Answered By: Kristina Harris
Last Updated: Apr 29, 2021     Views: 202

  • Students failing to utilize the IRB’s Preliminary Ethics Feedback (PEF) service: Start work on Form A as soon as you receive the email invitation to complete Form A from the IRB (once URR phase has begun). Then submit drafts of all documents for ethics feedback while you are waiting for URR feedback or waiting for your proposal oral defense.
  • Inconsistencies in application: A researcher should not complete the IRB forms prior to the URR phase because then the application can end up including stray references to “old” design elements that end up not being part of the final data collection plan.
  • Errors in documents: Be sure to proofread. Participant-facing documents must be free of typos. Ask a friend who is unfamiliar with your study to look at your research invitation and consent form. They can likely point out things that are missing or unclear, from a participant’s point of view.
  • Failure to answer the question: Read the form’s instructions, questions, and footnotes carefully to understand what the IRB needs to document your compliance with ethical standards. There are no trick questions but a researcher needs to address each question posed in the checklist.
  • Failure to address dual roles or conflict of interest: A researcher needs to ensure that their professional role doesn’t create inappropriate pressure on participants to volunteer (i.e., a teacher recruiting her own students, a manager recruiting her subordinates). If you aren’t sure how to manage your professional, role visit IRB Office Hours for a consultation.
  • Researcher pursuing a Letter of Cooperation that isn’t necessary yet (or at all): Not all studies involving partner organizations require a Letter of Cooperation. The IRB will let you know if you need written permission (after they review your responses to Form A). You can submit forms to the IRB without even having a partner site lined up so don’t let that hold you up.

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