UI IRB Metrics

The Human Subjects Office provides 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.

How many active projects are there at the University of Iowa?

An active project is a project that is considered "open" at The University of Iowa.  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  • Withdrawn - A project that was withdrawn from the HawkIRB system prior to IRB approval.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). 

New Research project submissions by year               

Total Number of UI Active Protocols per year 

How many changes occur to a research protocol during the life of the research? 

2015 reporting indicated over 3511 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 chart will provide a historical look at just how many form submission 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 Submissions under review

How are the projects reviewed by the IRB?

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 Chart           

For research projects that are greater than minimal risk, full board review at a convened IRB meeting is required.  On average, there were 91 convened UI IRB meetings (IRB-01, IRB-02, & IRB-03) held over the four year period of 2012-2015.  With a yearly average of 613 agenda items reviewed by the three UI IRBs. 

How long does it take for IRB review to be completed? 

Click the links below for more information on median approval times and the number of New Studies released. The charts show median review times for Full Board, Exempt and Expedited studies. 

IRB-01          IRB-02          IRB-03

What type of funding is supporting UI IRB approved projects? 

There are a variety of funding opportunities to support human subjects research.  The charts 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

Which colleges and departments submit IRB applications?

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 Metrics

IRB01           IRB02          IRB03

Department Metrics

IRB01          IRB02          IRB03