Wednesday, June 16, 2010 drama unfolds behind closed doors

After a month of waiting, I recently asked the IRB for a status update on my application (the one that I handed in to Mary as instructed), and the rep said, and I quote:

"I do not show that our office received an application from you."

After a flurry of emails, nobody who touched my application can figure out what happened to it.  I would simply resubmit it, except that the McNair program is on a tight summer schedule and I don't have time to start the process all over again.  Even if the IRB agrees to expedite my application approval, it's likely I'll still have to make several revisions and meet with them for a board review, because my project involves interacting with minors--a very touchy subject, research-wise.

I'm looking at just doing observations instead, so that I don't need IRB approval at all.  That way I can start my project right away and perhaps even finish my project on time.  I only have two months to collect data, analyze it, and write a publishing-quality paper, and the clock is ticking. 

All this time, I had really thought that the IRB was almost done reviewing my application.  I'd heard it can take up to six weeks to hear back from them, and I had only waited for four.  It did not occur to me to confirm that they even recieved it, because my application was supposed to be bundled safely with all the other McNair ones and submitted as part of a group.

*sigh*  I guess I know for next time.

Stay tuned...