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Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects (IRB)


Standard Operating Procedures of the Institutional Review Board 


Available in printable pdf 




Meeting Schedule 

Current IRB Meeting Schedule  


To aid in determining whether a project is human subject research, such as some Evidence Based Practice projects (EBPs), Action Research, etc., please download to your computer this 2-page HSR Determination Form, complete, save, and submit to IRB@UNF.EDU. If you don’t save the form to your compute before you complete the form your work may not save. 

  • Exempt Studies: The review process for exempt projects has been revised (see pages 13-17 of the UNF IRB SOPs for details). Exempt projects will only be reviewed to the extent necessary to confirm exempt status (please refer to the Documents Checklist for Exempt Projects for more information about the required documents). Only the IRB Chair or the IRB Chair's designee can determine if a project is exempt. Projects determined to be exempt will receive a Declaration of Exempt Status Memo. Once a Declaration of Exempt Status memo has been received via IRBNet, the project can begin.  If you are uncertain as to whether your project fits into one or more of the exempt review categories, please contact a research integrity administrator (904-620-2455 or You can also refer to the Decision Chart for Determining Exempt Status. If a study does not qualify for an exemption, the Principal Investigator will be notified and asked to submit additional documentation for expedited or full board review (please refer to the Documents Checklist for Expedited or Full Board Projects for details).
  • Qualtrics Access:To Request access to Qualtrics for class projects that do not require IRB oversight, please complete this form  and submit it to the Center for Instruction and Research Technology (CIRT) . To establish student access that requires IRB approval, please submit the form to
  • Revisions Must be Submitted within 90 days: Based on a UNF IRB decision, researchers will have up to 90 days to submit revisions after receiving a review memo from the UNF IRB. If researchers will need more than 90 days to revise protocol documents, they may email to request additional time. This email must be received at least 7 days prior to the 90 day deadline.  The deadline for revisions will be included on the review memo sent to the principal investigator.  If revisions are not submitted within the 90 day time period and no additional time is requested, the project will be administratively withdrawn.
  • IRB Contact Information for Consent: For best practice, please utilize the updated IRB contact information as shown below in your consent/assent/permission documents:
    • If you have questions about your rights as a research participant or if you would like to contact someone about a research-related injury, please contact the UNF Institutional Review board by calling (904) 620-2498 or emailing
  •  Extensions for older IRB projects should be submitted through IRBNet (updated 7/01/2014):
    • The UNF IRB transitioned from a paper submission and review process to an online submission and review process through the use of the online submission software called IRBNet. Older IRB projects approved based on Expedited or Full Board review must now be transitioned to IRBNet at the time of continuing review. For information about how to do this, please refer to the  Guide for Submitting Extensions for Old Projects in IRBNet. If you have questions, please feel free to contact a research integrity administrator by calling (904) 620-2455 or emailing  How to Make Data Anonymous in Qualtrics: Select "Anonymize Response" in the Survey Options section of Qualtrics. If you will send the survey via email, you will also need to use the "Anonymous Link" option under Advanced Options in the Distribute Survey tab in Qualtrics. For more information,     please contact a research integrity administrator.  
  • Required CITI Training: The UNF IRB requires that all investigators and key personnel take the  CITI course on-line. Please see the FAQs on UNF IRB CITI Training for more information

New Protocol Submission 

Federal regulations regarding human research set forth a minimum standard for what must be reviewed by an IRB. Additionally, each institution is granted a Federalwide Assurance (FWA) with the Department of Health and Human Services which requires it to implement its own written operating procedures. Written procedures must, at a minimum, reflect the federal standards, but may also go above and beyond those standards as each institution determines necessary and appropriate.


The UNF IRB's jurisdiction includes all human subject research as follows:

  • by UNF faculty, staff, students, agents, affiliates, or outside researchers, and occurs on the property of the University of North Florida;
  • by UNF faculty, staff, students, agents, affiliates, or associated outside researchers, and occurs elsewhere;
  • elsewhere by an outside researcher involving UNF faculty, staff, students, agents, or affiliates;
  • by UNF faculty, staff, students, agents, affiliates, or outside researchers, and involves the use of UNF's non-public information to identify and/or recruit human research subjects or prospective subjects;
  • by UNF faculty, staff, students, agents, affiliates, or outside researchers and receives funds through UNF or receives support by internal resources; and
  • by UNF faculty, staff, students, agents, or affiliates that is supported by federal funds or any other external resource(s).

