After researchers have set up the design of a project and determined the methods to use, they need to submit this proposal to their local Institutional Review Board (IRB). IRBs are set up by an institution to make sure that any research performed is ethical and safe. IRBs have become a necessary part of research as a result of a number of research projects performed throughout history that would no longer be considered morally or ethically proper. Just a few of these studies include the Tuskegee Study or the Stanford Prison Experiment. Experiments such as these led to the development of the Belmont Report in 1974, which identified concerns for research experiments and addressed the ethical principles that should be adhered to in all research involving humans. The Belmont Report was highly influential in the creation of the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects. This federal policy, as well as others stemming from the report, have mandated that all institutions that participate in research should have a review board to ensure that researchers maintain a proper protocol.
At APSU, research plans are filed with the IRB by downloading and completing a form with the design, method, and other details for the research. When the form is complete, it should then be submitted to APSU's IRB via email. After the details are reviewed and approved, it is time to conduct the research.