Graduate and other research projects Institutional Review Board (IRB) request


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"Research is to see what everybody has seen and think what nobody has thought."
-Albert Szent-Györgyi [1]

Approved IRB Requests at LAVC (link)

LAVC supports the educational advancement of others and academic research that aids in critical inquiry of our practices and support of our students and employees. Whenever possible, we aim to support scholars who choose to center the work of community colleges and the impacted populations we serve.

Campus Approval

Each LACCD campus approves research studies using the centralized IRB process detailed below. LAVC considers each project based on the submission of the application materials and criteria below. LAVC OIE does not aid in subject recruitment, or the collection, coding, or analysis of data for research purposes. 

Graduate students with IRB approvals from other sites are still required to complete the LACCD process. To avoid delays or amendments, please review the documentation below and ensure that you have met our requirements prior to submission at your program campus.

Submissions may take several months for review. Please plan accordingly.

Required Documents

Applications below are for initial review of proposed research projects. Please ensure the appropriate form is used, based on the level of IRB review required for your research, and that the Institutional Approval Form is completed by the research office(s) of the campus(es)where the research will take place. If unsure about which which level of review is appropriate, please see above (More Information About the LACCD IRB link) or click here to be redirected to OHRP Decision Charts. If the application is incomplete, this will delay the review process.

  • LACCD IRB Procedures
  • Application form (Select appropriate form based on your research):
  • LACCD INSTITUTIONAL APPROVAL FORM (Please complete Title of Study portion, thanks!)
    • Study Methodology & Instruments -  In order to receive LAVC endorsement, Institutional Approval, or any pre-approval letters for external IRBs, we require a complete methodology description and draft instruments.
      • Include your methodology chapter and related appendices in your submission of the Institutional Approval Form.
    • Study Significance/Benefit to LAVC - Applicants must articulate the benefit of the study for LAVC.
      • If a special program, department or population is being used as the focus of the study, the researcher must get endorsement from the appropriate area.
      • The submission of a final copy of the completed study and a brief summary of findings/implications for college use/reference is expected.

FAQs & Tips

Click below for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and tips for a successful process.

I already have an approved IRB/exemption from my 4-year institution, do I need to submit the LACCD application?

  • Yes, LACCD requires researchers to complete the forms below and submit an application if you plan to use LACCD campuses as sites or students and employees in your research.

Should I wait for my IRB approval from my 4-year institution before submitting?

  • You should complete a draft of your LACCD IRB application and make contact with the campus/district site(s) for consideration of your study, and to identify any issues early.
  • It is best to have insight on any additional LACCD site requirements prior to submitting your institution's IRB.

Can I use my Citi training from my 4-year institution?

  • Yes, in most cases you may submit your Citi Transcript to meet the training requirement.

Can I begin recruitment while I wait for approval?

  • No human subjects research can begin prior to the LACCD approval.
  • If your study involves a particular program or group of students, you should secure an endorsement for your research prior to submission of your application.

Planning Your Research

  • Contact us when you have a clear idea of your research methods, including your recruitment strategy. We will advise regarding any issues or considerations.
  • Plan ahead. Approvals often take longer than anticipated. Your study may require additional approvals or modifications.


  • In general, the confidentiality of subjects and the site should be retained. Be explicit about the usage of pseudonyms and protections to maintain confidentiality in your study.

Informed Consent

  • Informed consent should explicitly state the independence of the research from the district and or campus. Any conducted by an employee needs to account for that employee's role relative to the participants and explicitly state the research purpose.


  • No email lists will be provided for recruitment.
  • LAVC OIE does not conduct study recruitment or provide emails lists for recruitment.
  • For usage of special programs and populations, please work with the leads in those areas for endorsement and to plan communication about your study. 

Sample Forms

Click below for samples:

Conducting Research at the Los Angeles Community College District

The Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) recognizes the important role of research as a method for building knowledge, as a means to understanding various issues, and as an approach to enhancing the services we provide to students. Because of this, we thank you for your interest in conducting research here. Our employees and students, as well external researchers, may be permitted to conduct research at the District providing that their work meets a certain standard of integrity, aligns with District’s mission and vision, and demonstrates a clear benefit to the District. To meet these criteria, the researcher must complete the following steps:

  1. Complete Required Human Subjects Research Training
  2. Obtain Institutional Approval
  3. Submit an IRB Application
  4. Maintain Research Protocol


Complete Required Human Subjects Research Training

Anyone wishing to conduct research within the District must complete Human Subjects Research Training. The training provides information about issues that may arise in the context of conducting research, with a focus on the protection of human subjects. The training is provided by CITI Program.

