Institutional Review Board

Harding University's Institutional Review Board (IRB) is comprised of several highly qualified faculty members and is responsible for the review, evaluation, and approval of research projects proposed by current students, staff, or faculty members.

The mission of Harding University is to provide a quality education that will lead to an understanding and philosophy of life consistent with Christian ideals.  Therefore, Harding University acknowledges and affirms the sanctity and dignity of human beings created in the image of God.  The Institutional Review Board (IRB), which is responsible to guard and protect the rights and well-being of human subjects, will ensure compliance with the established federal and university procedural and ethical guidelines.

IRB Handbook

To ensure compliance with federal law, our IRB Handbook is available for download and in an easily searchable online format.

IRB Handbook pdf

IRB Handbook FAQ


IRB board members

Dale Wilkins
James Gowen
Butch Gardner
Scotty Parker
Rebecca Weaver
Juli Lane
Julie Kissack
Michael Brooks

Institutional Review Board Process

  1. Investigator determines the proposed research involves human subjects.
  2. Investigator consults HU IRB website.
  3. The investigator determines which type of review:
    - Exemption
    - Expedited
    - Full IRB Review
  4. Investigator gathers paperwork to submit:
    - Appropriate form
    - Synopsis of research
    - Informed consent and/or instructions for participants
    - Copy of NIH training certificate
    - Copy of any surveys you plan to use
  5. Submit these as attachments to an email address to
  6. Exemptions are generally processed within 2-4 days, exempted reviews are generally processed with 4-6 days, and full IRB reviews may take 3-4 weeks, depending on the day of the month it is submitted. If needed, a full meeting will take place on the second Wednesday of the month.

Forms for Researchers

Sample forms

Many of our colleges and departments have established their own requirements for the submission of the research proposal summary.  Please check with your advisor or supervisor regarding requirements specific to your discipline.  Below are sample submissions from the College of Pharmacy and the College of Education. 

College of Pharmacy sample pdf
College of Education sample pdf

The following forms must be used by researchers in preparing their requests for review by the IRB.

  1. an electronic copy of your NIH training certificate (a link to the NIH website is not sufficient)
  2. a complete synopsis that addresses not only how you will collect data but also how you will insure participant confidentiality, and how you will secure informed consent
  3. a copy of any instructions you will use with your participants
  4. any survey forms or test protocols you plan to use

For more information, go to the IRB Handbook.

Word forms

Request for Exemption from IRB Review docx
Request for Expedited Review docx
Request for Research Review docx
Request for Appeal docx
Request for Amendment to Approved Research docx
Request for Project Continuation docx

PDF forms

Request for Exemption from IRB Review pdf
Request for Expedited Review pdf
Request for Research Review pdf
Request for Appeal pdf
Request for Amendment to Approved Research pdf
Request for Project Continuation pdf