Saturday, February 14, 2009

Institutional Review Board (IRB) - The Next Hurdle

Also known as the Ethics Board, the IRBs of research institutions in America seek to ensure that good ethical principles are upheld by researchers so that risks to human subjects are minimized or controlled.

I had this notion that my IRB application would only take 7 days. In anticipation of contingencies, I called the IRB today. Here is what I found out.
  • It takes 21 days for an expedited review (the faster version for minimal risk studies) to be conducted.
  • If there are changes or stipulations to be made, that can take another 7-10 days.
  • The review board tends to be even more picky when the research is international.
  • You are NOT allowed to begin data collection until you have received IRB approval.
Here is what I had planned on doing.
  • Defend my proposal on Feb 24th. Then submit my IRB immediately after.
  • Fly to Country-of-Research (C-o-R) a few days later while waiting for IRB approval.
  • Get IRB approval when I am in C-o-R, and collect data for two weeks.
  • Fly to U.S. West coast to attend Glaser's Grounded Theory seminar.
Everything I had planned on doing above was so that I could collect some data so that I could attend Glaser's grounded theory workshop (attendance requires data to have already been collected). I was a little shocked to find out the actual amount of time that would be required for IRB approval process.

Thankfully, I was able to be prepared enough with my IRB training that someone in IRB will help to push through my application so that I might be able to do as I had originally planned.

Moral of today's post: If your study requires IRB approval, plan your timing accordingly!

8 comments:

sonic said...

Sigh...
I am glad that I don't have to deal with human-related subject.

Paul said...

I'm interested in your Grounded Theory blogging. Any time for a conversation?

Also, do you know of any interested Grounded Theory people (grad students, faculty, and clinicians) interested in attending a three-day Grounded Theory workshop? It is called the Grounded Theory Jamboree IV. It is based upon a Grounded Theory of learning Grounded Theory.

Look forward to hearing from you if you have time and are interested in following up.

With my best regards,

Paul M. Wishart, PhD, MA

Contact Info
Phone: (403) 208-3431
Email: pmwishart@shaw.ca
Mail: 24 Edgebrook Rd, NW
Calgary, AB
Canada T3A 4M1

Scholar Wannabe said...

WO, reading your post makes me so glad that my research involves rocks and not people... =)

But I'm glad that your research makes you happy. Hope the approval comes through!

Lonely Dissertator said...

SW: You are studying people, but via rocks, because the people you're studying are all dead. :-P Does my research make me happy? I think "fulfilled" or "purposeful" might capture the sentiment better.

Lonely Dissertator said...

Paul: I cannot believe my anonymous rant-and-rave blog has picked up a professional invitation! Thank you for your offer. It sounds like a good workshop (I saw the description online for Jamboree III). At this time, I'm planning on going to Glaser's workshop first. If that fails, I will consider your Jamboree. If I hear of anyone in your region interested in an emergence-based GTM, I will let them know.

Paul said...

Hello, Lonely Dissertator.

Thanks for the note.

“At this time, I'm planning on going to Glaser's workshop first.” That sounds like a good plan. I have had some who attended Barney’s attend the Jamboree as well. Some of his former graduate students from away back have been involved in mentor capacities.”

We’ve generated a grounded theory of learning grounded theory. It seems to have some grab and relevance. I’m going to put it to work this year if I can.

The Jamboree is international now, so it's not limited to those in the area. I just thought I’d keep the door open in case someone wishes to drop by.

Any chance of an e-mail to follow-up. I'm very interested in your “rant-and-rave blog” particularly your subject area and your tango with ethics. I will try and stay tuned.

Lonely Dissertator said...

Sonic: If I had your brain, I would study what you study. It's more lucrative and you actually make something. :-P

Paul: I'll email you only if you promise that you will never ever, cross-your-heart-and-hope-to-die, link my blog with my real identity to anyone. I have too much to complain about that if I have my anonymity compromised, I'd stop complaining and implode.

Paul said...

Hello, Lonely ...
Your request for e-mailing is most reasonable. I'm just unterested in the conversation, not in linking your blog with you. That is your thing and I certainly respect that.

So let me know if we can "meet"
:-).

Paul