Step 4: Understand the basic outline of the HPRB process

The online HPRB application process in Mentor will have you:

The pre-survey in Mentor will walk you through a series of questions to:

  • get essential information about your project and your research team;
  • determine whether your project is considered “research” requiring HPRB review, and if so, what level of review (see below); and
  • obtain specific information regarding your study.

There is much more detail on the nuts-and-bolts of the process in Step 7.

Please answer all questions using clear, concise, self-explanatory language, so that HPRB reviewers in your school or division (called Unit Designates), who may not be familiar with your specific topic, will readily understand your project.

You should create these documents in consultation with your Faculty Supervisor, who will be able to advise you on the norms and conventions within your discipline.

Informed Consent
This is a critical component of your application. Informed consent is necessary for all research studies (even exempt research).

Recruitment Materials
The HPRB must review and approve all recruitment materials (e.g., scripts, emails, social media posts, flyers, advertisements) before they can be used.

Instruments, Research Materials, Stimuli
The HPRB needs to review and approve all study materials, including copies of surveys, stimuli (e.g., pictures, scenarios, video clips), interview questions, instructions, scripts, etc.

The HPRB needs to review and approve the debriefing script or text that will be shared with participants at the end of the study. The goal of the debriefing is to thank participants, inform them about the goals, methods, and hypotheses of the study, tell them how the results will be used, ensure that participants leave in the same state in which they arrived, and provide additional information or resources.

Like the consent form, the debriefing should be written:

  • at no higher than an 8th grade level (similar to a popular magazine or newspaper) and with no discipline-specific jargon,
  • in the second person (“you are invited to participate, you will be asked to complete a survey, give a blood sample…”), and
  • as if the investigator and the participant are engaged in conversation.

Please feel free to use this debriefing template or design one of your own.

The HPRB will have additional questions and concerns for certain types of projects. If this is the case, Mentor will direct you to complete a supplemental form before you may submit your application for review.

Currently, we have supplemental forms for:

  • Research with children
  • International research and/or research non-English-speaking participants

Once you have completed the HPRB proposal sections and uploaded all project documents (recruitment, consent, instruments, debriefing) in Mentor, you will need to have your Faculty Supervisor review all your materials. At the top of your proposal page you will see a button to Submit Proposal to Faculty Supervisor.

Your Faculty Supervisor can provide comments for you right in Mentor (in each proposal section) and can make edits in any of your uploaded documents (e.g., by using the Review function in Word). They may send the proposal back to you for further revision.

When this back-and-forth editing process is complete, your Faculty Supervisor will need to provide an electronic signature that will officially submit your proposal to the HPRB for review.