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Honors College

Honors Thesis IRB Approval

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Do I need INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD (IRB) approval for my Honors thesis research?

  • Complete CITI Training, including the Human Subjects Research module!
  • Discuss IRB approval with your thesis advisor!


If you are planning to conduct research that involves human subjects, you must seek IRB approval prior to data collection.

Examples of research with human subjects:

  • Conducting interviews
  • Administering surveys
  • Analyzing identifiable, private information (e.g. medical records)
  • Observing behavior (e.g. of students, children, teachers)

If you and/or your thesis advisor are not sure whether your research project requires IRB approval, contact irbFREEMississippi for clarification.


How do I apply for IRB approval?

Go to the Southern Miss IRB page for more information.

USM researchers are required to use Cayuse IRB for all IRB protocol submissions.

See Cayuse Overview for links to more detailed reports and policies, the forms you must submit to apply for IRB approval, useful tips, and FAQs.


How long does it usually take the IRB to review and approve my application?

Usually, the IRB will need approximately a month to review your application once it has been approved by the School Director (workflow: researcher submits ➔ school director approves ➔ IRB reviews and makes decision); if changes are needed and/or additional information is requested, the review process will take longer.

It is imperative that you initiate the application process as soon as you have developed your research protocol and have obtained approval from your thesis advisor.

You should ensure that you provide the IRB with all requested information and address all concerns. It pays to prepare a thorough application!

Beginning to collect data BEFORE IRB approval has been granted is a violation of federal law and may prevent approval of your thesis.


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