1) IRB Approval

The first step to launching the survey at your college  


The IRB (or Institutional Review Board) at your college is the committee that reviews and approves all studies that involve human subjects.  The IRB is designed to protect subjects from any potential undesired or dangerous consequences of participation.  While the IRB is mainly for studies involving pharmaceuticals, direct physician-patient contact, or experiences which may cause psychological distress, you will need to run this survey by them for approval before you launch.   

As this survey is simple, written, and has optional participation, you should have no problem getting quick approval from your IRB.

 Some things to consider as you approach your IRB:

  • This survey has already been approved and passed by the IRB's at several of the DO sister colleges with no problem or interference.
  • The survey represents a national student effort -- sometimes it is helpful to be the "messenger" of a larger, already-approved movement than present it as personal endeavor. 
  • To expedite the process, you may want to include basic information: How will you launch it? When?  Who will be surveyed?  How will the anonymity of students be preserved (except for the optional questions that ask for a name)?
  • Make sure to attach a copy of the survey


This is a sample email you can send to your IRB chair to get this started:

 Dear Dr. ___________,

My name is ________, and I am a student in the class of ____. I have attached a copy of a survey that is being issued by UAAO student chapters nationwide.  Currently, the survey has been launched in several other Osteopathic colleges, and I was hoping to bring data from our college to the project.  I have attached a copy of the survey for your convenience.   I have reviewed the research, and I could not identify any forseeable risk to participants.  I would greatly appreciate your help in approving this quick survey for distribution here.  Please don't hesitate to contact me if I can offer any additional information.  

 Thank you,
____________, OMS__ 


After getting IRB approval at your college, you're ready for step 2: collecting the data!