The SBS IRB Staff acts as liaison to the University's social and behavioral science research community.

Social & Behavioral Sciences Institutional Review Board

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

The Protection of Humans Subjects involved in Research

Research activities involving the use of human volunteers or human subjects data conducted by UChicago researchers and students must be reviewed and approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) to ensure ethical research design and practice. See the discussion of what is "research" with "human subjects" in our Overview of the IRB Submission and Review Process.  The human subjects IRB protocol application can be created on the AURA-IRB electronic system, .

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 Overview of the IRB Submission and Review Process for more information.

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 IRB-AURA online system for IRB Applications:

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

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 data material 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.  

Latest News and Announcements

Subscribe to Latest News and Announcements

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

Read the full post

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

Read the full post

AURA Winter/ Spring 2014 training sessions now available

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.

Read the full post

IRB Submission Tips

Following are some tips to help make the IRB submission and review process go as smoothly as possible:

Read the full post

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.

Read the full post