The Human Subjects Office provides Human Research Protection Program (HRPP)\ Institutional Review Board (IRB) metrics information on an annual basis with select metrics on a quarterly basis.  This is in an effort to provide transparency in IRB review for the three Institutional Review Boards (IRB-01, IRB-02, IRB-03) with the UI research community.  This page contains information on a variety of topics, including, but not limited to, IRB processing times, total number of applications reviews, types of application reviews, research funding sources, and the colleges and departments that conduct the most research.

IRB time to approval metrics reporting is available below via institutional log in with UI and HawkID password.

HRPP/IRB time to approval metrics are captured by median approval times from the point a project is "accepted" into review which starts the clock on the metrics calculations.  The end point is when the project is released to the Principal Investigator from the eResearch (HawkIRB) system. The metrics provide on-demand calculations based on quarterly data.  The HRPP/IRB metrics are housed on the UI Campus Data platform.  The UI HRPP/IRB metrics can be accessed by any UI faculty, staff, or student using their UI HawkID and UI HawkID password.

Log into the UI HRPP/IRB Metrics page

Once logged in, to obtain on demand metrics, select the

  • Quarter/Year (data is calculated on calendar year quarters)
  • IRB Type (IRB-01, IRB-02, or IRB-03)
  • Review Type (Full Board, Exempt and Expedited)
  • Form Type (New, Modification, Modification + Continuing Review, Continuing Review, Human Subjects Research Determination Form)

An active project is a project that is considered "open" at The University of Iowa.  The HSO home page reflects the annual number of active projects.  The HawkIRB system currently recognizes the following stages in the life of a project: 

  • Pending – A project has been submitted to the Human Subjects Office (HSO) and is currently under review by the HSO and/or the IRB.  It has not received a formal IRB determination or IRB approval. 
  • Withdrawn - A project that was withdrawn from the HawkIRB system prior to IRB approval.
  • Disapproved - A project which was reviewed by the IRB and not granted IRB approval. 
  • Open - A project that has obtained IRB review and approval. Research related activities can begin or are underway. 
  • Closed - A project status which indicates all research related activities have ended. 

Projects can be categorized in one of three ways:  

  1. Exempt review
  2. Expedited review
  3. Full Board review

Additional information on each type of review can be found in the UI Investigator’s Guide.   This Chart will provide you with a historical look at the total number of active protocols as reported to the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP). 

2023 reporting indicated 4503 active projects occurring with University of Iowa researchers.  While those numbers give an overall picture of the research activity, there are frequent changes that occur during the lifetime of a research project.  Projects may require modifications or annual reviews to be reviewed and approved by the IRB.  The below charts will provide a historical look at how many active protocols per year and how many form submissions are reviewed in the Human Subjects Office and by the IRB.  A form submission can be defined as:

  • A HSRD (Human Subjects Research Determination) form
  • A new project application
  • Modification to the current IRB approved protocol
  • An annual review (Continuing review)
  • A modification + Continuing review 

Total number of forms reviewed by the HSO\IRB and total number of active UI research protocols are captured on the HSO home page.  This information is updated annually.

Depending on the type of form submitted, there are various steps to the review process.  Projects fit into either Expedite and Exempt review or Full Board review based on the level of risk associated with each study.  The IRB Review Process flowchart (below) is a snapshot of how projects are reviewed by the HSO and IRB.  The Other Committee Review chart explains the committees outside the IRB that must have their approvals either before IRB approval or prior to release of the project.   

IRB Review Process                         Other Committee Review Information           

For research projects that are greater than minimal risk, full board review at a convened IRB meeting is required.  The annual number of IRB Meeting for IRB-01, IRB-02, & IRB-03 can be found on the main HSO home page. Meeting agendas on average are:

  • IRB-01 meetings: 12 agenda items per meeting

  • IRB-02 and IRB-03: 2-6 agenda items per meeting

There are a variety of funding opportunities to support human subjects research.  The chart below breakdown the various types of funding associated with research applications approved by the three UI IRBs (IRB-01, IRB-02, and IRB-03).  

Research Application Funding

IRB applications are submitted by colleges and departments all across the University of Iowa campus.  Department or college is assigned by the location of the Principal Investigator's HR identified department.  If a student is the listed Principal Investigator, the department/college is generally assigned to the department/college of the listed Faculty Advisor.  These metrics show the top submitters for each of the University of Iowa IRBs.    

College and Department metrics for IRB-01, IRB-02, and IRB-03