American University of Central Asia - AUCA - Instructions



When AUCA IRB Approval is Required?

Researchers must seek and obtain IRB approval BEFORE conducting any research type activities involving human subjects.

The following are cases where AUCA IRB approval is not required.

  • Anonymized secondary or archival data that has been previously collected for the purpose of research.
  • Data collection from human subjects for non-research purposes. Therefore research that does not contribute to generalizable knowledge. (note: student thesis is considered as research work contributing to generalizable knowledge)
  • Data collected from human subjects where the subsequent output does not include the publication of findings in the form of conference presentations, thesis defense, journal or conference publications, whitepapers or public opinion posts.
  • Data collected from human subjects in commonly accepted educational settings and involve standard educational practices such as the use of the data collected to illustrate a concept. Such research should not lead to the contribution to generalizable knowledge.
  • Research where no data is collected about or from human subjects (e.g., animals and weather)

You may find the Self-Assessment Chart in the forms section or DOWNLOAD HERE.

There is occasional confusion about research that is “exempt.” Some individuals have mistakenly assumed that “exempt research” does not need IRB review. However, “exempt” means that it falls within a narrowly defined category of research that needs administrative review rather than a full review. Hence in AUCA to prevent confusion we term it as “Exempt from Full Review” It means that researchers may get the results of their review faster than that for a full review.

All application forms are located in IRB Forms section. In addition, AUCA IRB approval must be obtained for all theses and dissertation research even if there is no intention to publish or disseminate the results. IRB approval is not required for class projects if results are not intended for distribution and publication.



IRB Decisions

  • Approved: You may now proceed with the data collection activities as described in your application up till the end-date of the approval expiration date stated in the approval email to you.
  • Approved Subject to Modifications: The research can be approved pending specific conditions such as confirmation of specific understanding about the research process, submission of additional documentation, language changes to the protocol, and substantive changes to documents. Verification of the required changes may be performed by the IRB Chair or other designated IRB individuals.
  • Deferred: The convened IRB cannot fully evaluate the research under review and grant approval without modifications to the protocol or other documents, or submission of clarifications or additional materials. The PI is invited to provide required clarification and/or documents for further review.
  • Disapproved: Protocol described in the protocol does not sufficiently fulfill the criteria even with substantive clarifications or modifications to the protocol. The PI may revise and resubmit his/her protocol for as a follow-up application, or resubmit as a new application.


American University of Central Asia
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