IRB Advisement and Support

In an effort to support the continuous needs of advanced EdD students, one of the services provided by USC is Institutional Review Board (IRB) advising and support. Therefore, because the vast majority of EdD students will be required to obtain IRB approval in order to complete their research study, we have streamlined the process to meet your needs.

There are several steps one must take in order to obtain IRB approval for your study. Therefore, it is advised that you plan accordingly.

Step 1: Obtaining an iStar Account

To obtain an iStar account, please fill in all the requested information here. Once an account request is submitted, please allow at least 24 hours for the information to be verified and the account to become activated. Once activated, an email will be sent with login instructions.

If you are having trouble obtaining an iStar account, or need technical help with the system please call (323) 276-2238 or email

Step 2: CITI (Human Subjects Education)

CITI is the online education program required of all USC investigators and key personnel conducting human subjects research. IRB applications are not approved until this education requirement is met. Information on CITI is available here (

Step 3: All Human Subjects Research Applications Must be Submitted Through iStar

Investigators must submit IRB applications through the online iStar system. Subsequent reviews, amendments, and reportable event must also be submitted through iStar. An iStar account is needed to utilize this system. iStar Resources/Training are available here (

Determining Your Study’s Level of IRB Review

To assist you in the process of obtaining IRB approval and to determine your study’s level of review, we have designed a Tip Sheet for EdD IRB Applications.

IRB Forms and Templates:
For a list of IRB Forms and Templates including Information Sheets, Informed Consent Forms and any other IRB specific forms you will need in order to obtain IRB approval, visit the Office for the Protection of Research Subjects website. IRB information is also available on our Navigating the Dissertation resource, in the IRB and CITI section.