GCU Institutional Review Board

 GCU IRB3.jpg

All faculty researchers and doctoral learners are required to obtain approval from the GCU's Institutional Review Board (IRB)  in accordance with GCU's ethical standards as well as U.S. federal regulations. Researchers may not begin recruiting participants or implementing data collection activities until they receive official notification of IRB approval. The IRB Resource Center and direct links on the page below will help ensure the IRB submission process goes as smoothly as possible. 

Note to doctoral learners: Grand Canyon University will not approve a dissertation that does not have requisite IRB approval(s). The IRB application step directly follows dissertation proposal approval (D-35 Form) by Academic Quality Review and the dissertation committee.


1. Review IRB Information and Tutorials

Begin by familarizing yourself with the IRB Document Checklists and Step by Step Guides listed below.  Also review  IRB general information, overviews and training tutorials for faculty researchers, student researchers and doctoral chairs available in the IRB Resource Center. 

2. Complete CITI Training

GCU requires all researchers to successfully complete research ethics training prior to applying for IRB approval. Researchers who have not completed CITI training can access the information on the CITI program box on the right column of this page. For researchers who have completed CITI training, have your completion reports for the Basic and RCR courses saved in PDF format as these reports must be submitted alongside the IRB application. Be sure to check the completion dates as CITI training is valid for five years.

3. Obtain Site Authorization

Before submitting to IRB, researchers must show that they are authorized to collect data at the selected site.
To submit an authorization to conduct research at GCU, please read the text on right column Site Authorization box or click here. For additional information and documents for other sites see our Site Authorization Information page.

4. Determine Review Category - Exempt, Expedited or Full Review

When applying for IRB approval, researchers must apply under a particular category of research that delineates the type of IRB review. The three categories-- exempt, expedited, and full-- are defined by the federal government and are based upon risk to subjects. Download the Decision Matrix to assess which category your research belongs in. Click here for additional information, policy and procedures for applying for exempt, expedited or full IRB reviews.

5. Create Informed Consent and Recruiting Documents

Research volunteers have a special set of rights that apply when participating in research. Click here for links to resources about informed consent and sample documents needed for recruiting research volunteers to participate in research. Begin by downloading the Informed Consent Checklist

6. Sign Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Statement

These two forms are mandatory for the IRB Application process.  Review, sign and have a witness sign the forms as appropriate.

7. Review and Prepare Additional IRB Documents

Additional documents that may be necessary for the IRB review process can be found here.

8. Submit Application Materials in IRBNet

IRBNet is GCU's web-based research protocol management system.  All IRB applications are submitted in IRBNet and reviewed within this system.  Follow the Step by Step Instructions to access additional resources and instructions on submitting your application in IRBNet, click  on the IRBNet icon above to get started or this link for more information on IRBNet.

9. Ask IRB Questions

For general questions about the IRB application process, please click on the link below and post your question in the IRB Forum. An IRB representative will respond promptly. For specific questions about the status of your submission or review please contact your IRB Office representative listed below.

DiscussionAsk your IRB Questions Here

Cynthia Bainbridge  -  12 Replies  -  14 months ago

IRB Resource Center

Click on the purple IRB icon above or link below to access GCU's comprehensive IRB Resource Center.  You will find everything you need to get started with your IRB application including the IRB Researcher Handbook, Step-by-Step Guides for Submitting to IRBNet, Document Checklists, Training Tutorials, IRB Forms and Templates, IRB Research Procedures, and FAQ's. 

CITI Training




The CITI (Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative) training program involves web-based instruction in the ethics of research with human subjects.  CITI Training is free to GCU researchers and requires approximately 10-15 hours to complete. Researchers must submit completion reports for the Basic Research Course and the Responsible Conduct of Research Course as part of the IRB application in IRBNet. Training certification remains in effect for five years. Click below for instructions to register for CITI Training:

Site Authorization

All researchers who wish to conduct research/collect data at GCU must submit a GCU Site Authorization request.  Applications are reviewed to determine if the protocol fits within the institutional research agenda, complies with administrative guidelines for data collection involving students and personnel, and operational requirements for the research study.  Click on the link below to submit a site authorization request.  


For Doctoral Learner and Chair IRB Questions:
Stephanie Henkel, MBA
Academic Research and IRB Coordinator; College of Doctoral Studies, 602.639.8010 -

For Faculty IRB Questions:
Maria Zafonte, MA, MS
Faculty Research Liaison; Center for Innovation in Research and Teaching  Assistant Professor; College of Humanities and Social Sciences 602.639.6681 -

IRB Director:
Cynthia Bainbridge, PhD
Director, Office of Academic Research; College of Doctoral Studies; 602.639.6884 -

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