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Complete your investigator training:

  • Ensure the Principal Investigator, Faculty Sponsor, co-investigators, and key research personnel have completed the required investigator training in order to participate in the conduct of the research. All personnel can check their training status in OPRS Live (, and click on the Educational Status tab to view your record.
  • Submissions may be rejected if training requirements have not been met.
  • Refer to the OPRS Investigator Training page for additional information on the training requirements.

Be mindful of deadlines:

There are no deadline dates for Applications submitted for EXEMPT or EXPEDITED review.  Applications submitted for CONVENED review have deadline dates that are listed under IRB Submission Deadline & Meeting Dates.  For all other submissions, the sooner the Application is submitted, the sooner it will be reviewed (i.e., first in, first reviewed).

Allow adequate time for IRB review:

  • Determination of  Human Subjects: approximately 1 week
  • Claims of Exemption: approximately 1 week to 2 weeks
  • Expedited Initial Review: approximately 2 weeks
  • Convened Initial Review: approximately 3 weeks

If you have not heard from OPRS within the above timeframe contact OPRS by phone: 312-996-1711 or email: Do not assume the IRB review will result in an approval the first time the IRB reviews the research.

If you are submitting a Continuing Review application, submit it approximately 4 to 6 weeks prior to the expiration date.

Be precise in your language:

  • You are submitting an “Application” for IRB review, not an “IRB” for IRB review.
  • Adults (over age 18) provide “Consent.”
  • Children provide “Assent.”
  • Parents provide “Parental Permission” for their children to participate in research and sometimes also “Consent” to participate in research with their child (e.g., mother-daughter dyads).  You can submit a combination Parental Permission/Adult Consent document by using “You and your child are being asked to …” throughout the document.

Identify documents correctly with file names and corresponding footers: 

  • Use uniquely identifying file names and footers to identify your various documents.   Do not use the same name for all documents (e.g., “Very Important Study”, version 1, 6/1/2007, page 1 of 3; “Very Important Study Document 1.doc”).
  • The file name and footer should be similar and readily identify the document.
  • For specific information on formatting file names, please refer to the following: Formatting file names for OPRS Live attachments.
  • Examples of footers and corresponding file names include:
    • Consent Document for Very Important Study, version 1, 6/1/2017

Submit all appendices, recruitment and informed consent documents: 

  • Include copies of all consents, assents, parental permissions, and HIPAA authorizations with the submission.
  • Include copies of all flyers, scripts, recruitment letters, email announcements, brochures, etc. with the submission.
  • Submit all questionnaires, survey instruments, interview guides, discussion guides, and/or data collection instruments that will be used.
  • Submit separate investigational drug brochures (IB) or approved product information for each drug or biologic (approved as well as investigational agents) administered or prescribed solely due to the subject’s participation in the research.
  • Include Appendix D for studies that involve tissue banking and/or databases.
  • Attach a copy of the data collection instrument to the IRB application.
  • Include IRB approval letters, letters of support and/or Authorization Agreements from other participating sites.
  • Submit each document separately so OPRS staff can stamp each document and upload it into OPRS Live after IRB approval.  Allow adequate space on each document for the approval stamp.
  • Once you have been assigned a protocol number by OPRS refer to that number when communicating with OPRS.
  • As stated above, ensure that each item is identified appropriately.

 Include a research protocol with your Health and Biological Sciences Application: 

  • Each Health and Biological Sciences Initial Review Application requires submission of a research protocol in addition to the Initial Review Application form.  A protocol template is available on the OPRS website for your reference. The protocol represents the primary documentation of the proposal for the purpose of IRB review.  The protocol should provide a complete explanation of the research plan, and should be used as the basis for completion of the other IRB submission documents.
  • UIC policy requires that the research protocol be a separate document from the research grant, grant sub-contract, or contract proposal (scope of work).  This policy is consistent with Federal guidance from OHRP Guidance on Written IRB Procedures (January 15, 2007).
  • If submitting your thesis or dissertation research, a copy of your proposal may be used as the research protocol as long as it reflects the research as it is currently being conducted.

Use the OPRS on-line resources: