COVID-19 update for St. Kate's IRB

Effective September 1, 2020 and until further notice, research and quality improvement projects involving face-to-face interaction with participants will continue to be conducted remotely, with 3 exceptions.

  1. The project procedure(s) is essential to ensure participant health, safety, or well-being,
  2. The project is performed in the investigator’s workplace (traditional education setting, clinical/health care setting, etc.) that is open for business, the workplace in-person interaction is not outside of the typical work activities of the investigator, and the PI includes an in-person interaction addendum with their IRB application, or
  3. The project is approved to be conducted in person by the COVID In-Person Research Committee.

IRB approval is separate from COVID In-Person Research Committee approval.  Projects must have approval from both committees to begin in-person human subject research/quality improvement projects unless the project meets one of the listed exceptions. Primary Investigators (PI’s) wanting to start in-person interactions with participants must contact the IRB and complete additional requirements. In-person projects must follow the St. Kate’s Covid-19 In-Person Human Subject Guidelines. Please contact the IRB at with any questions.

Covid-19 In-Person Human Subject Guidelines

Link to email sent to Pi's on 9/09/2020:

Link to email sent to Pi's on 3/30/2020:

Link to email sent to PI's on 03/17/2020:


Apply for IRB Approval

The St. Catherine University IRB is a committee established to review and approve research involving human subjects. We strive to ensure that all human subject research be conducted in accordance with all federal, institutional, and ethical guidelines. The Institutional Review Board (IRB) reviews all research involving human subjects to ensure protection, privacy, autonomy, dignity and informed consent for research participants. The protection of human subjects is a shared responsibility among researchers, advisors, and the University and the IRB has developed a process to assist in achieving the best possible research outcome. St. Catherine University's human subjects research program is administered by Sponsored Programs, Research and External Engagement (SPREE).


The Institutional Review Board (IRB) application process is conducted through an online software system called Mentor IRB available to all University faculty, staff, and students. Below are links to the Mentor IRB website, directions for applying through Mentor IRB and additional information about the IRB application process. Investigators cannot begin research with human subjects until a complete application has been submitted to the IRB, reviewed and approved. The IRB approval process takes about three to four weeks from application submission (including faculty advisor approval) to a response from the IRB, unless additional questions and/or documents are required. Applications submitted in November and December may require an additional one to two weeks to complete the review.

Login to Mentor IRB

Mentor IRB directions

IRB application process

Human Subject Research (HSR) Policy

The Research Involving Human Subject Policy describes the guiding principles and regulatory requirements necessary to ensure the rights, dignity, welfare, and privacy of the human subjects in all research conducted on behalf of the St. Catherine University. Human subject research is integrated more broadly with a system and policy around research integrity which can be found on the SPREE Policy and Compliance webpage.

CITI Training: HSR Education

Education of those involved in the research process is considered essential to ensure that all research involving human subjects is conducted in accordance with ethical principles and federal guidelines. CITI is a provider of online, peer-reviewed research integrity education. The IRB requires all primary investigators (PI), Co-PIs, research assistants, and faculty advisors to complete the Human Subjects Research (HSR) course. Researchers need to choose only one track under Human Subject Research course: Biomedical Investigators, Social Behavioral Investigators or Education Action Research. CITI offers additional training in Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) and Financial Conflict of Interest which is not typically required by the IRB.

IRB Committee

IRB Administration

Name IRB Committee role Department Phone Email
Lynda Szymanski Deciding Official Interim Provost 651-690-6720 Email Deciding Official Lynda Szymanski
John Schmitt IRB Chair Doctor of Physical Therapy Program 651-690-7739 Email IRB Chair John Schmitt
David Chapman IRB Co-Chair Doctor of Physical Therapy Program 651-690-7826 Email IRB Co-Chair David Chapman
Amy McKenna IRB Coordinator Office of Research and Sponsored Programs 651-690-6204 Email IRB Coordinator Amy McKenna
Kira Dahlk IRB Administrator Office of Research and Sponsored Programs 651-690-8820 Email IRB Administrator Kira Dahlk


IRB Review Board

Name Program Phone Email
Laurel Bidwell Social Work 651-690-6704 Email Laurel Bidwell (Social Work program)
Kari Hartwig Physician Assistant Studies 651-690-6113 Email Kari Hartwig (Physician Assistant Studies program)
John Fleming Occupational Science, Occupational Therapy 651-690-6951 Email John Fleming (Occupational Science, Occupational Therapy programs)
Carol Geisler Masters of Holistic Health 651-690-7789 Email Carol Geisler (Masters of Holistic Health program)
Yasemin Gunpinar Education 651-690-6313 Email Yasemin Gunpinar (Education program)
Catherine Kelly Education 651-690-6726 Email Catherine Kelly (Education program)
Nancy Koski Community Representative    
Mary Jeanne Levitt Community Representative    
Anaya Mitra Psychology 651-690-8614 Email Anaya Mitra (Psychology program)
Leso Munala Public Health 651-690-6265 Email Leso Munala (Public Health program)
Andrea Olson Psychology 651-690-8794 Email Andrea Olson (Psychology program)
Nanette Hoerr Nursing - DNP 651-690-6057 Email Nanette Hoerr (Nursing - DNP program)
Sharon Radd Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership 651-690-6189 Email Sharon Radd (Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership program)
Bonnie Riley Occupational Therapy Assistant Programs 651-402-4460 Email Bonnie Riley (Occupational Therapy Assistant Programs)
Joyce Yukawa Master of Library and Information Science 651-690-8661 Email Joyce Yukawa (Master of Library and Information Science program)
Katrice Ziefle Nursing 651-690-6155 Email Katrice Ziefle (Nursing program)

Committee Meetings

The IRB Committee meets to discuss requests for full review applications. The majority of IRB applications submitted to the St. Kate's IRB do not require a full review and can be submitted at any time. Full review IRB applications and supporting documents must be submitted through Mentor IRB two weeks prior to the next IRB Committee meeting. Full reviews are scheduled based on the order in which they are received. Once the meeting agenda is full, additional full reviews will be scheduled in the next available meeting. IRB meetings are listed on the SPREE webpage at the bottom under Department Events. If you do not see an upcoming IRB Committee Meeting contact