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Institutional Review Board (Human Subjects Research)

NKU IRB's Protocol Management System

  • Getting Started

    Getting Started

    Steps to begin your research and knowing what kind of review is required

  • External Collaboration

    External Collaboration

    What to know if you are collaborating with an external researcher?

  • Outside Researcher

    Outside Researcher

    What to know if you are an outside researcher interested in recruiting students as study participants

  • Student Researcher

    Student Researcher

    Guidelines and best practices for all students researchers

  • IRB Resources


    Guidance and sample protocols for working within the Institutional Review Board

  • IRB Policies and Procedures

    Policies and Procedures

    The NKU IRB is continually creating and editing procedures to provide accurate and detailed steps needed throughout the IRB project lifecycle.

  • IRB Required Training

    IRB Required Training

    There are different training courses in CITI to choose from for Human Subject research.

All subsequent pages on this site contain information to assist you in the process of obtaining IRB approval and managing your project post-IRB approval.

Please familiarize yourself with this information before initiating the IRB process and be sure to visit the Frequently Asked Questions page.

We look forward to working with you!

Northern Kentucky University
Institutional Review Board
405 University Center
Highland Heights, KY 41099

Phone: (859) 572-5168


An Institutional Review Board (IRB) is a committee that has been formally designated to approve, monitor, and review scientific research involving human participants. The purpose of the IRB is to assure that all appropriate steps are taken to protect the rights and welfare of humans participating in research studies. The primary goal of the IRB is to ensure that all human research follows the principles of the Belmont Report – “Respect for Persons” “Beneficence”, and “Justice”.  The NKU IRB is required to review and approve all human subject research before it is conducted by NKU faculty, staff and students. The NKU IRB consists of a diverse group of members from scientists to special population representatives. 

What Does the IRB Review?

Common types of research reviewed by the IRB:

  • Faculty research involving human subjects, including but not limited to surveys, interviews, focus groups, and experimental research.
  • Classroom projects, undergraduate senior theses, and capstone projects that meet the federal definition of research.
  • Doctoral dissertations and Master’s theses that meet the federal definition of research.
  • Grant-funded research that includes requirements for IRB approval and involves human subjects.

Current NKU IRB Members

Suk-Hee Kim, Ph.D., C.O.I., M.S.W., B.A.
The School of Social Work, College of Health and Human Services

Andrea Lambert South, Ph.D.
IRB Chair
Department of Communication Studies

Gary Newell, Ph.D.
Department of Computer Science

Jason Merrick, MSW
Voting Member for prisoner/ex-offender

Karen O'Connell, PhD, RN, CEN, NEA-BC
College of Health and Human Services, School of Nursing

Shauna Reilly, Ph.D.
Department of Political Science, Criminal Justice and Organizational Leadership

Anita R. Southwick, MPA, MS-ELOC, CCRP
Research, Grants, and Contracts

Kalif Vaughn, Ph.D.
Department of Psychological Science

Erin Watters, BA, CCRP
Unaffiliated Member, Cincinnati Children's Hospital

Lynne Zajac, Ph.D., RN
Department of Advanced Nursing Studies


Federal Wide Assurance

The Federalwide Assurance (FWA) is an assurance of compliance with the U.S. federal regulations for the protection of human subjects in research. It is approved by the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) for all human subjects research conducted or supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The FWA is also approved by OHRP for federalwide use, which means that other U.S. federal departments and agencies that have adopted the U.S. Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects (also know as the Common Rule) may rely upon the FWA for the research they conduct or support.

NKU FWA #00009011