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Institutional Review Board (IRB): Permissions

IRB Documents Checklist

Not sure which supplemental documents you need for your IRB application? Use our new IRB Documents Checklist!

Contact the IRB

email icon Email us at and CC your dissertation chair

 Visit the IRB Office Hours page

Quick Links

IRBManager. Links to IRBManager platform

CITI Program

External Permissions

You will need to obtain external permission if you plan to do any of the following:

  • Recruit in a closed and/or moderated social media group
  • Recruit from the private contact list of an organization, school, or business
  • Use the private resources of an organization, school, or business to recruit or collect data
  • Use the private resources of a site that has its own IRB (go to page for Research at a Site)
  • Utilize a US government or military site (go to page for US Government and Military Research)
  • OR Recruit and/or collect data on-the-ground in a country other than the United States (go to page for International Research)

Many NCU students also hold professional roles in other organizations that serve as sites for studies. They may be employed at a site designated to be part of a study. Your role as an NCU researcher is completely separate from any roles you may hold at the site. Access to people, resources, or data files you may hold in your non-NCU role does not translate into permission to use that same access for your NCU research.

When can I start obtaining these permissions?

If permission is needed for your study, you should make plans to obtain this permission before submitting your IRB application. Do not wait until DIS9903A to begin the process of obtaining permissions.

In fact, as you are developing your dissertation proposal, you should reach out to your site to make sure that what you are proposing is feasible.

What if the site wants NCU IRB approval first?

It is common for a site to want evidence of NCU IRB approval before they will give approval for you to do research at their site. If that is the case, you should obtain something in writing (a letter, an email, etc.) from the site that states that they will not provide approval until NCU IRB has approved the study. You will provide that written documentation from the site in your IRB application.

Contact Permission

You will need to obtain contact permission if a person/place/organization is going to provide you with a private list of contact information (such as email addresses) or you are planning to recruit in a private or closed social media group.

You can obtain contact permission as an email or message on social media. This permission should include the following information:

  • Name of place or person providing the contact information and title
  • Group name (if applicable)
  • Their email contact
  • A detailed list of what they are going to provide.

You will take a picture of this permission and upload it to your IRB application.

Site Permission

You need site permission if you will be utilizing any resources from a study site, such as physical, structural, or personnel resources. For example, if you are going to step foot on a Native American reservation or give interviews on a college campus, you would need to obtain site permission. Another example would be if a school district or business is going to do something for you, such as send recruitment materials on your behalf, allow you to use a room for your research, or let you recruit at a staff meeting.

You can obtain site permission as an email or letter. Site permission should include the following and must align with your recruitment materials and consent letter:

  • Name of person providing permission, their contact information, and their title
  • Eligibility/inclusion criteria for your participants
  • List of research activities expected of the participants
  • Any additional requests that you need the site to do for your study (e.g., distribute recruitment materials)

You will upload this site permission to your IRB application.

Permission Templates