Human Subject Research (IRB)


The Institutional Review Board’s purpose is to protect human participants in research conducted under the auspices of Southern Nazarene University. Five faculty members from across disciplines and programs and one member of the community are on the IRB. All research in connection with SNU is subject to the review process. A copy of the research proposal and any test, survey, or interview questions must accompany the IRB application.

There are specific procedures for getting approvals and other help from the IRB. If human participants are to be a part of a study, the researcher should select the appropriate level of review for the IRB application. The levels are as follows:
1. Exempt – does not require full review, but must be certified as “Exempt” by the board. Examples of research that would be likely so categorized are in typical instructional settings involving usual educational practices, surveys, or interviews. In any case the participant must not be able to be identified by name or demographic characteristics.
2. Expedited – studies that present minimal risk to the participants. This level would involve participants that are at least18 years old and are not part of a vulnerable population (children, pregnant women and fetuses, prisoners, mentally disabled are vulnerable). Examples of methods used at this level are voice recordings, moderate exercise, tests that involve neither manipulation of participants’ behavior nor stress to the participant.
3. Full Board Review – research involving vulnerable populations, any project not meeting the criteria for exempt or expedited review. Regardless of the category selected originally, the application may be shifted to the full-board-review status.

NOTE: No data for a study can be collected before receiving IRB approval, so sufficient time for review must be allowed by a researcher before initiating a study. The levels of review involve different lengths of time ranging from a few days to several weeks especially when a full board review is necessary. When more information is requested and/or revisions are necessary, the processing time is lengthened.

The completed application with the appropriate number of copies (see Guidelines) and appropriate attachments should be submitted to Lorraine Wright, IRB contact, Library 325, 491-6686,

Upon approval, the applicant will receive written notification. At that point the researcher may begin data collection.

The application form can be found HERE

Further questions should be directed to Lorraine Wright, Library 325, 405-491-6686,