The HRPP has identified the most common reasons a submission is returned for corrections. Ensuring you have addressed these items can significantly reduce review times.

The HRPP website has a variety of FAQs and guidance to assist you with drafting your IRB submission materials. We encourage you to review the information relevant to your project prior to submitting your application in order to avoid common errors that can delay the review.

Submissions may be returned without review if they have the following issues:

  • Application submitted before all study team members have completed the required ethics training. Note: iRIS submissions will remain ‘out-of-cycle’ (meaning it is NOT in the review queue) until all study team members have completed the required training AND you have notified the HRPP office that all training is complete. 
  • Application does not have adequate information about external collaborations. Additional review requirements may apply when OSU investigators are dually affiliated or have multiple appointments, and when projects involve non-OSU investigators who are affiliated with an institution that has their own IRB. The OSU investigator and/or collaborator should reach out to the external institution’s IRB to inquire about additional review requirements prior to submitting to the OSU IRB in order to provide the relevant information for the OSU application.   
  • Application contains poorly written materials. Contact Dennis Bennett at the Writing Center if you would like help improving the quality of protocol and consent documents 
  • Application contains materials that are incomplete, include jargon or have not received a substantive review by the PI.
  • Application does not comply with one or more OSU IRB policies. Some projects involve additional considerations (e.g. students and employees as research participants, research involving deception or incomplete disclosure, international research, etc.). The application materials should include all the required elements outlined in the policy (e.g. if you wish to use education records for research purposes, you may need prior permission from the Office of the Registrar.) 
  • Application inaccurately describes data collection and/or data in the submission materials (e.g. ‘anonymous’, ‘confidential’, ‘de-identified’, etc.).See IRB guidance Glossary of Research and IRB-Related Terms.
  • Application and/or documents containing conflicting or inconsistent information.
  • Consent forms are not written in language readily understood by the target population.
  • Application is missing documents (e.g. letters of support, consent forms, study instruments, recruitment documents, eligibility screening documents, etc.)
  • Submission uses old forms (those used for studies approved prior to January 2019 and outside of iRIS). Always download the most current version of forms from the website

Tips for Ancillary Study Documents in iRIS

  • Use MS Word versions of documents when possible.
  • Do not use “Track changes” when editing your Word or PDF files. (The requirement for tracked changes is specific to studies that were approved prior to January 2019 and outside of iRIS.)
  • Under most circumstances, the IRB cannot approve content provided via a URL or hyperlink. Please submit relevant study documents or text as static files.
  • Avoid uploading documents in the Word RTF format as iRIS is unable to read certain RTF characters and will result in errors that must be revised prior to approval.
  • Avoid duplicating your standalone and embedded documents or materials (e.g. don’t include your recruitment or consent text both in the application itself and again as an attachment, and don’t provide a standalone consent document and then also embed consent information at the beginning of the survey instrument, etc.). Doing so may result in you needing to revise or correct multiple documents during the review.

The HRPP office also offers faculty and student advising. Our advising hours are an opportunity for you to ask specific questions about your project, IRB policy, and/or general questions about the IRB process. Please be aware that advising sessions cannot be used as a pre-review of your application; they are limited in scope to answering pre-submission inquiries.