How to Apply


IRB applications must now be submitted using our online submission system called Cayuse IRB. Please log into the MySanDiego Portal and click on the Torero Hub (students) or Teach Advise (employees) tab and scroll to the Cayuse IRB link. If you have difficulty with this process, please call Bridget at Ext. 4553 for assistance.

Before using our online system:

If you have never submitted an IRB application at USD, the online system will NOT recognize you. Bridget must first set up your information before you begin an online application. Email Bridget with a message that you are a first-time IRB applicant and want to use the IRB online system. Be sure to specify your role (student, faculty, staff). If you are a student, please include your faculty advisor’s name.

1. Plan your timeline

  • Except in rare cases of applications requiring a full-level review, there are no deadlines for submitting an IRB application.
  • Researchers are advised to allow for a minimum of 30 days from the initial preparation of the IRB application to final approval.
  • Researchers must take responsibility for adequate time planning- the USD IRB is unable to process applications on an emergency basis.

2. Begin the application

  • Students should work with their faculty advisor or mentor in preparing an application.
  • Faculty should consult with their academic unit's IRB Representative for any questions regarding the application process.
  • Researchers not affiliated with USD must locate a full-time USD faculty member to serve as their USD sponsor, and collaborate with the sponsor in preparing the application.

3. Complete the application

  • While the application is designed to be self-explanatory, you may wish to consult your IRB representative regarding the level of review you are requesting (exempt, expedited, full).
  • Give yourself adequate time to complete the application. Do not delete any text, except the red example text - it is there for a purpose.

4. Assemble the appendices

It is essential to attach a hard copy of all research materials as appendices to your application, including:

  • A Consent Form (if applicable)
  • All study questionnaires. The materials must be in the same format as you will give to your research participants.
  • Any scripts or interview questions you will use.
  • An IRB training certificate for every person named on the application, unless a certificate is already on file in the Provost's Office.

5. If you need to make any changes to your study after receiving approval

  • Sometimes researchers need to make changes to an already approved study, such as adding a new data collection site.
  • If you are making such a change, you must obtain IRB approval before proceeding.
  • To obtain approval, download and submit the Request for Modification Form from the Forms web page.

6. When you complete your research project

  • When your study is concluded, you must submit a closure online.

7. If your research project continues for more than one year

  • If your study will continue for more than one year past the original IRB approval date, you must submit a renewal request online. This must be done within the calendar year of the appoval date.