Ten Common IRB Application Mistakes

1. Investigators (students and postdocs) have not completed required CITI training courses/modules.

If you have taken a CITI course elsewhere, you must affiliate yourself with Brandeis University and complete any additional modules required for the requisite Brandeis course.

2. The application is difficult to follow.

Keep in mind that the IRB is not familiar with your project; the application is the only information the committee has to go on when completing its review. Ensure, as well, that it is in layman's terms.

3. There are discrepancies throughout the application.

These discrepancies frequently relate to the time it will take to complete a survey or the amount of money subjects will be compensated for their time.

4. The informed consent form/information sheet contains grammatical errors and misspellings.

Have someone proofread your application prior to submitting it to the HRPP office.

5. The data management plan is not thought through in sufficient detail.

See the "Guide to Data Management and Protection" (pdf) for guidance.

6. There is confusion between the concepts of anonymity and confidentiality.

See the HRPP Anonymous vs. Confidential webpage for guidance.

7. Questions on the application are not answered adequately.

Take your time to read the questions fully and answer them thoroughly.

8. Not all required elements of informed consent are included in the informed consent form/ information sheet (necessary unless a waiver or permission for an alteration is requested).

See the Elements of Informed Consent webpage for guidance. Note that the elements have changed with the revised regulations.

9. The informed consent form/information sheet is not in an acceptable format.

See the Informed Consent Template (pdf) for guidance.

10. If project is student-initiated, the principal investigator is not included in those who will have access to data.