FAQ: Are there any formatting requirements for consent documents submitted to the IRB office?

Yes, for expedited or full board projects.

Please follow these instructions:

  • Submit the document in Microsoft Word format
  • Do not use text boxes in the consent form (will not transform when converted to PDF)
  • Do not place a footer in the consent document or any text within one inch of the bottom of the document
  • Leave a one-inch margin at the bottom so the IRB office can place the approval footer

When a consent document is approved for expedited or full board projects, the file(s) are converted to PDF, an electronic footer is added with IRB approval information, and the document is uploaded to the MSU IRB Online System for access at any time. The current approved IRB consent form with the expiration footer must be used.

If you cannot use PDF printouts (e.g. mail merge, online consent), let the IRB staff know.

If the research is exempt, an IRB footer will not be placed on the consent document.