Submitting Your Research Study to the Institutional Review Board

For general questions about IRB issues, please contact Jacob Silberstein, Senior Research Coordinator, 617-636-2147 or

Your Principal Investigator/ Professor should be your primary source of information about how to develop a realistic protocol and how to go about getting the protocol approved by the IRB.  A student may not be listed as the principal investigator (PI).  The PI must be a Tufts faculty member and is usually the student’s advisor.  The student may be listed as a co-investigator, but your advisor has primary responsibility regarding IRB issues.

There are IRB educational requirements that need to be completed by all students engaged in human subject research, and should be completed prior to submitting a protocol to the IRB.  These are reading modules that can be viewed on your time, with follow-up exams. Once finished, send your certificate of completion to Jacob Silberstein ( to confirm you’ve completed the correct training. For directions, you can also contact Jacob directly.

Before submitting ANYTHING to the IRB, you must send it through Dental Research Administration (DRA) first.  Dr. Britta Magnuson will also approve all protocols before they are sent to the IRB. Please contact for guidance and further instruction.

Research on human subjects is any research in which the investigator obtains information about a living individual through intervention or interaction with the individual (such as administering medication or having the person fill out a survey), or from identifiable private information that should be protected (including observation of behavior in a nonpublic setting).  It also includes any research that used personal information such as identified/identifiable secondary data or blood/tissue samples.  Please review the guidelines on the Health Sciences Campus Institutional Review Board website ( ) for in-depth information about the IRB process on the Health Sciences campus.

Jacob will complete all of your required forms and submit them to the IRB. After reviewing the required documents, the IRB office will decide whether your protocol requires full IRB review or not. Full IRB review normally takes four to six weeks, while a determination of exemption can often be done in about two weeks.