Office of Research

Office of Research Compliance

Institutional Review Board (IRB)

What We Do

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley's Institutional Review Board (IRB) reviews all research that meets the definition of “human subjects research”. The board is made up of UTRGV faculty, staff, and members of the community. The board evaluates research proposals to make sure the planned research follows the ethical principles of human subjects protection and that it adheres to university policies and federal regulations.

Drop-In Opportunity

Achieving ethical clearance for university research

Achieving ethical clearance for humans subjects research can be a daunting task. To assist in the process, the UTRGV Institutional Review Board is opening the doors for an Open House Hours every second Monday of each month at REIN 1.106 from 2-4PM. Whether you have a concern, a question, a suggestion, or idea regarding the IRB or your human subjects research protocol, we are here to assist! No appointment needed. Come and chat with those responsible for research ethics at UTRGV. We are happy to help YOU achieve your research goals in a timely way!

See you there, every second Monday of each month at REIN 1.106 from 2-4PM

I Want to . . .

All IRB applications and/or  forms should be submitted to the IRB via email at Please include all supporting documents for your research and/or request.

Note: Emails to the IRB should be submitted separately (as a new email) and titled appropriately in the subject line (e.g. New IRB Application, IRB Modification Request, IRB Continuing Review Request, IRB Final Report)

All applications must be signed. If your application is not signed, it will be considered incomplete and you will need to resubmit.

Contact Us

Institutional Review Board
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Edinburg Campus:

1201 West University Drive
Edinburg, Texas 78539

Research & Innovation Building, Room 1.106

Phone: (956) 665-2889

IRB Members

  • Dr. Sharon Schembri, IRB Chair
  • Dr. Zhidong Zhang, IRB Vice Chair
  • Dr. Ravi Duggirala, IRB Member
  • Mr. Felipe Salinas, IRB Member
  • Mrs. Juana Trevino, Ex-Officio IRB Member
  • Ms. Marlene Dougherty, External IRB Member


Upcoming Events


    October 12th - UTRGV IRB Open House

    Location: Edinburg Campus, REIN 1.106B | Time: 2:00-4:00pm


    October 29th - IRB Basics Training

    Location: WebEx or Live at UTRGV Edinburg Campus - REIN 1.102 | Time: 10:00-11:00am

    Those who would like to view the WebEx training or attend the training live must register by sending an email to


  • Effective September 1, 2015 > All studies (Exempt, Expedited, and Full Review) will expire one year from the approval date (minus one day). For researchers working on exempt studies > approval memos and consent forms will be revised to note expiration as we receive them. If you have a status report coming due, please use the Continuing Review Form to submit a request to keep your study open. We will no longer have the exempt status report on this website. To access the continuing review form, please click on "Request approval to continue conducting my study that is about to expire" under the heading "I Want To..." at the top midddle section of this webpage.


  • Full Time Employees > The outside activity portal ( is currently down and will be for the next couple of months. No new certifications can be made during this time. If you are due for recertification or you need to make your initial ceritifcation, please use the paper form that is available to students and part timers. We understand that the title and some content on this form is misleading, however we ask that you still use this form so that we can track your certifications.

IRB Meeting Schedule and Protocol Submission Deadlines:

Human subjects research proposals are reviewed via one of three processes: “exempt”, “expedited”, or “full”. “Exempt” and “Expedited” review is possible with certain categories of research (as specified in the federal regulations) and may be reviewed outside of the full IRB committee by one or more experienced IRB members (generally the IRB Chair). Protocols that do not qualify for exempt or expedited review must be reviewed by the full IRB committee at a convened meeting.

  • For full review, the deadline for protocol submission is the first Tuesday of each month. The IRB will only review complete protocols (no missing items) submitted by the deadline. In most cases, protocols are not complete and are sent a list a missing items. It is best to submit the protocol well before the deadline to ensure you have enough time to submit all missing items by the deadline. IRB committee meetings are scheduled approximately 2 weeks following the monthly submission dates. The exact meeting dates are based on committee member schedules and are therefore variable from semester to semester. The IRB Committee does not generally meet during the Summer months. If you anticipate conducting research during the Summer, you must submit your protocols by the May deadline.
  • Expedited and Exempt protocols are reviewed in the order received; there are no deadlines for these protocols. Please note that "expedited" refers to the fact that it is not subject to review by the full committee, but does not guarantee a fast approval process. Please turn in your IRB applications as early as possible before the anticipated start date.

All IRB submissions should be submitted to with all supporting documents.