Areas of Study


The Institutional Review Board is primarily responsible for evaluating, approving, and conducting reviews of any Gallaudet University research that involves human subjects. It is focused on protecting the rights and welfare of participants.

Regulated by the Federal Government, the Institutional Review Board is an important first stop for Gallaudet faculty, staff, and students planning to execute research on campus. Learn more about what needs IRB approval here.

If You Have Been A Research Participant

If you have been in a research study and want to provide feedback or report an adverse reaction, we want to hear from you.

IRB has office hours Friday mornings except when there are board meetings. The IRB chair Julie Hochgesang has virtual office hours and takes appointments via this Google Calendar link, where you can share your preference (e.g., Zoom meeting or text chat in Google Hangout). You can also email the IRB using the web form below.

Upcoming Meetings

Gallaudet IRB meetings usually take place every third Friday of the month during the academic year.



My research
You can send your questions to the IRB at Contact here.
There are several ways to make forms electronic by converting them into a PDF or creating digital versions (e.g., using Google forms). This means you can send your participant’s study forms via email and do not need to collect them in person. Be prepared to discuss any questions or concerns your participants have via email or their preferred video communication platforms like Zoom or Skype. Research teams should establish best practices for storing those forms in a secure password-protected storage device with back-ups. As a resource, University personnel has access to Adobe Sign through Other online resources like Google forms can also be used if you describe how you keep information secure. If paper forms are required for whatever reason, handle them with care. Similarly, if you are creating digital resources but still handling them in person via tablet or laptop, sanitize your devices as recommended by health professionals.

Test your recording materials, and make sure that your video data is being recorded onto a device that has sufficient storage. Please be aware that many video conferencing software record only audio. You can make screen recordings using QuickTime or similar software, and you can back-up your data using a camera that is also filming your screen.

Some video conferencing software like Zoom allow for recording. You can directly store these in the cloud through your Zoom professional account for example and if linked to your ECHO360 account, the recording will show up there as well. If stored directly to your local computer, Gallaudet grants 1TB space size to faculty using Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive to store your information. You may need to drag and move your important files and documents from your office computer. It is recommended that you consider multiple backups of your data (both online using cloud storage and offline using external hard drives).

Enrollment is just a way of saying how many people are involved in your study. It’s inherited from the federal regulations.

It’s up to the researcher(s) which format they’d like to use for consent and other forms. Whichever format they use, they must be stored for up to three years after the completion of the project. If electronic versions are used, researchers must describe how they’re keeping them secure in the consent forms.

