Skip to main content

SFA seeks to protect the welfare of every person who may be a subject of a research activity. The university complies with appropriate federal, state, and local laws, including regulations by the Department of Health and Human Services for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research (45 CFR Part 46, as amended). SFA follows the ethical principles regarding all research involving humans as subjects as set forth in the report of the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research, entitled Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research (the "Belmont Report"), and in the Code of Federal Regulations.


  1. Determine if your research qualifies for IRB exemption and complete the appropriate application.
  2. Send the application and supporting materials (e.g., recruiting materials, survey questions, interview guide, site approval letter) to

Is my research exempt?

The following questions will determine if your research qualifies for Institutional Review Board exemption:

  • Are your participants younger than 18 years of age?
  • Are you using deception as part of your study?
  • Will participants be asked to report their own or others' sexual experiences, alcohol or drug use, and will their identities be known to you?
  • Are the participants' data directly or indirectly identifiable, and could these data place subjects at risk of criminal or civil liability, or might they be damaging to the subjects' financial standing, employability or reputation?
  • Will you be recording the subjects' participation by video or audio for reasons other than transcription?
  • Are any participants confined in a correctional or detention facility, including involuntary assignment to community-based alternatives to incarceration (drug treatment facilities, etc.)?
  • Are participants involved who may not be legally/mentally/cognitively competent?
  • Are personal records (medical, academic, etc.) used with identifiers and without written consent?
  • Will alcohol or drugs be administered to the subjects?
  • Will blood/body fluids be drawn from participants?

If you answer "no" to all questions, then your research may be exempt and you must complete the Application for Exempt Research. Note that the SFA IRB could determine that your research does not qualify for exemption. If that is the case, you will receive an email indicating so.

If you answer "yes" to any of the above questions, then your research is not exempt, and you need to complete the Application for Expedited or Full Board Research.

Application status

The application review period varies depending on the type of determination required.

  • Exemption determination: two to five business days
  • Expedited determination: three to 10 business days
  • Full review determination: 10 to 30 business days


Research Compliance

Rebekah Raney, Compliance Coordinator

P.O. Box 13024, SFA Station
Nacogdoches, Texas 75962

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee:
Institutional Biosafety Committee:
Institutional Review Board: