Human Subjects Research (IRB)

What is DKU IRB? 

The Institutional Review Board (IRB) conducts independent reviews of research protocols to protect the rights and welfare of research participants as required by law and policy while supporting academic freedom, thus ensuring that research can flourish at Duke Kunshan University (DKU). 

Who needs IRB review? 

If you are conducting non-medical research that acquires primary data from human subjects, or if you are doing a policy analysis paper which involves research with human subjects (e.g., interviews and/or questionnaires), and that your results will be made public in any way (including your MP manuscript), then you need to submit your protocol for IRB review and obtain approval prior to data collection. If you are you also need IRB.  

Who does NOT need IRB review? 

If your MP does not involve human subjects, (e.g., sole analysis of published literature and/or policy documents), then you do NOT need to go through the IRB process. 

I need IRB review, where should I start? 

Knowing that your research requires IRB review is already a good start. Next step is to complete the “Request for Protocol Approval” form with your Advisor(s) and submit it to It can take up to three weeks before you hear from the reviewer about either of the following four results:

a) approved with no changes

b) approved pending the receipt of minor modifications

c) deferred pending receipt of major modifications (i.e., the protocol is too incomplete to be reviewed and will need significant revisions) or

d) disapproved.

Since IRB review and modification can be time-consuming, we highly recommend you to work closely with your advisor and start preparing as early as possible.  


For detailed information, please go to the DKU IRB website: