The Eastern University Institutional Review Board (IRB) is comprised of faculty who review all proposed research involving human subjects conducted at Eastern University to ensure the safety and welfare of research subjects. The IRB reviews research proposals and can approve, require modifications (in order to secure IRB approval), or disapprove of the study.

Primary Purpose

The primary purpose of the IRB is to promote ethical human research and to ensure that research participants are treated justly. In accordance with these goals, Eastern’s IRB assesses research projects to ensure they are operating for the common good by minimizing harm and maximizing benefits, by being respectful of individuals’ rights, and fairly distributing benefits and costs to stakeholders.

Review by the IRB serves as a “check” to guard against research that might cause unintentional harm to the people involved or violate their rights in an unanticipated way. A secondary function of the IRB is to meet a mandate required in order to obtain most federally funded grants. Eastern University complies with the “Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects”, which requires Eastern to establish an “Institutional Review Board".  The IRB at Eastern meets federal requirements for all research involving human subjects and involving federal funding, except for research involving FDA-regulated investigational drugs.

Statement of Eastern University’s Institutional Review Board

We review all research originating at Eastern University or involving Eastern University students, faculty, staf, etc. that involves the:

  1. observation of or interaction with human subjects, and which
  2. results in data or generalizable knowledge that will or potentially might in the future be
  3. disseminated for public use, must be reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board for the protection of human subjects.

Consult the IRB Manual to ascertain if your project needs to be reviewed by the IRB. Then download and complete the IRB application form.  Completed forms must be submitted electronically. See below for relevant instructions.

How to Apply for IRB Approval

Eastern University IRB approval process has gone green! That means all applications and approvals will be done electronically, using Brightspace.

Follow the steps below:

  • Begin by reading through the IRB manual.  All research projects involving human subjects carried out by EU faculty and students must seek IRB approval - it is the IRB that determines whether your project requires exempt, expedited or full board review.
  • Download the IRB application form from the "downloadable forms" section of this website. Fill out the form completely. If you will be seeking written consent from study participants, write out your consent letter, using the samples provided as a guide. If you will be seeking verbal consent, write out a consent script with the exact language you will use.
  • Email to indicate your intention to apply for approval. This must be done from your Eastern email address and should include the name and email address of your faculty (e.g. course faculty, thesis advisor, dissertation chair) for student applicants or department head for faculty applicants. The IRB chair will enroll you into the IRB Brightspace site where you will be able to upload all your application materials. At the same time, the IRB chair will send you the electronic approval form for you to forward to your faculty chair, department chair, or dean to obtain their approval for your project.
  • Once the IRB committee has reviewed your application, you will receive a message from the chair indicating whether the project is approved in its present form, requires minor changes, or requires major changes before it can be approved. Make any required changes and resubmit your documents onto Brightspace.
  • When your application is approved, you will receive an email notifying you of the same. If you need a letter of approval to show to a research site (e.g., school, hospital, organization), let the IRB chair know and you will be sent a portable document file (pdf) on letterhead that you can print.