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Undergraduate Research

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Guidelines

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

1. Complete CITI Training, including the Human Subjects Research module!

2. Discuss IRB approval with your faculty mentor!

  • 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 mentor are not sure whether your research project requires IRB approval, contact irbFREEMississippi for clarification.


How do I apply for IRB approval?

1.  Go to the Southern Miss IRB page for more information.

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

3.  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 faculty mentor.
  • 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 research project.


Useful Links


Contact a DCUR representative:

Dr.%20Sabine%20Heinhorst for all questions about DCUR

Ms.%20Jo%20Ann%20Johnson for questions related to DCUR grant processes

The University of Southern Mississippi
Drapeau Center for Undergraduate Research
118 College Dr. #5162
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001



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Contact a member of the UGS Planning Committee in your area of interest for questions related to conventions of presentations in your discipline.

Contact Dr.%20Sabine%20Heinhorst or Dr.%20Ellen%20Weinauer for questions related to abstract submission or registration, UGS schedule or program, judging or moderating.

Contact Professor%20Brianna%20Jahn-Malinowski or Professor%20Allen%20Chen for questions related to the Arts Showcase.