Form A: First Step of Ethics Review (2019)
Based on the responses you give, this form will skip the sections that do not apply for your study. It is not recommended that you go back to a previous page in the form to change previous answers. If this needs to be done, it is best to start fresh in a new form.
  • This form is the first step of the required ethics approval process for doctoral capstones and all other student/staff research projects that would be linked to Walden University in any way (i.e., published with a Walden affiliation, funded by Walden).

    You can view a video introduction to this form and the ethics review process by clicking .
    Your responses to this form will allow Walden's Office of Research Ethics and Compliance (OREC) to determine which ethics form(s), partner approvals, and Institutional Review Board (IRB) review steps your project would require in order to be in compliance with university policies and federal regulations.

    The Office of Research Ethics and Compliance (OREC) is charged with ensuring that every study affiliated with the university meets the institution's ethical standards. This includes the protection of human subjects as well as ethical partnerships with sites and appropriate usage of scholarly tools. All doctoral capstones require ethics approval from OREC, even those that might be considered exempt from IRB oversight at other institutions.

    After reviewing the applicant’s responses within this form, OREC will email the applicant one of the following within 10 business days:
    (a) a list of the documents and approvals that will be required for ethics approval of the proposed project; or
    (b) a request for more information in order to determine which forms and documentation are needed for ethics approval of the project.

    Directions for doctoral students:
    You may submit this form any time after your chair has uploaded the proposal for the URR into the MyDR system.

    Please note that ethics approval cannot be finalized until after the proposal is fully approved in the MyDR system. (OREC will be automatically notified when this occurs and will reach out to you within 2 business days to ask you to update your IRB documents with any minor changes that were made as a result of the proposal approval process).

    Data collection that is begun prior to receiving explicit IRB approval from IRB@mail.waldenu.edu does not qualify for academic credit toward degree requirements. Student researchers must remain enrolled in a course with their faculty supervisor during data collection.

    Researchers may NOT begin recruiting individual participants (i.e., obtaining consent form signatures) prior to IRB approval.



  • We are asking for the study's "working title" in use at this time; we understand that sometimes the final publication will have a different title, based on the analysis outcomes.
  • If your study is online (with the researcher in the USA), please indicate "no."
  • International requirements for research can be reviewed here.
  • The Office of Research Ethics and Compliance will need to provide specific guidance regarding how to arrange approval for other organizations to partner in the study in any of the capacities above.
  • If you are working with multiple partner organizations, please be clear about which organization is serving in which role.
    Walden IRB cannot provide comprehensive guidance without knowing at least your tentative plan for how other organizations would be involved in your study. If you plan to work with a partner organization, but do not yet know which organization (or whether the org will agree), then please state that here.
  • Researchers are required to comply with all site requirements; obtaining Walden's IRB approval is not a substitute for obtaining the site's internal approval(s).
    “Research approval system” refers to any entity designated by the organization to review and approve research involving that organization’s personnel, data, customers, students, or patients. Hospitals, military organizations, colleges, and some school systems are most likely to have their own internal research approval system. The most common examples include: internal IRB at the site, research department, human research protection office, research ethics board, research ethics committee, research review committee.
  • *Students may not make this decision themselves or make a guess. Students are required to ask the site IRB which description applies and provide the Walden IRB with documentation (memo, email, or copy of site's policy) of the site IRB's position.
  • If you are not sure how to answer this question, then you need to directly pose this question to the partner organization's IRB. It is typically best to ask via email so you have their response documented. Please note that when a partner organization requires approval from both IRBs, the Walden IRB is willing to perform its review either first or second, whichever order the partner organization prefers.
  • If you are not sure how to answer this question, then you need to directly pose this question to the partner organization's IRB. It is typically best to ask via email so you have their response documented. Please note that when a partner organization requires approval from both IRBs, the Walden IRB is willing to perform its review either first or second, whichever order the partner organization prefers.
  • If you are a DNP student, you should be using this form instead.
  • If you're not sure if you are using a manual, then mark the first option.
  • The manuals mentioned above can be used by invitation only (from the program leadership).
  • For students completing a pilot/feasibility/preliminary study as part of a course, please enter the course number in the title for #1b above and be aware that all data collection must occur while enrolled in that course with that supervising faculty member.
  • IMPORTANT: The study may not include analyses of any data that are not listed in this section of Form A. The university cannot accept the final study if there are discrepancies between this section and the final study document. After proposal approval, applicants will be asked to confirm that this section is 100% updated. If an applicant wishes to add more data components to the study after that point, the applicant must submit an updated version of this form to the Office of Research Ethics and Compliance for prior approval.

  • Piloting/validation includes expert panels, psychometric/item analysis of questionnaires for reliability, practice interviews, and roadtests of surveys/interviews to yield logistical and feasibility insights.
  • Sample responses:

    Thematic coding will be applied to staff interview data. Regression will be used to examine the degree to which student engagement predicts student test scores.
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