IRB Target Turnaround Times

Submission Turnaround Targets

We always try to beat these targets, but below is a reasonable expectation.

The IRB sets target turnaround times for:

  • Pre-Screening of initial submissions and review of changes requested by IRB staff (i.e., "Pre-Review")
  • Completion of initial Full Board and Expedited reviews by the IRB Committee or Designated Reviewers (i.e., "IRB Review")
  • Notification of IRB Determinations after the initial IRB review (i.e., "Post-Review")
  • Note: the IRB cannot provide turnaround times for states when the submission is edited by the Study Team (i.e., "Pre-Submission", "Clarifications Requested", etc.).

Before sending inquiries about ongoing reviews, please keep the following in mind:

  • The time to initial IRB determination is not the same as time to approval. IRB reviews often require further submission changes.
  • Repeated calls or emails when the IRB is within our targets may delay processing of your, and others', submissions.
  • Final approvals may depend on ancillary committee approvals, contract negotiations, FDA input, and other factors external to the IRB.
  • Read further on this page to see some tips to minimize study processing delays.

General IRB Turnaround Targets

Note: All times are in business days
Type of SubmissionTurnaround for Pre-Review Screening by IRB StaffIRB Review Type [1]Turnaround for Initial IRB Review after IRB Review is Assigned  [2] Turnaround for Determination Letter after Initial IRB Review
New Study

Initial screening: within two weeks of IRB Staff assignment

Screening of requested changes: up to two weeks, depending on complexity of changes

Full Board1-3 weeks (i.e., next available meeting)2 days after convened IRB meeting
Expedited or Exempt5 days2 days after review is submitted

Initial screening: within two weeks

Screening of requested changes: around one week, depending on complexity of changes

Full Board1-3 weeks (i.e., next available meeting)2 days after convened IRB meeting
Expedited or Exempt5 days2 days after review is submitted
Continuing Review

Recommendation: Submit Continuing Reviews 45 days before study expiration.

Avoid time delays by ensuring the submission form is complete, all study members have up-to-date CITI training, and all required material is uploaded to the submission, including Monitoring Board (DSMB) reports.

Initial screening: about three to four weeks; sooner if Grady ROC review is requiredFull Board1-3 weeks before expiration (based on agenda availability)2 days after convened IRB meeting
Expedited2 weeks2 days after review is submitted
Non-Human Subjects Research Determination (aka NHSR Determination)

Determinations using our online tool: Immediate

Submissions in eIRB: See "New Study" turnaround times

[1] The IRB Review Type is determined based on elements of the study. Studies and modifications which include procedures that may involve more-than-minimal-risk to subjects, the use drugs or devices, or indicate a potential increase in risk to participants generally require Full Board reviews, which take place during IRB Committee Meetings. Studies that are Exempt from federal regulations or are eligible for Expedited reviews are completed by one Designated Reviewer, instead of review at a convened meeting; however, this does not always mean ensure a faster turnaround in review.

[2] IRB Review turnaround times are based on the availability of open IRB Committee Meetings or IRB Designated Reviewers. The IRB holds Full Board meetings up to 5 times a month and accepts up to 5 new studies on each meeting agenda; if meeting agendas are full, IRB Reviews may be delayed. Designated Reviewers for the IRB are primarily full-time faculty or clinicians; while they have target turnarounds, delays sometimes occur.

Tips for Minimizing Turnaround Delays

Requests for Accelerated Handling

We get these requests frequently and must evaluate them carefully. Taking items out of the review queue must be for a truly urgent matter that may adversely affect study subjects. To submit a request, contact the IRB Leadership Staff with the related submission ID and a justification for accelerated handling.