Institutional Review Board
Institutional Review Board (IRB) Overview
The role of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) is to review all proposed research
by CSUSM faculty, students, and staff involving human subjects to ensure that subjects
(meaning research participants) are treated ethically and that their rights and welfare
are adequately protected.
A "human subject" means 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. “Research” in the context of IRB
is considered to be a systematic investigation designed to develop or contribute to
The IRB committee is composed primarily of faculty members from various disciplines
and members from the community. The role of the IRB committee is to assure that research
with human subjects is conducted in accordance with legal requirements and ethical
principles of Respect for Persons, Beneficence and Justice. These principles require
the balancing of risks to subjects against the scientific knowledge to be gained and
the potential benefits to subjects and society.
All research activities involving the use of human subjects must be reviewed and approved
by the IRB before data collection can begin. Investigators may not solicit subject
participation or begin data collection until they have IRB approval. We recommend
that you submit your IRB application at least 3 months before you plan to collect
**COVID-19 Human Subjects Update - August 2021**
As of August 2021, CSUSM campus- and field-based research efforts may proceed at pre-Covid
levels as long as researchers and participants adhere to current campus policies related
to Covid-19 (including vaccination, testing and masking requirements). Please check
the Reactivating Research page for more information.
If you have any questions or concerns related to current policies, please contact
Dr. Richelle Swan, IRB Chair, or Dr. Charles De Leone, Interim Dean of Graduate Studies
IRB Submission Process:
- To submit new IRB application, access the online CSUSM IRB System IRBNet If you are a new user, you need to create username and password to be able to log
into the system. All your communication with the IRB Office will be through this system.
- All researchers engaged in Human Subjects research need to complete online CITI training, which is good for three years. If you are a new user, you need to create username
and password to be able to log into the system. Upload your CITI completion certificate to IRBNet for every package submitted, including continuing reviews and modifications.
- Complete and upload either the Exempt Review application form OR Limited/Expedited/
Full Review application form in IRBNet if you a filing IRB for a new project. See
Application and Other-Related Forms page.
- When appropriate, upload the following documents to the IRBNet:
- Consent Forms (for anyone who is 18 or older)
- Assent Forms (for anyone who is younger than 18)
- Letter of Support (if you are collecting data off campus, you need to provide a letter
of support from that research site)
- Recruitment Script
- Measures (e.g. interview questions, surveys)
- CSUSM/UCSD Application Cover Sheet (only if you are a graduate student in the Joint
- Verification of Translation Form (This form must be uploaded after the English version
of the consent form has been reviewed and approved by the IRB Office for a language
other than Spanish.)
- When the researcher (also referred to as “Principal Investigator”) is ready to submit
the IRBNet package, she or he will need to click the “submit” button. Students who are doing research as part of their masters thesis or dissertation are
considered as researcher (or principal investigator), and need to submit their own
IRBNet package. However, students must share their IRBNet package with their faculty
advisor and get their advisor’s virtual signature through IRBNet before submiting
their application to the IRB Office.