Applying for Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval

Step 1: Determine if your project needs approval

If you are not sure if your project requires approval from the IRB, read our guidelines or call the IRB office at 928-523-9551.

Step 2: Complete CITI training

Take the required IRB training, The Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI). If you have not completed this training within the past three years, take it before submitting your IRB application.

Please refer to the instructions on how to register for the CITI course and take the IRB tutorial. Failure to follow these instructions could result in being assigned more modules than you need to take.

If you are conducting research under NSF funding, you are also required to take the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) course. If you do not have NSF funding, take the IRB Basic course, not the RCR course.

Step 3: Submit an Application for Approval of Research 

Register in IRBNet. IRBNet is the externally-hosted software product used to submit research applications to the IRB for review. To begin using IRBNet, go to and register yourself as New User. Click on “New User Registration” in the top right corner. Fill out the basic information, select a username and password (be sure to remember them!), agree to the terms of use, affiliate with NAU, and enter contact information. Click “register” and an email will be sent to you immediately. At that point, your account has been activated and you can begin using IRBNet!

Complete IRBNet training. View the 9-minute instructional video, “IRBNet Video: New Project Submission." If you are asked to log in, enter nau as the username, and training as the password. (Do not use your personal IRBNet username/password.)

Create your project. Log in to IRBNet at Click on “Create New Project” in the blue field to the left of the screen. Follow the prompts to enter your information. The electronic IRB Application is available under Step 2 on the Designer page.

Please Note: Using your browser's back button while working in IRBNet could cause problems with your application. Please use instead the "next" and "previous" buttons within IRBNet.

Use these additional resources to help you get started: 

Once your application has been received by the IRB, you will receive a confirmation from IRBNet. The NAU IRB office will respond to you with either an approval or a request for more information or revisions. Applications are generally reviewed in the order received, and review times can vary considerably based upon a number of factors. Please see the IRB Timelines page for information about review timelines. For questions, please call 928-523-9551 or e-mail the IRB.

After Approval: Amending your research

To make changes to your research protocol after you've gotten IRB approval, see these instructions.