Research Summary and Supporting Materials

The Research Summary and Supporting Materials. The Research Summary should be a Word document written specifically for the review of the IRB. Grant applications and MA or PhD proposals are not an appropriate substitute because typically they are longer than suits the committee’s purposes, are not written entirely in language accessible to the lay person, and may not address the issues of risk and benefit.

The Research Summary should include the following information:

  1. The title of the research and the name of the principal investigator;
  2. The research question or questions under investigation;
  3. The nature of the population to be studied and, in addition,
    • the estimated number of participants that will be included, and the rationale for using this estimated number (i.e., sample size),
    • how the participants will be recruited,
    • whether any vulnerable populations (e.g., children, prisoners, pregnant women, people with cognitive impairments, etc.) will be recruited,
    • whether or not participants will be personally identified,
    • what participants will be told regarding the research and the character of  their participation, and
    • whether or not the project requires any deception.
  4. How consent will be obtained and from whom (e.g., adult participants, minors and their parents/guardians, organizational consent, etc.)
  5. The degree of sensitivity of the information to be gathered and, if participants are to be personally identified, the steps that will be taken to ensure confidentiality;
  6. The methods to be used (e.g., survey, experiment, field observations, etc.)
  7. An assessment of the benefits of the project, including its contribution to scientific knowledge and any direct benefits it may offer to the participants;
  8. An assessment of the risks to participants and how they will be handled;
  9. Please include all the documents or materials included in your research protocol. These materials include, but are not limited to, surveys, questionnaires, consent forms, recruitment materials (e.g., emails, flyers, newspaper ads, etc.) and any other supporting documents or materials to which the participants will be exposed in the process of giving consent.

If you have any additional questions, please direct your inquiries to