Researcher Toolkit

Welcome to the Office of the Institutional Review Board (OIRB). The OIRB is the administrative and support office for the University of New Mexico Institutional Review Board (UNM IRB) and research community at the UNM Main and Branch Campuses. The OIRB is the liaison between the UNM IRB and UNM investigators involved in human subjects research at UNM.

What is human subjects research?

A project is considered human subjects research when an investigator is conducting a systematic investigation (includes pilot project, research development, testing and evaluation - qualitative or quantitative, or data analysis) designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge AND obtaining identifiable and/or private information about a living individual through intervention/interaction (primary data) or previously collected private information (secondary data). Examples of human subjects research may include the following components:

  • Focus Groups / Interviews
  • Surveys / Questionnaires
  • Quality Assessment / Quality Improvement
  • Oral Histories
  • Case Studies
  • Record Reviews

Why do I need to work with the IRB?

UNM personnel (faculty, students, staff) proposing to conduct any activity that may involve human subjects research must request and receive IRB approval prior to engaging in the activity to ensure compliance with the federal regulations, policies, and procedures that govern human subjects research. Failure to comply is a violation of federal regulations. The IRB will determine if your project is either exempt or non-exempt from the federal regulations.

Note: If you are not sure whether or not your project is human subjects research that needs IRB approval or if a collaboration warrants local IRB approval, please contact the OIRB to discuss prior to initiating the project.

Who is eligible to be Principal Investigator on an IRB study at UNM?

UNM Faculty are eligible to be the Principal Investigator or Responsible Faculty on an IRB study at UNM. Contact the OIRB for more information.

What steps do I need to take to start this process?

Before you can begin your research, you will need to take care of a couple of things:

  1. Complete the required training
  2. Work on your IRB related documents
  3. Complete and submit your IRB application

Tip: Work with the IRB staff to help answer questions during this process