Institutional Review Board (IRB)

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Important information from the Murray State University Institutional Review Board (IRB) regarding the COVID-19 outbreak

In light of the COVID-19 outbreak and as part of our efforts to minimize risks to research participants, the Murray State Institutional Review Board (IRB) has decided to pause approval for all research protocols involving face-to-face data collection effective at midnight on Friday, March 20, 2020. This means that any research currently approved by the Murray State IRB must stop at that time if it involves any procedures where researchers and participants meet in-person. 

These precautions will remain in place for the foreseeable future and researchers who intend to submit an application should plan around these restrictions or contact the IRB Coordinator for additional guidance prior to submitting their application. Since these changes are likely to impact many students as well as faculty, the IRB urges everyone to be as flexible as possible in their practical research requirements for their courses and programs.

Thank you all very much for your understanding and cooperation and please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.

This policy does not apply to the following situations:

  1. Protocols where data collection is only being done electronically or by phone (i.e. online surveys, video conferencing, telephone interviews, or other remote contact methods)
  2. Protocols where data collection has been completed and there will be no additional in-person contact with participants.
  3. Any other protocols that do not involve in-person contact with participants (i.e. secondary analysis of existing data)

The following options are available to researchers who have an approved protocol that involves in-person data collection:

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Researchers can apply for an amendment to their protocol which changes their data collection procedures from in-person to remote data collection. Such an amendment may be requested using the following procedure:

    1. Download the Approved Protocol Amendment Form found at
    2. Fill out the information requested on the form, being sure to include the following items:
      1. A description of any changes to the recruitment methods including the new script, advertisement, or email message. These must be submitted as .doc files.
      2. A description of any changes to the consent process, including the revised cover letter or consent form.
      3. A working link to any online surveys or data collection forms.
      4. A description of any changes to the data storage procedures.
    3. Submit the Amendment Form and supporting documents by email to and await approval before implementing the new research procedures.

Researchers can apply to the IRB for permission to continue their research under their currently approved protocol.

If you believe that pausing or changing your research would pose more risk to participants than continuing with the approved protocol, you may apply to the IRB to continue as approved. Researchers who believe this situation applies to them should contact IRB Coordinator Jonathan Baskin immediately by emailing

Researchers may stop any in-person data collection and await further instructions without notifying the IRB of their decision to stop collecting data.

If you have an approved protocol that includes remote data collection in addition to in-person, you can continue to collect data remotely without notifying the IRB that you have ceased in-person data collection. All researchers will be notified when it is safe to resume in-person data collection.


The Murray State Institutional Review Board (IRB) reviews research protocol applications involving human subjects in order to ensure the rights of subjects are protected, including but not necessarily limited to ensuring that the research conforms to the Code of Federal Regulations.

Jonathan Baskin, CIP
Institutional Review Board
328 Wells Hall
Murray State University

 IRB Submission Procedure: 

All IRB materials (applications, amendments, project update/closures, adverse event reports) must be submitted to the IRB Coordinator via email at All student applications must be submitted by the faculty mentor. An electronic signature option is currently not available for the forms, so signed documents must be scanned/saved as pdf documents and relevant supporting materials saved as editable Word documents prior to emailing them. Please do not submit paper copies of any IRB applications or materials unless it is requested by the IRB Coordinator. Future paper submissions will be shredded to preserve confidentiality. For a more detailed explanation, please refer to the Murray State IRB Application Process.

IRB Procedures and Guidelines

CITI Human Subjects Research Training 

Download Application for IRB Review

Guide for Completing the IRB application

Download Approved Protocol Amendment form

Tips for Informed Consent

Download Project Update and Closure form

IRB: The Basics

Download Adverse Event form

Federal Regulations for IRBs

IRB Meeting Dates and Application Deadlines

National Organizations for the IRB

IRB Members

Government Agency Sites