IRB--Human Subjects

Research with Human Subjects

The NKU Institutional Review Board (IRB) is required to review and approve human subject research before it is initiated by NKU faculty, staff and students. NKU has an IRB committee on campus consisting of a diverse group of members appointed by President Mearns. 

All the subsequent links on this page contain information to assist you in most aspects of the IRB process, from how to complete the application, to how to compose a consent form. Please familiarize yourself with this information before initiating the IRB process and be sure to visit the Frequently Asked Question link. We look forward to working with you!

Exempt and Expedited Reviews

Research that presents no more than minimal risk will be reviewed at the Exempt or Expedited level. The IRB members who review your IRB application are faculty who are employed full time in different departments at the University. Although the IRB committee sets a goal of initially responding within ten business days/two weeks, that response may be delayed by the volume of IRB applications currently under review and the workload of the individual reviewers. Please plan ahead.

Full Board Review

A full board review, which is a face-to-face meeting of committee quorum, is required for research that involves more than minimal risk, or involves vulnerable populations such as children, prisoners, pregnant women, and the mentally or physically challenged. Other vulnerable groups may include the economically disadvantaged and the very ill. The Institutional Review Board schedules monthly meetings throughout the academic year (September through May), and as needed during the summer months (June, July, August).

When an IRB application requires review by the full Institutional Review Board, you will be notified by email and will receive comments and questions stemming from the initial review. To proceed to a full board review, you must submit your response to these comments and questions at least one week prior to the next scheduled IRB meeting. Responses received less than one week prior to the next scheduled IRB meeting will delay the full IRB review until the following monthly meeting. Please plan accordingly.


Attention Researchers
IRB Full Board Reviews will be added to the monthly review schedule. For a list of the monthly meeting dates, times, and locations visit
IRB Monthly Meeting Schedule

New IRB Application Forms 2014-2015 (Effective 8-06-14)

New (08/2014) IRB Application(doc)

Additional Researchers Form(doc)

IRB Application Checklist(doc)

Note: If you submitted an already approved IRB prior to 08-06-14 you can use the previous application.  

Related Links

CITI Training
Federal guidelines require researchers to complete training prior to initiating research. For more information on the training please visit the
NKU CITI web page.



  • What is the estimated turnaround time for an IRB review?
  • Where do I submit my IRB for review?
  • Who will review my IRB?
  • What is CITI Training?
  • What documents should be attached to my IRB application?
  • Do I need signatures on my revised application being submitted as a reply to reviewer comments?
  • How do I make changes to an approved IRB?
  • Do I need to use the stamped consent form approved by the IRB?


For more information, questions or help, please contact:

William Thompson at 859-572-5768 or

Office: NKU, Nunn Drive, UC 405, Highland Heights, KY 41099