The Willamette University IRB adheres to federal guidelines for determining the nature of the reviews that are conducted when proposals are submitted to the IRB. Below are descriptions of general review criteria, types of risk that affect determination of the type of review conducted, exceptions to review, and the three types of IRB reviews conducted. It is the responsibility of the researcher to read through this section on Review Criteria prior to submitting an IRB application and to request the appropriate review given the research proposed.


  • All proposals need to be submitted via the web (emailed proposals will no longer be accepted), and all student proposals need to be reviewed by their faculty advisor who must submit an email confirming that he/she has approved the proposal before proposals will be reviewed by the IRB.
  • Student proposals that are not approved will be returned to the student with comments about ways to improve the proposal. Students will need to work with their faculty advisor to address these comments before resubmitting their proposal.
  • The faculty and students of Willamette University are actively engaged in research on campus. Because of the large volume of research that is conducted on campus by members of the Willamette community and the high demands for research participation placed on our students, we have made the decision not to allow research on our campus that is conducted by individuals who are not affiliated with Willamette University. Collaborative research between members of the Willamette community and members of outside institutions are supported and encouraged. However, in order not to place increased demands both on students and the IRB, the IRB will not review or approve research proposed by individuals not affiliated or who do not collaborate with members of the Willamette University community.


  • All proposals will be sent out for review to the IRB committee every Monday during the academic year. Proposals received after Monday of a given week will be sent out the subsequent Monday. Exempt and minimal reviews should take 2-3 weeks and Full Board reviews should take approximately 1 month after they are sent out for review to the committee.
  • No proposals will be reviewed over University breaks, between semesters, or over the summer except under exceptional circumstances on an ad-hoc basis.
  • No proposals will be reviewed after the dates listed below until the next academic semester's weekly reviews begin.


Proposals now include a checklist that must be completed as part of the proposal. The checklist ensures that all required parts of the proposal are included. Proposals missing required components will be returned to the researcher prior to review.

Informed Consent

There have been additions to the required components of Informed Consent forms for research involving physical activity or exertion. Please refer to the Informed Consent form section for these additions.