IRBNet Information

Effective August 1, 2010: Research conducted in MSA and MA in Education capstone courses is no longer under the jurisdiction of CMU’s IRB office. This means that IRBNet applications will not be accepted for MSA and MA in Education students. The exceptions to this policy are those cases where the student’s work involves human subjects and would be considered “research” under the federal guidelines. 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 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. We are replacing the IRB requirement with a Research Review Application. Students will complete this form and submit the form along with appropriate attachments to their capstone instructor. Approval notifications will be sent by e-mail and data collection may only begin when that approval has been received. The application form is available here.


Central Michigan University requires that all proposals for federally defined research projects be submitted through IRBNet, an online interface administered by CMU's Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) that streamlines the application process. IRBNet provides an easy-to-use proposal submission interface and a permanent location for application materials as well as any supporting documentation and forms related to your project.

If your research does not involve human subjects, you must register in IRBNet and complete the Non-Human Research Determination Form, which verifies that your research project does not involve human subjects (an example of this type of research is a feasibility study wherein only statistical data is used) and is therefore exempt from IRB oversight.

If your research does involve human subjects, you must complete a required training module on using human subjects in research prior to registering in the IRBNet software. This training is offered through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) and will take between two and three hours to complete. It is possible to only partially complete the training and return to it later to finish if that is more convenient for you. This training must be completed before you can begin using IRBNet. After having completed the training module you should work with your instructor to finalize your research plan and project timeline and to enter the necessary application and project data into the IRBNet interface.

All applications submitted through IRBNet go before the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for consideration. The Board considers each application individually and evaluates it based on CMU policies and practices and federal guidelines for research involving human subjects. At this point the process will follow one of two paths: if your proposal is accepted by the Board you will be allowed to move ahead with your research; if it is denied by the Board the proposal will be returned to you with suggestions as to how you might revise it to make it more likely to be approved should you choose to re-submit it later.

Here are some links that provide more information:

  • RBNet user instructions

Additional instructions for IRBNet and the CITI training can be found in Sections Two through Five of the Student Guide to the MSA 685 Project. A link to this guide can be found on our MSA Resources page.

IRBNet Link

Please be aware the IRBNet and CITI are services offered to the Central Michigan University community independent of OCLS, and that this is an informational page posted for the benefit of students and faculty participating in Off-Campus Programs. Please direct your requests for assistance to the departments below.

If you have questions about the CITI training, the process of submitting material through IRBNet, or using the interface please contact the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at or (989) 774-6401.

If you need technical assistance please contact CMU's IT Help Desk.

You can also contact IRBNet directly for technical support assistance between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. EST.