Institutional Review Board (IRB)

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Do you have ethical approval to conduct your research?

Grand Canyon University (GCU) is committed to quality research, scholarship, and service. All   systematic research undertaken by GCU faculty, staff or students is subject to review under the Institutional Review Board (IRB) policies and procedures for protection of human subjects in research.  The federal definition for research is "a systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop and contribute to generalizable knowledge (Federal Regulations 45 CFR 46)."  This definition includes any surveys, tests, observations of people, or experiments which involve systematic data collection that could result in knowledge reported in dissertations, publications and professional meetings. 

The GCU Institutional Review Board operates under federal policies and procedures mandated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Office for Human Research Protections.   Procedures and information for submitting to GCU Institutional Review Board are available on the  IRB Resource Center.  Click on this link to access the IRB Researcher Handbook, Step-by Step Guide for Submitting to iRIS, Training Tutorials, and Forms and Templates.

  1. All research projects directed by GCU faculty, staff, or students must receive IRB approval prior to collecting data.
  2. GCU faculty, staff or student researchers must complete required training in research ethics (CITI Training) and adhere to the principles of Respect for Persons, Beneficence, and justice embodied in the Belmont Report. 
  3. Classroom curriculum projects, workshop evaluations, and administrative projects do not need IRB approval if they are not research. If the results will not be distributed outside the classroom, institutional setting, or if they are used solely for program review or evaluation. If such projects lead to generalizable information, through publication or dissemination of results external to GCU, they must undergo review. Regardless of whether the project is subject to review, all GCU faculty, staff and student researchers must adhere to ethical guidelines when conducting class or institutional projects with human participants.  
  4. Individuals from external institutions who wish to conduct research using GCU data, students or personnel as participants must submit an application for site authorization to the Office of Academic Research, provide proof of IRB approval from their home institution, and receive approval from the GCU IRB. 
  5. Grand Canyon University does not currently support animal research protocols.

Research Ethics

Click on the links below to learn more about the history of research ethics, IRB federal regulations, and CITI Program (Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative for Research Ethics).

IRB Office


Linda Garret
IRB Research Specialist; College of Doctoral Studies
Grand Canyon University; 3300 W. Camelback Road; Phoenix, AZ 85017

Cynthia Bainbridge, PhD
Director, IRB & Assistant Dean, College of Doctoral Studies
Grand Canyon University; 3300 W. Camelback Road; Phoenix, AZ 85017


IRB Resource Center

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