SBER IRB Turnaround Times

It is very important that you keep our turnaround times in mind when planning to submit your application. Turnaround times vary depending on the type of review, the current workload of the review staff, and the time of year.

Our office operates at a high volume of submissions, and we are a small staff that reviews research from all departments across all three Tufts campuses. We always strive to process submissions expeditiously and efficiently, but we expect reviews of all types (excluded/exempt/expedited, initial review/modification/continuing review) to take a minimum of 15 business days for preliminary review. Please know your submission is important to us. Thank you in advance for your patience.

Based on the information found within the submission, the IRB Office will determine what level of review is necessary.

Full Review

If you believe Full IRB Review may be needed, you must submit your application via eIRB by Noon on the day of the submission deadline. You should then receive the committee’s response no more than 3 business days after the day of the monthly IRB meeting.

Exemption/Expedited Review

If the submission qualifies for an Exempt determination or Expedited review, the submission deadlines are not applicable. These reviews are done on a rolling, first-come first-served basis. As stated, above, please expect a minimum of 15 business days before the first feedback. Exemption: Exempt reviews are reviewed start to finish by IRB Office Staff and, in only rare cases, require additional review by an IRB Member.

Expedited: All Expedited reviews require additional review by an IRB Member following Pre-Review by IRB Office staff.  IRB Members are asked to return their reviews to the IRB Office for processing within 5 business days of assignment.

Avoiding Delays

  • Please keep in mind that there are multiple things that can delay the processing of your application. For example: missing signatures, incomplete CITI certification, delays in responding to requests for revisions from our office, incomplete study documents, etc. It is imperative that you respond to any requests from our office in a thorough and timely manner so that we may process your application as efficiently as possible.
  • We encourage all researchers to submit their applications as early as possible, because you may not receive a straight approval from the committee, which means you will need to make any requested changes and submit them to our office before you begin your research. This is especially important for researchers traveling internationally or with strict funding deadlines. Learn more about our submission process and possible determinations from the committee.
  • Consult our eIRB Tips page for help with navigating the eIRB submission platform.
  • Use the SBER Study Submission Checklist while preparing your submission to ensure that it will include all of the documents that are relevant to your research.  Complete submissions have a significantly faster turnaround time than submissions that are missing needed documents.
  • Avoid using jargon within the documents.  Instead, be sure to describe the study in language accessible to individuals without expertise in your specific field and to provide an accurate description of the participant experience.