Institutional Review Board (IRB)

With Fulbright’s mission to develop a strong and ethically sound research component, the aim of FUV’s IRB is to protect the safety, dignity, and welfare of human participants involved in research conducted by Fulbright members and affiliated researchers. The IRB committee has been established to review research projects involving the use of human participants and their information (or source-identifiable biospecimens from human participants) to ensure that research proposals adhere to internationally recognized and accepted ethical guidelines. Examples of the research requiring IRB approval include interviewing, surveying, user-centered design, and other forms of social scientific and humanistic research involving interactions with human subjects.

IRB Committee members

IRB Committee members: Members consist of Fulbright’s scientists, non-scientists, and non-affiliated members (members from the community)

Steps to IRB Application

1. Complete the IRB Training and pass the review test 

  • IRB Training Requirements: International standards require that key personnel in studies involving human subjects undergo training to ensure research participant safety and welfare. Key personnel are all individuals responsible for the design and conduct of the study. This includes the PI, Co-PI’s, Supervisors and other personnel who will be interacting with the human subject.
  • Steps to complete IRB Training: Please watch these IRB training videos to learn about important concepts related to human subject research: IRB Training Video Links
    • To take the IRB test, please contact to add you to the IRB Canvas shell where you can take the test.
    • Take the IRB test (100% accuracy required). Multiple attempts are allowed.
    • Take a picture of your 100% accuracy results
    • est result is valid for 3 years

2. Complete the IRB application documents (application and informed consent documents)

3. Submit the IRB request with all the relevant documents (i.e., application, consent form, all the measures/questionnaires to be used in the study, and the picture of your IRB test results). There will be the IRB risk assessment questionnaire for you to answer when you click on the link before you can attach your documents.

Link to the IRB submission platform:

Class Assignment and IRB Approval Policy: for all FUV students and instructors, please review these documents.

  • Important note: IRB will NOT review applications that are part of student class assignments from any 100-level courses. IRB will also NOT review proposals from student class assignments from most 200-level courses (with only a few exceptions assessed on a case-by-case basis).
  • Class Assignment and IRB Policy: Class Assignments & IRB Approval


  • Why do we have an IRB?

    IRBs are established at universities all over the world in order to ensure that research adheres to local and international standards of ethical human subject research.

  • How do IRBs work? 

    IRBs develop an application process to help the board determine any potential for risk and benefits to human participants in the project.  We then assess the application and classify it as “exempt”, “expedited” and “full board review.  This classification determines how the application will be reviewed.  Applicants will receive a letter from IRB indicating that their application is approved or that there are issues that need to be addressed and that their applications need to be revised and resubmitted. 

  • How do I apply? 

  • What are the differences between exempt, expedited, and full board review? 

    IRB will determine the level of risk of each application protocol. There are three classifications of risk as follows: 

    1. Exempt Review: for research involves minimal to no risk to the human subject participants, such as research using secondary data, educational research that is common in educational settings) 
    2. Expedited Review: for research involves no more than minimal risks but which do not meet any of the criteria for exempt status. “Minimal risk” means that the probability and magnitude of harm or discomfort anticipated in the research are not greater in and of themselves than those ordinarily encountered in daily life or during the performance of routine physical or psychological examinations or tests. 
    3. Full Board Review: If the proposed research does not qualify for Exempt or Expedited Review as defined above, it will be subject to a Full Board Review. Full Board Review is for studies that involve more than minimal risks or involve any of the identified vulnerable populations (including but not limited to children younger than 18, pregnancy women, prisoners, individuals with impaired decision-making capacity).
  • Once approved, how long does my approval last? 

    Approved applications have one year to complete their data collection process. If you need longer than one year, you need to apply for renewal prior to the expiration of the original approval. 

  • What sort of timeline can I expect? 

    For Exempt and Expedited Review, the timeline is about 10 business days. For Full Board Review, it can be about one month. IRB will review Full Board Review applications during one of the monthly board meetings. Please note that this timeline is approximate only and may slightly differ according to the number of applications coming in during the time.

  • How do I contact IRB if I have questions regarding the feedback I received? 

    1. You can directly respond to the IRB feedback via the platform that you submitted your application. Or if that does not work for some reason, 
    2. You can send an email with your inquiries to 
  • Will the IRB ensure that my research is in compliance with Vietnamese law? 

    The purview of the IRB is to ensure that proposed research is in compliance with ethical standards, which are not always the same as legal standards.  We are not responsible for ensuring that the research is in compliance with Vietnamese law.  Researchers are responsible for any legal obligations.

  • I’m in discipline X, do I have to have IRB approval for my research project? 

    The IRB process is designed for all research involving human subjects.  While different disciplines have their own norms and procedures, all are subject to the requirement for IRB approval.   

  • Do I have to write my application in English? 

    Yes for Undergraduate Program applications. 

    No for FSPPM applications, which can be written in English or Vietnamese. 

  • Are research ethics different in Vietnam from other countries? 

    Yes, they are.  In order to ensure that approved research adheres to the highest ethical standards, the IRB looks to both international research norms and local culture when assessing the potential impact of a research project.   


For more information, please contact us via email at:


IRB approval is required prior to contacting participants or collecting data