've submitted my IRB application! What happens next?

The IRB Chair will review your proposal and evaluate its risk level. Every case is different, but in general the IRB Chair and IRB staff will contact you by email with our response. Zero to low-risk proposals generally get a response within one week, and moderate risk proposals usually take two weeks. High-risk proposals require full Board review, which only happens monthly during the academic calendar year.


Attachments and file formats for the IRB form


Required for all applications File Formats Accepted
evidence that you (and anyone else involved in data collection) have completed the required research ethics training
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your research plan: a proposal detailing the project's goals, methods, and analytical strategies .rtf, .pdf, .doc, .docx
the consent letter your participants will sign OR the script you will use to obtain oral consent
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exact final copies of any surveys you will use rtf, .pdf, .doc, .docx, .html, .xml
exact final copies of any interviews you will use (or, in the case of unstructured interviews, a thorough description of the topics of investigation) rtf, .pdf, .doc, .docx
exact final copies of any questionnaires you will use rtf, .pdf, .doc, .docx
exact final copies of any other materials you will use to collect data from your subjects (visual aids, scripts, tests, exercises, etc.) .jpg, .rtf, .html, .pdf, .doc, .docx, .xml
if you are a student, an email from your research advisor saying that he or she has read and approved your protocol .jpg, .rtf, .html, .pdf, .doc, .docx
Required for some applications File Formats Accepted
if you have applied for external funding to support your research: any relevant grant proposal(s) .rtf, .pdf, .doc, .docx
if you plan to collect data at another site or work with subjects under the jurisdiction of another institution (for example, a hospital or school): evidence of permission from cooperating institutions; a letter or email from the institution that demonstrates that the institution is aware of your plans and that you have permission to perform your project there
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if you will work with material collected by other researchers and stored in a non-public database: non-disclosure or other agreements or certifications required by the owners of the data
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for renewals and extensions: a status report for the project to date, including number of subjects accrued; all adverse events and unanticipated problems involving risks to subjects or others, withdrawal of subjects from research, or complaints about the research since the last review; a summary of any relevant amendments or modifications to the research since the last review; any other relevant information, especially information about risks associated with the research; and a copy of the current informed consent document, with any newly proposed consent document rtf, .pdf, .doc, .docx
How do I get blanket IRB approval for the course I am teaching?

Courses in which the curriculum consists substantially of independent student research are subject to IRB approval. Faculty members seeking approval for a course must submit an application for the course.

What do I have to do to get IRB approval of my research?

Fill out the IRB's application form, describing what you intend to do, the subject pool you intend to work with, and the measures you intend to employ to obtain informed consent and protect subjects' privacy.  You'll also need to take an online course on the ethics of research on human beings.  This course takes roughly three hours to complete. After you take the tutorial and pass the quiz, the site will provide a certificate of completion for you.



The IRB must approve all research conducted at the College, or undertaken by members of the College community, that involves human beings as subjects. You must submit an application and obtain IRB approval before you start your research. The approval process can take several weeks, so please check the submission deadline and allow sufficient time!

Research ethics training

To apply for IRB approval, you must submit proof that you have completed research ethics training. This online course on the ethics of research involving human subjects takes about three hours to complete. This tutorial, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, provides a certificate of completion; please submit this certificate with your application. This training certification must be renewed every five years.

Application process

The application is an online form. You must be logged in to the Middlebury site to use this form. If you are unable to log in to access the form, please contact IRB@middlebury.edu.

To complete the application form, you will attach several files in electronic format. Before you start to fill in the form, be sure that you have all the attachments you need, in acceptable file formats (listed here). The application form will not accept files in other formats. If you need help accessing the form or converting files into a particular file format, please contact the Help Desk.

You can save a draft of your application at any time and return to it later. Please submit exact final versions of all application materials. Provide translations of all written materials that are not in English.

When you submit the application form, you will receive a confirmation copy by email. The IRB retrieves submissions as they are submitted and does not check them for updates. If you realize after you've submitted your application that you need to change it, please email the update to IRB@middlebury.edu.

If the IRB has any questions or comments on your proposal, you will be contacted by email. If we ask you to submit updated or modified documents, do not submit these new materials through the application form. Instead simply respond to the IRB's email by sending an email with any necessary attachments or clarifications to IRB@middlebury.edu.

Download a short guide to preparing your application

Download the complete list of questions on the application

Go directly to the IRB application form