Institutional Review Board

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The Board, which was formed following the university’s accreditation by the National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) in November 2016, is mandated to review, approve and oversee research proposals involving primary data. The launch cements the university’s commitment to fostering innovative interdisciplinary research and improving USIU-Africa’s research profile.

Procedures for Research Authorization

Any researcher who desires to do research involving USIU faculty, staff, students, property or other related items must first seek permission through the School of Graduate Studies, Research & Extension through a formal application.

Step 1: Application

The researcher sends a soft copy:

Application letter

  • Government Approval
  • Proposal
  • Questionnaire

Step 2: Review of the proposal

The Associate DVC AA Research will then review the proposal and the questionnaire to ensure there is no identifying information i.e. a participants name, age, department or area of specialization. Each research will be required to abide by the Institutional Research Board (IRB) requirements.

Step 3: Clearance & Approval

Upon approval and clearance, the researcher will be responsible for:

  • Abiding by all USIU code of conduct, parking rules and security rules including wearing of the visitors badge at all times while on campus.
  • Hiring priority to USIU students or other personnel where necessary to carry the research.
  • Liable for any damages by researcher or assistants.
  • Signing an agreement letter before commencing the research. The researcher and research assistants will need to carry a copy of the letter with them all the time they are on campus as evidence of authorization should it be required.

Step 4: Period of Research

The researcher’s approval period is strictly one semester.

Step 5: Final Report

USIU has the right to refuse any research activity that would potentially damage its image and reserves the right to review the findings before they are made public.

This procedure will take a minimum of one and a maximum of two weeks.

Guidelines on USIU Internal Ethical Approval

  • All USIU research projects involving human subjects for independent faculty researchers, master’s thesis, or doctoral dissertation must be submitted to the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for review.
  • In order to be considered for this review, the researcher will submit the following documents to the Research Office:
  • A two-to-five page summary of the proposed research;
  • The researcher’s assessment or survey forms or a description of a commercially published instrument;
  • The consent form and a description of how consent will be obtained;
  • Where applicable, a written statement of approval from the appropriate agency or institution research department or administrator, on official stationery, clearly stating that approval for the proposed research activities has been granted.
  • For expedited review, statement on why no or minimal risk exists; or for full committee review, statement addressing specific risk concerns. Submittal of the abstract or proposed statement used for reasons other than the IRB petition cannot substitute for documentation needed to support the specific risk concerns that need to be addressed.
  • Submissions for IRB review should be made after consultations with /approval of the Research Advisor in the case of students and the School’s Dean in case of faculty researchers. The application is made by sending an email to the Research Office irb@usiu.ac.ke.
  • Research activities involving no more than minimal risk to the subjects may be reviewed by the IRB through the expedited review procedures.
  • When it is not clear whether the human subjects are at risk, the researcher must follow the procedures applicable for full Committee review.
  • The Research Office will notify the researcher in writing of the outcome of the review within two weeks of submission.

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