The Institutional Review Board (IRB) of Ouachita Baptist University ensures that human subjects of research are adequately protected and their rights ensured as required by federal, state, and local laws as well as by our commitment to moral and academic rigor.


All research involving human subjects falls under the scope of the IRB. Some examples are that the research:

  • Places subjects at more than minimal risk (physical, emotional, psychological, or social risk). Minimal risk is defined as those risks experienced in everyday life.
  • Involves minors (<18 years of age) or other vulnerable populations (pregnant women and fetuses, mentally disabled individuals and other special populations). Please note that a number of freshmen are minors.
  • Investigates behaviors and/or experiences related to sensitive topics.
  • Involves the use of educational tests (cognitive, diagnostic, aptitude, achievement), survey procedures, interview procedures or observation of public behavior that identifies human subjects and/or their responses.


While all research involving human subjects falls under the scope of the IRB:

  • Some projects may be exempted from continuing review if, after examination by the IRB, they meet certain criteria as outlined under Exempt Projects.
  • Other projects may qualify for rapid evaluation as outlined under Expedited Review.
  • Projects which qualify as Internal Assessment are, by definition, not classified as research and do not fall under the scope of the IRB.


To facilitate the IRB application and review process:

  • Use the IRB Application Coversheet and Checklist.
  • An application must include one electronic copy in a format readable by Microsoft Word. Please consolidate all components into one file.
  • Departments and schools have their own mechanism for internal review of research proposals for methodology and completeness. Please send proposals through that mechanism first and make any necessary changes prior to sending it to the IRB.
  • Use the Informed Consent┬átemplate to create an informed consent document to be given to participants.

The process for obtaining IRB approval is explained in a flowchart and the timeline for processing of applications is described in a table.

Send digital proposals and requests for information to the IRB chair, Jeanie Curry,

[If changes or updates need to be made to Committee sites, it is the committee chairs’ responsibility to submit them to the library’s webmaster prior to the start of each academic year.]

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