Is there someone specific in the CUHS office who I should talk to about my study?

Yes. Our office has specific liaisons for most departments. Please click Find your IRB contact person.


I'm leaving Harvard. What should I do with my research studies?  See When to Close Your Study at Harvard.


How long are ethics training certificates good for?
3 years


How do I print my CITI certificate?
You can download the certificate right in your profile in CITI. Just log in, click on "Course Completion History" and then click on View under Completion Report. The certificate opens in a new window, and from there you can print it.


Isn’t “exempt” and “not human subjects” the same thing?
No. Not human subjects means that the research does not involve a “human subject” as defined by the federal regulations. Exempt research is research with human subjects however the research is “minimal risk” and the only involvement of human subjects fits into one or more federally defined categories.


I think my study is exempt. Do I still need to apply?
Yes. The regulatory category of "exempt" research must be reviewed by CUHS prior to being carried out. Whether your study is exempt is a determination made by the designated CUHS staff person who reviews your application.


Is there a separate form for exempt studies?
No. All applications should be submitted on the same protocol form - "HUA Template Research Protocol". However, please refer to specific information about studies that may be determined to be exempt in the Investigator Manual that is part of our HRPP Toolkit.


Can I request an expedited review?
No. Expedited does not mean that your application is reviewed faster; it means that the research activity has been determined to be minimal risk and meets the qualifications of one or more federally defined categories. Expedited studies are not required to be reviewed by the convened IRB and are instead reviewed by a CUHS staff person.


Do I need a faculty sponsor?
Harvard requires that students (graduate and undergraduates) as well as post-doctoral fellows have a PI-eligible faculty member assume overall responsibility for the conduct of their human subject research. Read more about PI Eligibility and Faculty Sponsors at: Am I PI Eligible?


What if I want to recruit participants using the Psychology Study Pool?

Please see the Psychology Study Pool website.


I missed the application deadline. Can I still submit my application or do I have to wait until next month?
You can submit your application at any time. The deadlines on our website are for the committee meetings, but only a small portion of the applications we receive need to be reviewed by the full committee. The majority are reviewed by our CUHS staff on a daily basis.


Can my study be closed?
If you can answer yes to ALL of the following statements for your study at Harvard, then you should follow steps for study closure to request that CUHS close the study:

  • The research is permanently closed to enrollment
  • All participants have completed all research-related interventions / interactions
  • Collection of private identifiable information is complete
  • Analysis of private identifiable information is complete

Note that only studies that are considered greater than minimal risk or are reviewed at the expedited level are required to be closed. 

I’m finished with my study; can I just let it expire?
No. All studies have to be formally closed by following steps for study closure to request that CUHS close the study. 

Is the IRB office open in the summer?
Yes, we are here year round (except during winter recess), and applications are reviewed as usual.

Who can I contact to ask questions?
You can contact our office at any time to ask questions or make an appointment. Find your IRB contact person.