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Office of Research and Sponsored Programs

Institutional Review Board

Facilitating research and ensuring compliance with requirements.

Dear Adelphi Researchers:

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the landscape for many of us. Per state government guidance, there is limited access to Adelphi’s Garden City campus and Adelphi’s satellite centers are currently closed. In order to prevent risk to participants and researchers, Adelphi’s IRB is instituting the following policies until health circumstances change.

Effective immediately, all currently IRB approved studies that involve personal interactions with research participants must be temporarily suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.  This suspension does not apply to studies that involve online, phone or other means of non-contact with participants, or secondary analysis of collected data. 

Guidance for currently approved studies using in-person or face-to-face data collection:

Modify your study to take into account the social distancing that is recommended by health professionals to limit the spread of the virus.  Consider data collection methods such as phone, text, email, surveys hosted on online platforms, and virtual platforms using video and/or audio. 

Please make sure that the method you select is compliant with electronic security and HIPAA guidelines (see the IRB webpage for recommendations when using zoom).

Complete the COVID 19 Modification Form summarizing the changes you have made and highlight the changes in your modified protocol and consent form.  Modified protocols and consent forms should describe changes in data management procedures and include separate consents for video and audiotaping participants (see the IRB webpage for the COVID 19 Modification Form).

If your procedures cannot be modified to eliminate in-person meetings, you must temporarily suspend data collection until the public health circumstances change.  If you do not follow these guidelines, your current approval will be revoked by the IRB.

Guidance for new protocols:

All proposed research submitted to the IRB will continue to be reviewed according to our current procedures with the following stipulations:­

Research studies involving in-person contact will be reviewed and be given an “Approved Pending” designation. You cannot begin your study until the public health circumstances change and your study is fully approved by the IRB.  If you violate this mandate, your pending study approval will be revoked.

New submissions which involve the collection of data that does not involve in-person contact with human participants or involve secondary analysis of data are not affected by this policy. 

Please consider how you plan to minimize health risks to participants by instituting appropriate sanitation procedures when using equipment, even after the health crisis passes and your in-person studies begin again. 

“The Institutional Review Board is an administrative body established to protect the rights and welfare of human research subjects recruited to participate in research activities conducted under the auspices of the institution with which it is affiliated.” (DHHS, OPRR, Protecting Human Research Subjects: Institutional Review Board Guidebook)

Human subjects research is defined as any activity intended to obtain and record information from or about individuals for research purposes.

COVID 19 IRB Modification Form

Guidance for Securely Using Virtual Communication With Research Participants

  1. Use a new meeting ID for each interview. Do not “recycle” the PEROSNAL MEETING ID when using Zoom.
  2. Before starting the interview, the interviewer must make sure nobody else is on the call. 
  3. As the interview begins, the interviewer must LOCK THE MEETING to ensure nobody else joins when using Zoom.
  4. If the meeting is to be recorded, obtain consent as usual.
    1. Do not record the session to cloud recordings.
    2. If they must be recorded, RECORD TO COMPUTER when using Zoom.  After the recording saves, move it to a trusted medium for safe-keeping.
  5. Be careful with cameras, as they might pick up background images or people walking through the image who did not consent to being recorded.
  6. As you interview via Zoom, be aware of the fact that the interviewer will only see what is displayed by the camera (if one is used at all). That means that there will be no way to assess if somebody is being coerced or influenced by another person who is out-of-view.
  7.  Local video has to be transcoded from a proprietary format to standard, Zoom does it automatically.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please reach out to the IRB or IT before you begin.  

Policy and Procedures for Submitting Your Proposal to the IRB

It is Adelphi policy that all research conducted by faculty, administrators, undergraduate, and graduate students be reviewed by the IRB. This includes studies that make use of surveys, interviews, experimental designs that involve human subjects, and any research that involves children or other vulnerable populations such as the incarcerated or mentally impaired.

The IRB meets monthly, with one summer meeting in late June/early July. All IRB submissions are required to be submitted no later than the 10th of the month preceding the meeting. Please send one signed hard copy to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, Social Work Building, Room 121 or 119 and email a complete copy of your protocol to The forms can be obtained from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, from your faculty representative on the committee, or you can download them.

All investigators, including students and faculty advisers, need to submit a completed financial conflict of interest form with their application.

All study protocols reviewed and approved by the Adelphi IRB are valid for one year, therefore, investigators must resubmit their protocols using the continuation form. In addition to continuation review, please use this form if your study will require modifications since its original approval.

Common Mistakes on IRB Applications

Below is a list of the most commonly seen mistakes on applications that lead to delays in approval.

  • “Adelphi University” does not appear prominently in the header of the recruitment flyer and/or informed consent form, if present
  • Faculty advisor’s signature is missing on applications submitted by applicants who are NOT full time Adelphi faculty (e.g. students, staff, adjunct faculty)
  • The Informed Consent Form does not specify that compensation (if offered) will be awarded regardless of full completion of the study/activity
  • Professors and/or staff risking implied coercion by proposing to recruit in their classes or their employees
  • Use of a personal rather than professional address, email, or phone number
  • Use of vague start and end dates, rather than precise days (e.g., “anticipated end by Summer 2019” rather than “Project will conclude on or before August 31, 2019”).
  • Underestimating the time that subjects/participants will need to complete tasks and surveys
  • Failure to attach written permission from administrators (not clinicians) to post recruitment flyers
  • Failure to attach written permission to conduct research in physical locations outside of Adelphi University
  • Failure to provide IRB approval from collaborating institutions
  • Overuse of technical terms/jargon in informed consent or recruitment materials

Failure to spell out the full meaning of professional acronyms (examples from recent applications: PTG, PPVT, EVT).


For further information, please contact:

Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
p – 516.877.3161

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