ALL investigators conducting research falling into any of the categories listed above are required to submit a protocol to the IRB for review. If you have any doubts about whether or not your project falls into one of these categories, you may contact IRB administrative staff at As of February 6, 2012, all new protocols must be submitted through IRBNet.

 Categories of Review 

In compliance with federal regulations (45 CFR 46) and the University's OHRP-issued Federal-wide Assurance, the University of North Florida's Institutional Review Board must review all projects involving human subjects. Only the chairperson or one or more IRB members designated by the chairperson may determine the appropriate review type: exempt, expedited review or full board review. All projects that do not qualify for exempt or expedited review will undergo full board review.  


Exempt Studies

The categories of studies that qualify for exemption have been updated as of 01/21/2019. Please see the attached document for a complete list of the updated exempt categories.

Revised Exemption Categories

Expedited Review

Expedited review requires review by the Chairperson of the IRB or one or more IRB members designated by the Chairperson. Expedited review may require informed consent and safeguards as required by Federal law. Reviewers may approve but not disapprove a project. Only the full IRB may disapprove a project.


Categories of Projects which may be handled through Expedited Review:

  1. Clinical studies of drugs and medical devices only when condition (a) or (b) is met. (a) Research on drugs for which an investigational new drug application (21 CFR Part 312) is not required. (Note: Research on marketed drugs that significantly increases the risks or decreases the acceptability of the risks associated with the use of the product is not eligible for expedited review.) (b) Research on medical devices for which (i) an investigational device exemption application (21 CFR Part 812) is not required; or (ii) the medical device is cleared/approved for marketing and the medical device is being used in accordance with its cleared/approved labeling.
  2. Collection of blood samples by finger stick, heel stick, ear stick, or venipuncture as follows: (a) from healthy, nonpregnant adults who weight at least 110 pounds. For these subjects, the amounts drawn may not exceed 550 ml in an 8-week period and collection may not occur more frequently than 2 times per week; or (b) from other adults and children, considering the age, weight, and health of the subjects, the collection procedure, the amount of blood to be collected, and the frequency with which it will be collected. For these subjects, the amount drawn may not exceed the lesser of 50 ml or 3 ml per kg in an 8-week period and collection may not occur more frequently than 2 times per week.
  3. Prospective collection of biological specimens for research purposes by noninvasive means. Examples: (a) hair and nail clippings in a nondisfiguring manner; (b) deciduous teeth at time of exfoliation or if routine patient care indicates a need for extraction; (c) permanent teeth if routine patient care indicates a need for extraction; (d) excreta and external secretions (including sweat); (e) uncannulated saliva collected either in an unstimulated fashion or stimulated by chewing gumbase or wax or by applying a dilute citric solution to the tongue; (f) placenta removed at delivery; (g) amniotic fluid obtained at the time of rupture of the membrane prior to or during labor; (h) supra- and subgingival dental plaque and calculus, provided the collection procedure is not more invasive than routine prophylactic scaling of the teeth and the process is accomplished in accordance with accepted prophylactic techniques; (i) mucosal and skin cells collected by buccal scraping or swab, skin swab, or mouth washings; (j) sputum collected after saline mist nebulization. 
  4. Collection of data through noninvasive procedures (not involving general anesthesia or sedation) routinely employed in clinical practice, excluding procedures involving x-rays or microwaves. Where medical devices are employed, they must be cleared/approved for marketing. (Studies intended to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the medical device are not generally eligible for expedited review, including studies of cleared medical devices for new indications.) Examples: (a) physical sensors that are applied either to the surface of the body or at a distance and do not involve input of significant amounts of energy into the subject or an invasion of the subject's privacy; (b) weighing or testing sensory acuity; (c) magnetic resonance imaging; (d) electrocardiography, electroencephalography, thermography, detection of naturally occurring radioactivity, electroretinography, ultrasound, diagnostic infrared imaging, doppler blood flow, and echocardiography; (e) moderate exercise, muscular strength testing, body composition assessment, and flexibility testing where appropriate given the age, weight, and health of the individual.
  5. Research involving materials (data, documents, records, or specimens) that have been collected, or will be collected solely for non-research purposes (such as medical treatment or diagnosis). (NOTE: Some research in this category may be exempt from the HHS regulations for the protection of human subjects. 45 CFR 46.101(b)(4). This listing refers only to research that is not exempt.

