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Institutional Review Board (IRB)

Last updated October 25, 2019

Institutional Review Board (IRB) - Morningside College 

The IRB is an entity that is mandated by Federal Regulations. The purpose of the IRB is to oversee the protection of all human and animal subjects that are part of all research conducted by Morningside faculty, staff, and students. The Morningside IRB reviews all research involving human subjects. Research is categorized as either Exempt or Non-Exempt, but even Exempt studies require paperwork and IRB review. This applies to all research, even if the researcher believes that there are no risks to those who participate in their study. The purpose of the Morningside Institutional Review Board is to minimize any possible risk for human and/or animal subjects. 

As per federal guidelines, the Morningside IRB consists of 5 members, including Mornignside faculty and staff. The IRB is required to have one member from outside of the instituion; this indidvidual is appointed by the Chair of the IRB. 


The IRB Process

Your first step will be to determine whether your proposed research needs to be reviewed by the IRB or not--to do this, you will use the Online Status Determination Tool. There is a link to this tool below under "Step 1". 

Faculty, staff, adjuncts, and students engaging in nonexempt research with human subjects need to obtain IRB approval BEFORE conducting their research. This requires completing and submitting the “IRB Submission Form”, along with any needed additional documentation (see the “Supporting Documents Checklist”), via IRBNet. Submit these materials at least two weeks prior to the planned beginning of the study. Many proposals will require revision, so it is in your best interest to submit yours well ahead of when you hope to start the research. You may not proceed with your (nonexempt) research until you have IRB approval. See below for resources to help you prepare your submission (these documents are also included in IRBNet your reference). It is very important to read through the instructions and information thoroughly--this is the best way to speed up the time it takes us to review your proposal.



Step 1

Use the new online status determination tool to figure out if what you are planning on doing is classified as "research" and if you need to submit anything to the IRB. Click here to access the Online Status Determination Tool.


Step 2

Registering with IRBNet: If you have a proposal to submit to the IRB, please self-register with IRBNet and select "Morningside College IRB" as your affiliated institution. If you already have an IRBNet account from another institution, you should use that same account and just add in Morningside College IRB as an additional affiliation. If you have difficulty registering with IRBNet, or with the submission process, please email the IRB Chair (listed below). Click here to access


Step 3

Research Ethics Training. All Morningside faculty, staff, and students conducting research must complete a research ethics training. This training is free of charge. You must complete all modules of the training and pass each quiz with a score of 80% or higher to obtain the research ethics certificate. That certificate must be included in your IRB submission, and this applies to ALL types of research, exempt and non-exempt. Training certificates are valid for 5 years. Click here to access the training


Step 4

STUDENTS ONLY: Have your faculty advisor review your complete submission form AND associated supporting documents (e.g. informed consent form, questionnaire/protocol to be used, etc.) on IRBNet. Revise and re-submit to your faculty advisor as needed, until they approve of your proposed project. When they approve, they should electronically “sign” the “package” on IRBNet.

Submit your documents to Submit the package of documents associated with your proposed study to IRBNet. Note that this is one “package” within your “project” on IRBNet. In the future, if you need to revise your submission (because the IRB requests revisions, or you want to propose changes to your study), you will go to the same “project” on IRBNet but submit a new “package”.

Congratulations, your have submitted your research to the IRB!




IRBNet Help and External Links


Tutorial Videos for Students

NOTE: Videos should open in a new window


IRB Members

  • Dr. Dharma Jairam, IRB Chair
  • Dr. Kim Christopherson
  • Dr. Tangela Sylvester
  • Dr. Dianna Sorenson
  • Dr. Holly Schenzel
  • Jacob Stevenson - Student Services Staff Member, 
  • Dr. Daniel Hajovsky, University of South Dakota (outside member)
  • Dr. Alden Stout 


Contact Information

Dr. Dharma Jairam, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)