Frequently Asked Questions

This page answers commonly asked questions regarding IRB application. If you have additional questions or concerns not addressed here, please contact the IRB chairperson, Dr. Paul Schupp, at 716.286.8335.

How do I submit a research project for IRB approval?

The IRB Application Form is available hereComplete and submit the IRB Application Form, along with consent script for research subjects, electronically to IRBproposal@niagara.edu

I recently submitted a research project for IRB approval. How long should I wait before checking on its status?

The IRB aims to review every proposal in a timely manner. Please allow up to four weeks for the IRB to review your application. If you haven't received word after that, please contact the chairperson, Dr. Paul Schupp at 716.286.8335.

I am an NU professor or student planning to complete human subjects research off campus. Do I need to obtain IRB approval?

 Yes. The research falls under the purview of the NU IRB by virtue of your affiliation with the university and your intention to include human subjects in your research. This may include the administration of surveys, in which case research subjects must give informed consent. Research conducted off-campus under the auspices of Niagara University must comport with applicable regulatory and ethical standards, and is therefore subject to IRB review.

Some of my course assignments require students to work with human subjects. Do my students need to obtain IRB approval?

In general, no. Students' course-based research in fulfillment of course requirements does not require IRB approval if it meets all of the following criteria:

  • Conducted in a public or widely accessible setting (e.g., coffee shop, NU classroom, religious institution).
  • Pedagogical in nature; in other words, it is not conducted with the intent of public dissemination and contributing to generalizable knowledge.
  • Involves no more than minimal risk.
  • They involve only the recording of non-identifying information.

It is the responsibility of the course instructor to provide appropriate oversight for these assignments as well as instruction on the ethical conduct of human subjects research. 

In general, yes, the course-based research does require IRB approval in these common circumstances:

  • Honors theses, capstone projects, or other student projects that have the potential for scholarly impact (e.g., conference presentation or publication). For example, any student project involving the systematic collection of human subjects data for use in a presentation or publication, including web publication.
  • Students who wish to continue a project after the course.

If you are uncertain whether a class assignment meets these criteria, please contact the chairperson, Dr. Paul Schupp, at pschupp@niagara.edu before the assignment is introduced to the class.

What is the composition of the IRB at NU?

Currently, the IRB is composed of the following members:

  • Dr. Michael Cassidy, Criminology & Criminal Justice
  • Dr. Peggy Choong, Marketing
  • Dr. Randall Cragun, Economics
  • Dr. James Delaney, Philosophy
  • Dr. Talia Harmon, Criminology & Criminal Justice
  • Dr. Jinyan Huang, Education
  • Dr. Malena King-Jones, Nursing
  • Dr. Christopher Lee, Political Science
  • Dr. Joseph Little, English
  • Dr. Susan Mason, Psychology
  • Dr. Tim Osberg, Psychology
  • Dr. Ann Rensel, Business
  • Dr. Vince Rinaldo, Education
  • Dr. Paul Schupp, Criminology & Criminal Justice, Chair
  • Dr. David Skiba, Social Work, Vice Chair
  • Dr. Chris Stoj, Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Physics
  • Dr. Doug Tewksbury, Communication Studies
  • Dr. Burt Thompson, Psychology
  • Dr. Sylvia Valentin, Education
  • Dr. Jay Walker, Economics