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Appeals to IRB Decisions


Human subjects research not approved by the IRB may not be conducted at UTHealth or by UTHealth faculty or staff. However, investigators may appeal decisions made by the IRB that are in contention, including decisions to disapprove, suspend, or terminate, or stipulate modifications  to submitted protocols and associated submission materials, including informed consent forms.


When the IRB disapproves, suspends, or terminates a protocol,  IRB staff will notify the investigator of the action and rationale of the decision by written correspondence. Within the official notification letter received by the investigator from the IRB, the investigator will be instructed to respond in writing to the decision.

If clarification of the written notice is needed, the investigator will be instructed to contact the IRB staff for further clarification and instructions. Investigators who disagree with the IRB decision will be informed about the IRB appeal process and available options for further consideration.

Submission of Appeal: Once the investigator has decided to enter into an appeal process, IRB staff will instruct the investigator to provide the rationale and supporting information/material that will aid the IRB in the review of the appeal.

Review Process: The IRB staff will forward the response submitted by the investigator to the subcommittee chairperson. The IRB staff will place the appeal for discussion at the upcoming full committee meeting. The IRB staff will notify the Institutional Official of the appeal.

IRB staff will assign review of appeal responses for protocols reviewed by expedited review process or requests for exemptions for discussion at a convened meeting.

Investigators will be given the option of contacting the IRB chairperson of the panel that made the decision to discuss their appeal and any submitted additional supporting information.

Investigators will be given the opportunity to attend an IRB meeting to discuss their appeal.

IRB staff will notify the investigator in writing of the IRB final decision regarding the current appeal. In this notification, investigators will be informed that they can direct additional unresolved questions, express concerns, and convey suggestions to the Executive Committee or Institutional Official. The decision of the IRB to disapprove, suspend, or terminate a protocol cannot be overruled by the Institutional Official.

There are no limitations placed on the appeal process, allowing investigators to appeal decisions and resubmit information as frequently as warranted. 


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If you find errors in this document, contact 

Document Number:


Document Name:

Appeals to CPHS Decision

Reviewed by:

Executive Director, Research Compliance


1 Aug 2008

Revision History:

1 Aug 2011, 1 Jun 2016, 21 Jan 2019,  1 Jun 2021

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