Institutional Review Board (IRB)

This site contains information about the UAH Institutional Review Board, as well as its policies and application procedures.
All research involving human subjects must be approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB). The Federal Government establishes special regulations (Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 46) to assure the safety of all human subjects involved in research.UAH and its IRB maintain a strong commitment to treating human subjects ethically and to following all Federal Regulations. IRB approval constitutes assurance that research involving human subjects meets these Regulations and is designed to treat participants fairly and ethically.

Since UAH does not have a medical school, the majority of our IRB applications come from human sciences (psychology and sociology), human factors engineering, and nursing. A smaller number of applications come from biotechnology, engineering, administrative science, communication arts, and political science.

If your research involves human subjects and you would like to request IRB approval of your research from UAH, first determine the kind of approval you require.

For guidance on whether you should apply for Expedited Review, Exemption from Review, or Full Review, see "How Do I Apply?"

If you are not sure whether your research involves human subjects, see "Do I Need IRB Approval?"

Next, complete all appropriate application forms. You will find links to these forms in the blue section below our page header. All applications for approval of new research must submit Form 1; one of Forms 2, 3, or 4; Forms 6 or 7 as appropriate; and a sample consent form as appropriate. Applications for renewal of research previously approved by UAH's IRB need submit only Form 5.

For guidance on which forms are appropriate, see "How Do I Apply?"

For guidance on whether your research requires informed consent and the required elements of a consent form, see "On Informed Consent."

For checklists designed to help you complete your application, see "Checklists & Samples."

If you have questions about how to complete any of the application materials, please email them to Dr. William Wilkerson, IRB Chair, at or call her at 256.824.6100. Please include the phrase <Application Question> in your subject line.

Finally, save each form in pdf format and name it with ALL of the following items:

  • First initial of first name
  • Full last name
  • Year, month and date in number format

So, for example if your name is Sam Smith and you completed the application on July 1, 2014, then your file name would be ssmith2014-07-01.pdf.

Email your completed application to Dr. William Wilkerson, IRB Chair, at and forward a hard copy of your application materials to her at the following address:

Dr. William Wilkerson, IRB Chair
NB 207
College of Nursing
301 Sparkman Drive
University of Alabama in Huntsville
Huntsville, AL 35899

For more information about the application process, see "How Does IRB Work?"

For information on the people who constitute the UAH IRB, see "Who Is IRB?"

If your research has been approved by another IRB and you would like supplemental approval from UAH's IRB, email Dr. William Wilkerson, IRB Chair, at Please also submit the appropriate forms (see above for details) and attach an electronic copy of your IRB approval letter.

If you are a participant in research approved by UAH's IRB and have concerns about your treatment during participation, please contact Dr. William Wilkerson, IRB Chair, by email at, by phone at 256.824.6100, or in person at Nursing Building 207. Please include the phrase <Research Participation Concern> in your subject line.
If you are a faculty member who supervises several students doing research that involves human subjects and you would like your students to have special instruction on the IRB application process, please contact Dr. William Wilkerson, IRB Chair via email at Presentations concerning IRB applications can include any of the following elements: the history of IRB; rationale for Federal Regulations regarding research involving human subjects; case studies of ethical and unethical research involving human subjects; and tutorials on any part of the IRB application process. Please include the phrase <IRB Instruction> in your subject line.