The Institutional Review Board (IRB) reviews and approves requests to conduct research involving human subjects. IRB’s role is to ensure that ethical principles and standards respecting the personal welfare and rights of subjects have been recognized and accommodated. All research and research-related activity involving human participants conducted under the auspices of the College shall fall within the jurisdiction of the IRB. CNA-Q’s IRB follows the policies and regulations for Institutional Review Boards of the Ministry of Public Health of the State of Qatar.


  • Research is defined as a systematic investigation to establish facts, principles or knowledge.
  • Applies to all research which is conducted within, or by members of, CNA-Q, regardless of funding source or research location. Applies to all external organizations wishing to research with CNA-Q.
  • Members of the College include faculty members, administrators, all other employees of the College, and students. Also external organizations.
  • The IRB is authorized to approve, reject, propose modifications to, or terminate both new proposals and on-going research.
  • Approval of new proposals must be granted before the research is started.
  • Ongoing research shall be subject to continuing ethics review.

Is it Research?

Before you tackle the task of writing an ethics protocol, you first need to determine if your project is actually research or quality assurance/quality improvement.

Definition of Quality Assurance: 

When an organization is interested in assessing or improving some aspect of its performance (e.g. job satisfaction, safety compliance), it may conduct quality assurance or improvement studies. Similarly, schools may test their students within normal educational requirements (e.g. to assess knowledge retention). These activities are usually not considered research as defined by MoPH and TCPS 2 and do not require IRB review.

If you are still uncertain if your project falls under the QA umbrella, contact OARI.

More Information

Course-Based Research

  • The difference between Research and Professional Skill Development is that research must have prior approval, while skill development does not.
  • Course-based Research varies in scope but includes activities such as students conducting interviews, administering standardized tests, and distributing questionnaires. It also includes conducting projects that pose research questions, gathers data from human participants, and analyze that data for presentation.
  • The instructor, in the case of course-based research, holds primary responsibility for the ethics review application and for student adherence to ethical treatment of human participants; the student holds secondary responsibility.
  • Course-based activities that are considered Professional Skill Development are exempt from Ethical Review requirements.


Applications and Information

Applications are accepted on a continuous basis. Depending on the complexity of the proposed research, reviews may be conducted by the full Board or is delegated to members of a review committee. Please be aware that review and response will take several weeks from the first date of application.

During the summer annual leave period (June – August), reviews are very difficult to schedule. Protocols will be addressed when possible before and after the summer period. It is understood, however, that some protocols may require IRB review during the summer period and reviews will occur on a timely basis.


IRB Application form

CNA-Q Application for Exemption Waiver from Ethical Oversight.pdf

Application for Initial Ethical Review of Research Involving Human Subjects