Institutional Review Board (IRB)
The majority of MSA and MA in Education students will use the program’s Research Review Application process. Students will complete this form and submit the form along with appropriate attachments to their capstone instructor. Approval notifications for the Research Review Application process will be sent by e-mail and data collection may only begin when that approval has been received. If your project meets the criteria for research, please read the following information:
IRB - Human Subjects Research
Projects considered “research” are those projects using human subjects that generate findings that can be generalized and that are intended from the outset of the project to be disseminated to a wider audience. For example, a student conducting a project and using human subjects with the intent to publish the findings or report the findings to a broader audience, i.e., state or regional, national or international conference or outside of the researcher’s organization, must complete CITI training or Tri-Council training for students in Canada and seek IRB approval. On the other hand, a student conducting a work-related project with human subjects and reporting the findings within the organization is not required to seek IRB approval.
In addition to promoting the acquisition of external support for faculty and staff research and programmatic and creative endeavors, the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) is responsible for ensuring that CMU is fully compliant with a variety of research-related policies and procedures. The increasing complexity of the research process, the requirements of federal and state agencies, and the accountability of university personnel to colleagues, students, the university, and the larger community necessitate that CMU provide its research community with mechanisms that ensure that research is conducted in a manner that is compliant with all governing oversight offices.
To accomplish this goal, ORSP has adopted an electronic system called IRBManager. This system replaces IRBNet. Effective June 1, 2019, IRBManager is the electronic system through which faculty, staff, and students submit protocols and obtain IRB approvals for human subjects research. More information about IRBManager can be found on the IRB Human Subjects page.
Online Training in the Use of Human Subjects
All investigators conducting research with human subjects are required to complete training in the protection of human subjects in research. CMU has adopted the online training system offered through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) for students conducting research in the US and requires students in Canada to complete Tri-Council Ethics Training. CITI and Tri-Council offer courses in the responsible conduct of research and can be individualized for specific university/institutional needs. CITI and Tri-Council allow for the tracking of individuals who have completed their respective training requirements. Thus, individuals who are required to complete CITI training in human subjects research would complete only the training relevant in this area. For Canadian students, you will complete the TCPS 2 training.
Implications for Research Involving Human Subjects
All investigators conducting research with human subjects must provide evidence of training in human-subjects protection. Completion of CITI training is reported to CMU and Tri-Council certification should be shared with your faculty member teaching your research methods course. CITI links can be found on the IRB webpage.
Support: Please contact Deb Geasler at 989-774-6401 or by e-mail at
with any questions regarding the utilization of either IRBManager or CITI.