  6. Collection of data from voice, video, digital, or image recordings made for research purposes.
  7. Research on individual or group characteristics or behavior (including, but not limited to, research on perception, cognition, motivation, identity, language, communication, cultural beliefs or practices, and social behavior) or research employing survey, interview, oral history, focus group, program evaluation, human factors evaluation, or quality assurance methodologies. NOTE: (Some research in this category may be exempt from the HHS regulations for the protection of human subjects. 45 CFR 46.101(b)(2) and (b)(3). This listing refers only to research that is not exempt).
  8. Continuing review of research previously approved by the convened IRB as follows: (a) where (i) the research is permanently closed to the enrollment of new subjects; (ii) all subjects have completed all research-related interventions; and (iii) the research remains active only for long-term follow-up of subjects; or (b) where no subjects have been enrolled and no additional risks have been identified; or (c) where the remaining research activities are limited to data analysis.
  9. Continuing review of research, not conducted under an investigational new drug application or investigational device exemption where categories two (2) through eight (8) do not apply but the IRB has determined and documented at a convened meeting that the research involves no greater than minimal risk and no additional risks have been identified. 

Special Circumstances

Are you:

 Changes to Existing Protocols 

In order to implement changes to a previously approved protocol, you must submit an Amendment Request to the IRB. To complete this request you will need to forward the following documents to ORSP:

  • Amendment Request (revised 7/16/12)
  • Revised documents (updated application for IRB protocol review, informed consent forms, instruments, etc.), where applicable.
  • Additional documents as necessary

All documents must be submitted electronically. If you are amending a project that was approved via IRBNet, it will be necessary to submit any amendment documents via a new package in IRBNet. 

 Class Projects 

No longer are Instructors, who require students to conduct research methods projects involving human participants, required to submit class project information to the IRB for review and consideration. Please consult the Class Project flow chart to learn whether a project on which a student is working requires IRB review and approval or whether that fits within the Class Project designation. As always, if you have questions about a class project utilizing human participants, please feel free to contact IRB staff at 904.620.2455 to discuss.

 Forms and Guidelines 

As you complete the forms below, do not leave sections blank. If a question or section is not applicable to your research project indicate such with a "not applicable" response. In some circumstances you might also need to explain why you are stating that a section is not applicable to your project. Forms older than those included below will not be accepted.


If Attachment A or B are not working for you, first make sure that you have Adobe Acrobat Reader or another Adobe Acrobat program downloaded on your computer. You can download Adobe Acrobat Reader for free online. Then, try right clicking the document link above (if using a Mac, hold down the Ctrl button and then click the link), then select the option for "Save link as..." or "Save target as..." and save the document to your computer. Then, open the Adobe Acrobat Reader program (or Adobe Acrobat Standard or Adobe Acrobat Pro if you have those programs rather than reader). Within the Adobe Acrobat program, open up the file you previously saved to your computer (click file, then select open, select the form from where you saved it previously and then click open). If you are still having technical difficulties, please contact the UNF ITS department (904-620-4357 or For the most accurate service, ITS suggests that you title your email to ITS as "PDF Form Issue on the UNF Website." 


 IRBNet Resources 

After you have completed the required forms, new submissions must be submitted for review within IRBNet. Please see the Read Me First! document for more information. IRBNet submissions that are incomplete will be returned to the PI for completion.

 Principal Investigator Responsibilities

The principal investigator must maintain a file of human subjects research project documents. This file must include the following items:

  • A copy of the original documentation sent to the IRB for review
  • A copy of all correspondence to and from the IRB regarding the project
  • A copy of the IRB stamped approved project documents
  • A copy of the IRB stamped approved consent form(s)
  • A copy of the IRB stamped approved data collection instruments (e.g., surveys, tests, questionnaires)
  • A copy of the IRB stamped approved (e.g., recruitment flyers, notices, advertisements)
  • A copy of all IRB stamped approval of amendments/modifications to any part of the research (e.g., proposal, consent form, instruments)
  • The original signed consent form for each participant
  • A copy of all data derived from the study

 Quality Assurance Audits 

In accordance with the University of North Florida's assurance agreement with the Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP) and 45 CFR 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research, the IRB may perform random and for-cause audits of research projects conducted by UNF researchers.


For more information about IRB meetings, please view the minutes below:





 Compliance Links