Welcome to the Social and Behavioral Sciences Institutional Review Board (SBS-IRB) at the University of Chicago. 

The Protection of Human Subjects involved in Research

Research activities conducted by University of Chicago faculty and students that involve the use of human volunteers or analysis of identifiable human subjects data must be reviewed and approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) to ensure ethical research design and practice.   For a discussion of which research projects must undergo IRB review, see Does My Research Need IRB Review?

The application for IRB review can be created on the AURA-IRB electronic system, http://aura.uchicago.edu/ .

IRB Application Review Process:

IRB approval is required before human subjects research can begin (including recruitment activities). Studies which qualify for approval under expedited review or exempt status are reviewed by the IRB Chair or a designee. Protocols determined to require review by the full IRB committee will be scheduled for the next scheduled IRB meeting.  See The IRB Submission and Review Process for a detailed discussion of the submission and review process.

Human Subjects Protection Training Requirements:

Prior to submitting an IRB Application or adding new personnel to the research team, the SBS-IRB requires researchers to complete an ethical and regulatory training course in the conduct of human subjects research.  For more information on human subjects training requirements, see the guidance at Human Subjects Protection Training Requirement

Using AURA-IRB online system for IRB Applications:

The online comprehensive system for IRB applications is called AURA-IRB (Automated University Research Administration). Visit: http://aura.uchicago.edu

Additional Information for Student Researchers:

The SBS IRB office provides ethical and regulatory educational sessions for classrooms, student groups or research centers upon request. We also welcome individual appointments in our office or, if needed, in other offices on campus.

Undergraduate Coursework Research Projects:

Students who plan to collect data from people STRICTLY FOR CLASSROOM ASSIGNMENTS OR COURSEWORK and NOT publish or present results outside of the classroom or use their data for theses or dissertations, do not have to submit their projects to the IRB, as these classroom projects do not meet the definition of "research."  Nonetheless, students should always use best ethical practices when collecting and using social and behavioral data.  

SBS IRB Listserv

If you would like to receive email updates from the SBS IRB with news about AURA IRB, new and revised IRB policies and guidance documents, and other SBS IRB news that affects researchers, you can subscribe to the SBS IRB listserv by going to https://lists.uchicago.edu/web/subscribe/sbs-irb and entering your email address.

Latest News and Announcements

AURA IRB Summer 2014 training sessions

Additional AURA IRB Summer training sessions have been added! 

Space is limited so please enroll today to reserve your spot.

AURA IRB from A to Z: Attend this hands-on training session and learn how to navigate AURA IRB like a pro enabling you to submit Initial Submissions, Amendments, Continuing Reviews, and Unanticipated problems with ease.

Dates and Times

7/17/2014    2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

8/14/2014    1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

9/12/2014    1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

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Announcements about Heartbleed internet data security vulnerability

The University of Chicago IT Services has issued an announcement concerning the Heartbleed internet data security vulnerability.  The statement issued by UChicago IT Services is available at https://itservices.uchicago.edu/news/heartbleed-bug-what-you-should-know

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Continuing Review Requirements (Renewal of IRB Approval)

Federal regulations require an IRB to conduct substantive, meaningful continuing review of human subjects research that is within the IRB's jurisdiction.  Continuing review, sometimes referred to as "renewal," of human subjects research projects is required at least annually even if no changes have occurred to the recruitment materials, research procedures, or subject population during the IRB approval period.  If a project has completed data collection and is only doing data analysis and manuscript preparation, the project must still undergo continuing review if any personally ide

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Guidance on when to submit amendments versus new project applications

New project or modification? That is the question. Whether ‘tis nobler to change an existing study in AURA or ‘tis better to start fresh? If you engage in research long enough, at some point you face this quandary. While there is no absolute rule to follow, here are a few questions that can help guide your decision.

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