For Researchers

Compliance FAQs

Whose approval do I need to conduct research involving humans at Iowa State?

ISU faculty, students, and staff must obtain approval from Iowa State University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) before research involving humans may be initiated, including recruitment, data collection, and obtaining informed consent.  Specific examples of activities requiring IRB review are surveys, interviews, exercise studies, use of student records, and taste tests.  Please refer to the ORE website for further information.

What is the average time before IRB approval is received?

On average, IRB approval is received within four to six weeks of protocol submission.  Approval times vary depending on the completeness of the application and corresponding materials, the efficiency of the PI in addressing the committee’s questions regarding the submitted form, and the volume of protocols under review.  The IRB experiences peak times for several weeks around the middle of each semester.  To be safe, investigators should allow four to six weeks for approval of their study, regardless of the time of the year.  Please refer to the ORE website for further information.

Whose approval do I need to use animals in research, teaching, and testing on the Iowa State campus?

Approval must be obtained from Iowa State University’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) before live vertebrate animals may be used in any research, teaching, or testing project at Iowa State University.  Specific examples of such activities are research (including field studies and clinical trials), use of blood donor animals and breeding colonies, scheduled courses, and continuing education offerings.  Please refer to the ORE website for further information.

Whose approval do I need to use biohazards in research or teaching on the Iowa State campus?

At Iowa State University, the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) must approve and issue a biohazardous materials-use authorization for any teaching or research project that involves:

  • Use of recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules, including transgenic animals or plants;
  • Use of human or animal pathogens (e.g., bacteria, viruses, prions, parasites);
  • Use of soil, seed, plants, plant pathogens (e.g., bacteria, viruses, or parasites), or other material received under a USDA APHIS compliance agreement or permit;
  • use of biological toxins;
  • Administration of experimental biological products to animals;
  • Field releases of plant pests received under a USDA APHIS PPQ permit;
  • Field releases of genetically modified organisms that are under a USDA APHIS PPQ or BRS permit (e.g., not commercially available GMOs).

Please refer to the ORE website for further information.

Who must complete the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training requirements?

All undergraduates, graduates, and post-doctoral fellows conducting research funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and all trainees, fellows, participants, and scholars receiving support through any National Institutes of Health (NIH) training, career development award (individual or institutional), research education grant, or dissertation research grant must complete RCR training.  In addition, NIH requires that new faculty, mid-career and senior faculty members receive training.  Please refer to the ORE website for further information.

What training must each individual complete in order to satisfy the RCR training requirements?

To meet the NSF training requirements, all individuals must complete either an online RCR training course or a one-credit or greater RCR course.  NIH generally requires eight hours of face-to-face training on a specified set of topics.  For more information about the online training and the credit courses approved for satisfying this requirement, please refer to the ORE website.