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Social Behavioral vs. Biomedical

Boise State University has two Institutional Review Boards: a Social & Behavioral IRB and a Biomedical IRB.  Both committees review and approve human subjects research in accordance with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) regulations (45 CFR 46).

Social and Behavioral IRB (SB-IRB)

The SB-IRB will review research involving surveys, interviews, observation, focus groups, etc.

Biomedical IRB (MED-IRB)

The MED-IRB will review research that involves any physical activity, venipuncture, x-rays, or the collection of blood samples, or physiological statistics.

Protocol Application

The same protocol applications are used by both committees. The expedited/full board protocol application contains some questions that may not apply to social and behavioral research.  If this is the case, just indicate “NA.”  Section IX of the application asks the PI to indicate all social and behavioral and biomedical data collection methods.  If the PI checks any of the boxes under #2, the protocol will undergo biomedical review.  If the project involves both social and behavioral and biomedical procedures (e.g., boxes checked under both #1 and #2 in this section), the protocol will be reviewed by the Biomedical IRB.  This is quite common in research from Nursing and Kinesiology departments and the Biomedical IRB is familiar in reviewing these types of projects.

Committee Meeting Calendar

The two boards meet on different days to review full board protocol applications and their respective calendars are available on .  Both IRB meeting calendars are available on the IRB Meeting Calendar page.

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