eIRB Helpdesk: Top Tips for IRB Submissions

Understand the review process and cover your bases up front

Learn the Institutional Review Board (IRB) review process (outlined at About IRB Review) and ensure your project submission includes all relevant information/documents before submitting. If your study involves non-OHSU researchers, arrange and clarify collaborations in advance.

Don’t Neglect CoIR

The eIRB will not allow projects to be submitted or approved unless all researchers involved in a study have completed Conflict of Interest in Research (CoIR) disclosures and Responsible Conduct in Research (RCR) training. In order to prevent delays, encourage your colleagues to respond to CoIR renewal notices promptly. Submit CoIR disclosures online at https://bigbrain.ohsu.edu/.


Have you spell-checked? Are your documents consistent? Consent Forms, Protocols, Lay Protocols, eIRB forms, etc? Common discrepancies between documents include sample size, age range, and study procedures. What is your study purpose? Ensure your documents provide a clear and consistent rationale for why you are conducting your study.

Stack your Documents!

In the eIRB, click “Add or Edit Documents” to upload new or revised documents to a project. Never delete a document – rather, “stack” revised documents over older versions by clicking “edit” next to any currently uploaded docs. Always use the “Track Changes” feature when submitting revised documents. “Clean” versions are not necessary.

What’s your Status?

Monitor the status of your project in the eIRB (whether it is a new study, modification request, continuing review, or reportable event). If the status shows Researcher Preparation, Researcher Revision, or Pre-board Revisions, the project has NOT been submitted and is not being reviewed. Ask your PI to submit the project.

Respond in Full

As an example, if the IRB sends you five questions/requirements for a project and your response only addresses two, we will return the study for further response. Incomplete responses only delay reviews further. If you disagree with a change that has been required, respond to that request with an explanation/justification for your disagreement.