Please go the website

Register as an affiliate of the “Los Angeles Community College District” organization and create a username and password.  Enroll in and complete the training; you are not required to complete the modules in one sitting and your progress will be saved as long as you use your login information. If you are uncertain about whether you need to complete this training, please contact the college research office or LACCD IRB ( Once this requirement is completed, you may proceed to step 2.

Obtain Institutional Approval

To obtain approval to conduct your investigation, you must complete the research review process (detailed above) conducted by College Institutional Effectiveness Office or the District Research Committee (DRC), if research is proposed across more than one LACCD campus. The purpose of this review process is to ensure that the proposed research meets a certain standard of integrity (e.g., having a clear research question, sound research design, appropriate methodology, etc.), is aligned with the District’s mission and vision, and demonstrates a clear benefit to the District.

Please note that this step, obtaining institutional approval, does not require the District to allow you access to their resources, nor does it negate the rights of subjects to decline participation. Approval from the College or DRC does mean that your proposal is methodologically sound and is likely to yield benefits to the District that outweigh any cost in resources.

The research review process entails determining the level of review that is required for your project and completing an application. There are resources available on the LACCD IRB Page and on the website for the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services ( to help you make a determination whether an activity is considered research or if the human subject research is eligible for Exemption.  If you are unsure, please contact the Office of Institutional Effectiveness on your campus or the IRB office (@email). Once you determine the level of review, complete the appropriate application (either “LACCD APPLICATION FOR EXEMPTION FROM IRB REVIEW” or “LACCD APPLICATION FOR EXPEDITED AND FULL IRB REVIEW”). Submit the IRB application to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness on your campus and they will do an initial review of the application. If the proposal is approved, the campus will complete the “Institutional Approval”

Submit an IRB Application

The IRB application, along with supporting documents, may be submitted electronically to the IRB office (@email). Depending on the level of review required, the application will be reviewed by the full committee or by an IRB representative.

The IRB will be responsible for reviewing proposed research projects that involves the use of human subjects; ensuring that the individuals involved in the project are treated ethically; ensure that all subjects are provided with substantial information about the study and consent to be a subject in the study; and ensuring that all private information will be handled with confidentiality.  Specifically, the IRB is charged with evaluating each project’s compliance with ethical standards in regard to issues such as informed consent, confidentiality, and any risk to the participants (i.e., 45 CFR 46 (the Common Rule) and the principles of the Belmont Report).

Once the application is reviewed, the primary investigator will be notified electronically regarding the disposition of their application. The research may only be conducted once IRB approval has been obtained.

Maintain Research Protocol

Once your IRB application has been approved, your research protocol is valid for one year. Researchers are responsible for maintaining their research protocol current; this is accomplished by submitting necessary updates and forms to the IRB, such as an Amendment Application if an investigator wants to make changes to the already approved research protocol or an Adverse Event Reporting Form in case an adverse event occurs. If you wish to continue your research after this time frame, you will need to submit the Continuing Review Application to renew the research protocol for another year. Once your research has concluded, researchers are also asked to submit a Final Report Form that delineates information about your study and its findings.


Request Submitted by Subjects Institution Valid from
Kassidy Camilleri Students' Major Pathway Selection Process from the California Community College Counselor Perspective in Light of the Guided Pathways Movement UCLA 1/25/23-1/24/24
Sheri Berger AB705 and Students with Learning Disabilities: Impact and Practice in Mathematics (Protocol ID: 2023-164-10) Cal State LA 1/25/23-1/24/24
Anthony Cuomo Investigating the Relationship Between Guided Pathways Implementation and Achieving Racial Equity in California Community Colleges (Protocol ID: 2023-177-09) UCLA 8/18/23, exempt, no expiration
Liza Chavac A Narrative Analysis of the Decision-Making Process of Black and Latino/a/x Students Leaving Community College  (Protocol ID: 2023-178-08) UCLA 9/1/23- exempt, no expiration
Liza Chavac Learning Together-A Student Voice Project (Protocol ID: 2023-180-08) UCLA 10/17/23 - exempt, no expiration
Katie Mathias California Community College Belonging Project (Protocol ID: 2023-181-08) State Chancellor's Office exempt, no expiration

[1] Szent-Györgyi, A. (1957).Bioenergetics (p. 57). New York, Academic Press, Inc. Retrieved from: on October 17, 2018.