COVID-19 Impact
UNLESS the study hold is initiated at the request of an external funding agency or the study’s Data and Safety Monitoring group (if there is one). You have the option to renew your study through Cayuse Human Ethics if your approval has expired. If your prior study was not submitted through Cayuse Human Ethics and you wish to renew that, please complete this form to request the transfer of your project to Cayuse Human Ethics for renewal and modification if necessary.
We recommend all in-person contact be suspended. If you need to meet with someone, send an email to ask if there is potential for exposure to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) or symptoms of illness before any study-related visits and in-person interactions and plan accordingly. The CDC (or whoever) recommends that research participants with possible exposure or symptoms of illness should not participate in in-person interactions until after the time recommended by the current public health recommendations. might include the following, which could be modified to fit your participant population and the location of in-person interactions. Any YES answer should be considered sufficient reason to postpone in-person visits. Decisions about in-person visits should be especially conservative for people at higher risk per public health recommendations: 1.) Have you had any of the following symptoms in the past two weeks, even if they were mild? Fever New cough Runny nose New shortness of breath Muscle aches 2.) Have you had close contact* with a person who is under investigation for possible COVID-19? 3.) In the past three weeks, have you visited a country or facility with sustained (ongoing) occurrence of COVID-19, such as the following (and any other locations consider Level 3 by the CDC): China Iran Most of Europe Japan South Korea Long-term care facilities in the area. *Close contact is defined by the CDC as (a) being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time. Close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a health care waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case OR (b) having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on).
First, consider the safety of your study team and participants. If any in-person interactions can be postponed, please do so. Immediately communicate your plan with all relevant parties. Make sure communication is accessible – consider everyone’s communication preferences and needs. Encourage your study personnel and participants to follow all precautions recommended by health professionals (e.g., District of Columbia Department of Health and CDC, also see resources at Gallaudet’s site for novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Establish remote access for your work. Consider this checklist developed by University of Washington, Office of Research. Checklist:
  • Identify emergency personnel and ensure they know what to do in the event of suspended operations
  • Remind lab personnel of your communication plan or create one if not in place
  • Identify priorities in case of restricted access
  • Ensure remote access to files, data, servers, etc.
  • Prioritize experiments
  • Plan for remote proposal submission
  • Check travel restrictions before making travel plans.
Consider prioritization of tasks within your research project. Depending upon the nature of your research, you might consider prioritizing work that can only be carried out in your research facility, and work that could be done by remote support, such as data analysis. You may want to postpone work that requires in-person interaction until conditions are less risky for all. Stockpiling results and data now that could be analyzed remotely in the future is a potential option that might create future flexibility. (adapted from:
At this time, the IRB does not believe it is necessary for most studies. We recommend that study personnel do not bring participants to a facility in which there has been a positive or presumptive-positive case of COVID-19. If your protocols have changed to accommodate the ongoing situation to ensure everyone’s safety, IRB approval is not required. Please do submit any changes via email or through Cayuse Human Ethics to document your changes. This can be done by uploading the new forms or a short memo describing the changes. If you have any questions about this, you may reach out to us via email at Contact here.
Consider the study population and the location before. Assuming that populations and locations with few reported cases are free of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), you should consider the possible impact of the study on care providers, their institutions, and their patients/consumers who will likely be dealing with a significant increase in workload. Also if you are doing research at external research sites, it may be possible they are prohibiting visitors or closed altogether. If there is a compelling reason you cannot postpone in-person interactions, you should: Consider remote meetings (e.g., Zoom) as an option. This adjustment in your project proposal does not require an IRB amendment. Screen all participants for possible exposure to the novel coronavirus or symptoms of exposure to respiratory illness before scheduling any in-person interactions. Participants with possible exposure or symptoms of illness should not participate in person. This screening procedure does not require IRB approval or a submission of modification. Ensure that hand sanitizer, hand washing facilities and/or cleaning wipes are readily available for participants and study personnel, when in-person interactions will occur. Abide by all recommendations and actions of the appropriate public health authorities (e.g., District of Columbia Department of Health and Gallaudet and CDC) such as social distancing. Ensure every day that study personnel who will interact with participants are symptom-free and have not had possible exposure to COVID-19.
Cayuse Human Ethics
As has already been in effect, we are not accepting paper-based applications for any new research. You can submit your study for IRB review through Gallaudet Cayuse Human Ethics. Please refer to How Do I Submit to learn how to submit electronically via Cayuse Human Ethics. If you are a student or a new or short-term staff/faculty member, please request a Cayuse Human Ethics account.

Upload the files to your Google Drive or OneDrive to a single folder and share that folder with us as a link. Please keep that folder active as long as your project is active.

The Cayuse system is set to send notices of IRB approval expiration starting 60 days in advance of expiration, and once every two weeks thereafter. Those reminders continue going out even after a renewal submission has been created. Their behavior is tied directly to the expiration date of the study and so those notifications will continue to go out until the review on the renewal is complete.

You can only delete a study on Cayuse Human Ethics if you have not submitted an initial submission for it. If a submission has already been submitted, you will need to submit a “Withdrawal” submission. Please see our guide on how to delete a study in Cayuse Human Ethics.

There is a “RETURN TO INVESTIGATORS” button you can hit to send the application back to the student, and reopen it. This can be found on the submission details page. You or the student could then make changes. (Unfortunately, you can’t make comments in the application for the student.)

Your email address is likely different on CITI, please ensure you set your Gallaudet email address as a PRIMARY email address on CITI. Once it is set to your Gallaudet email, Cayuse Human Ethics will pick it up.

If you submit a complete application (all details are complete and clear), an exempt review can take about two weeks. Applications that involve more than minimal risk or vulnerable groups can take longer since it may require discussion with the reviewer(s), modifications of your protocols, attending a convened IRB meeting, and so forth. Be sure to plan ahead. We recommend two months or more before you need to start collecting data. Also, if your submission is incomplete, this can hold up the process.

To add a faculty as your sponsor, please select co-principal investigator/sponsor and use people finder to find a faculty who is sponsoring you. The faculty sponsor is required to approve/certify your research.

No – they have to get a Gallaudet Sponsor and the sponsor has to submit for them. External researchers can be listed as unaffiliated key personnel in your Cayuse Human Ethics submission. They will not be able to access Gallaudet Cayuse Human Ethics directly but you can save a copy of the PDF and share that with them.

Cayuse Human Ethics is accessible through single-sign-on with your Gallaudet credentials. If you are a student and using the system for the first time. staff, or new faculty member please request an account. Existing faculty have been pre-loaded into the Cayuse Human Ethics system.

Gallaudet Cayuse Human Ethics is available to Gallaudet faculty, staff, and students.
Other FAQs

Contact Us

Institutional Review Board

Glenn Lockhart and Kaela Luttrell

Hall Memorial Building S242B

** By Appointment Only **

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