Graduate and Professional Schools IRB

Purpose of the GPS IRB

The primary goal of the GPS IRB is to protect the rights and welfare of human subjects participating in research activities conducted under the auspices of Pepperdine University. Applications submitted to the GPS IRB generally encompass social, behavioral, and educational research and are usually considered medically non-invasive.

The GPS IRB employs a review process in conformity with the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects (45 CFR 46) and the Federal-wide Assurance (FWA) enacted between Pepperdine University and the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) under the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

The GPS IRB supports faculty, staff, and students from the Graduate School of Education and Psychology, the Graziadio School of Business and Management, the School of Law, and the School of Public Policy.

All new IRB applications must be submitted using the new eProtocol IRB system at Helpful resources are available to assist with applying online and submitting an IRB application at Pepperdine University.

All Research Investigators: START HERE

Obtaining IRB approval is a legal and ethical requirement before beginning research activities. It is essential that you contact the IRB before you start any research activities including recruitment of subjects so that we can make sure to guide you through the application and approval process.

Research activities include: 1) Collecting and Analyzing Data, 2) Analyzing Existing Data, 3) Conducting a Program Review, and 4) Meta-Analysis or Critical Review of the Literature.

NOTE TO DOCTORAL STUDENTS: Depending on your program, you will be submitting your IRB application shortly before or immediately after your Dissertation Proposal Meeting. Please consult with your dissertation chair for exact timelines and specific guidance. In addition, all students from the Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP) submitting Expedited or Full Review IRB applications must first submit their research proposals to the Education Division Methods Review Committee or the Psychology Division Methods Review Committee before submitting the IRB applications to the GPS IRB Office. Please consult your dissertation chair for guidance on this process.
Education Division's Methods Review - Contact Dr. Kay Davis at or by phone at (310) 568-5660.
Psychology Division's Methods Review - Contact Dr. Cary Mitchell at or by phone at (818) 501-1641.

NOTE TO GRANT APPLICANTS AND AWARDEES: Because many funding agencies require proof of IRB approval prior to the award of grants, investigators should submit their IRB applications concurrently with submissions for funding.

STEP 1: Determine Level of Review and Type of Application
First, you must determine which type of application you will submit (which involve different documentation and forms), which then corresponds to differing levels of risk, review processes, and timelines for obtaining IRB approval. Note that most applications go through at least one request for revisions or modifications, so please budget your time accordingly.
The most common applications are Exempt and Expedited. You can determine which application to submit by reviewing the one-page handout entitled Exempt Expedited Decision Tree.
The IRB Board will help to route any Expedited protocols that actually require Full Review after your initial submission; or if you consulted with the IRB prior to submission, we will let you know during the submission process.
Potential Risk No more than minimal
(see handout)
Minimal to Moderate
(see handout)
Moderate to Substantial
(determine by IRB)
Submission Process e-Protocol e-Protocol e-Protocol
Review Process At least 1 reviewer At least 2 reviewers Full Board Review
Timeline for Receipt of Initial Review 11-15 business days 15-20 business days 30-40 business days; dependent on
Board Meeting (see calendar)
Timeline for Receipt of Revisions and
Modifications Reviews
6-10 business days 11-14 business days 15-20 business days
STEP 2: Complete Human Subjects Training
Human subjects' training is required for all faculty, staff, and students conducting research involving human subjects at Pepperdine University. Proof of completion is required for your IRB application submission. Human subject training must be updated every 3 years. Please go to to complete the human subjects training course.
Special human subjects training pathways in CITI are required for the following:
  • GSEP Education Students - Social-Behavioral-Educational Human Subjects Training
  • Faculty/Staff - Faculty/Staff Human Subjects Training
  • MSOD - MSOD Human Subjects Training
  • GSEP Psychology Students - Psychology Human Subjects Training
  • Business/Public Policy/Law Students - Graduate & Professional School Human Subjects Training

STEP 3: Familiarize yourself with eProtocol
All new IRB applications must be submitted using the new eProtocol IRB system at

Prior to submitting an application, please review the relevant User Guide and the eProtocol FAQ:

  1. Faculty and Staff
  2. Students
  3. eProtocol FAQs including technical support

STEP 4: Gather the necessary materials for submission

To ensure the submission of a complete application, please review the relevant eProtocol Checklist and the specific guidance for Exempt or Expedited Consent Forms:

  1. Faculty and Staff Checklist
  2. Student Checklist
  3. Consent Forms Guide for Exempt Applications
  4. Consent Forms Guide for Expedited Applications
  5. List of Forms and Templates

STEP 5: Consult IRB (if necessary)
If after proceeding through steps 1-4 above, you still have questions about the application process, please reach out to our IRB Assistant Director and IRB Chair for assistance. We will gladly help you in advance to ensure a smooth applicaiton submission and review. For additional questions regarding eProtocol, the determination of expedited v. exempt application, and selection and preparation of necessary forms and template; please contact our Interim IRB Manager Andrea Quintero.

For more advanced questions regarding a complicated Expedited or Full application, please contact the GPS IRB Chair, Judy Ho.

STEP 6: Submit Your Application
All applications should be submitted at The system will save your progress if you are unable to complete the entire submission in one sitting. All applications must be complete prior to being assigned reviewer(s). Any incomplete applications will be returned and requested to be resubmitted with all necessary materials.

Submission Deadline Date GPS IRB Review *
Full Board Meeting Date 12:00pm – 2:00pm
Notification Week*


9/26/2017 (West LA)



10/24/2017 (Malibu)



11/28/2017 (West LA)



12/12/2017 (West LA)



1/30/2018 (Malibu)



2/27/2018 (West LA)



3/27/2018 (Malibu)



4/24/2018 (West LA)



5/22/2018 (West LA)



6/26/2018 (Malibu)



7/24/2018 (West LA)


*Meeting dates and notification of decisions are subject to change. The GPS IRB will make every attempt to review all applications for Full Review submitted in a particular month. Applications will be reviewed in the order in which they are submitted.

GPS IRB Contact Information

Pepperdine University
Graduate School of Education & Psychology
6100 Center Drive, Suite 500
Los Angeles, CA 90045
Phone: (310) 568-5753


IRB Chairperson – Dr. Judy Ho, Ph.D., ABPP, CFMHE;

IRB Manager - Andrea Quintero, MA, MBA;