Institutional Review Board

The Office of Sponsored Programs and Research is the first point of contact regarding human subjects research at (or involving) Towson University faculty, staff or students.

Guidance in Response to COVID-19

To minimize risk to human subjects, all research should be conducted remotely whenever possible. However, for those instances when remote research is not possible, the below guidelines should assist with the preparation and review of applications for research involving human subjects during periods when COVID-19 restrictions are in place.

Brief Overview:

  • PIs must first obtain approval to Conduct in-Person Human Subjects Research from their Department Chair, College Dean, and the Provost using the Return to Research Planning Form (RTRF).
  • PIs must submit a new IRB application or amend an existing application prior to conducting in-person research.
  • PIs must outline a remote consent process to be used until COVID restrictions are lifted. The consent process will include a University-developed document (COVID-19 Risks Statement) that outlines risks specific to participating in research when COVID-19 restrictions are in place.
  • PIs must require participants to complete and return the Screening Questionnaire to the PI on the day prior to their scheduled appointment on campus, and repeated in person as the first activity of their on-campus visit. This form must be included with your amendment or new application materials and be approved by the IRB before screening can commence.

For complete detail and step-by-step instructions, follow the guidance posted below:

  1. HSR Guidelines (DOCX)/(PDF)
  2. HSR Procedures (DOCX)/(PDF)
  3. Return to Research Planning Form (RTRF) (DOCX)/(PDF)
  4. Screening Questionnaire (DOCX)/(PDF)
  5. COVID-19 Risks Statement (to be included in the consent process) (DOCX)/(PDF)

You may also visit the Office of the Provost or Health & Safety Protocols for information on the Return to Research phases.

Guidance for Conducting Online Research

The IRB has issued the following guidance for IRB approved studies that need to move online for data collection. This information is also applicable to new online research studies that are being submitted for IRB review.

The IRB continues to strive to respond to protocols in a timely manner, however, delays may occur given the unique situation. 

Ultimately, protocol approvals rely on the completeness of the application, timeliness of the PI returning any revisions, and reviewer approval. We sincerely appreciate your understanding and look forward to working with you.

The TU IRB Process

Towson University follows a unique review process. Visit the Process Overview and Research & Review Categories pages for more information on current processes, procedures, and deadlines. 

Access the new online submission system (Kuali Protocols)! Paper submissions with the most recent forms will not longer be accepted. If you have questions about this please contact the IRB at 

Online Submission Portal

What Is the Institutional Review Board?

The use of human subjects in Towson University faculty, staff or student research requires approval by the appropriate university review committee, the Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB is appointed by the Provost, and is comprised of volunteers from TU’s faculty and staff, and at least one member of the community. The IRB is responsible for reviewing research involving human subjects to ensure compliance with all governmental regulations with the use of human subjects. Approval of the IRB must be obtained prior to the involvement of human subjects in research, and for any modifications to the project after IRB approval which would impact the human participants.

Applicable federal regulations are detailed in Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 46.

Towson University Institutional Review Board Members

Have questions that may be related to your academic major or discipline? Contact your IRB college representative.

IRB Administration

  • Chairperson: Elizabeth Katz, Ph.D., Department of Psychology
  • Vice Chairperson: Bethany Willis Hepp, Ph.D., Department of Family Studies and Community Development

Representatives from the College of Liberal Arts

  • Maria Fracasso, Ph.D.,  Department of Psychology

Representatives from the College of Business and Economics

  • Melissa Groves, Ph.D., Department of Economics

Representatives from the College of Education

  • Deborah Gartland, Ph.D., Department of Special Education
  • Scot McNary, Ph.D., Department of Educational Technology and Literacy
  • Lijun Jin, Ed.D., Department of Elementary Education

Representatives from the College of Health Professions

  • Devon Dobrosielski, Ph.D., Department of Kinesiology
  • Peter Lisman, Ph.D., Department of Kinesiology
  • Saradha Ananthakrishnan, Ph.D., Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology

Representatives from the Jess and Mildred Fisher College of Science and Mathematics

  • Todd Moyer, Ed.D., Department of Mathematics

Representatives from the College of Fine Arts and Communication

  • No representatives at this time.

Community Member

  • Greg Dildine, Community and Civic Volunteer

Towson University Information

  • Federal-Wide Assurance Number — FWA00003648, expires 8/2022
  • IORG Number — IORG0002307
  • IRB Number IRB00002844