The committee feels that in most cases scientific merit is best judged by peers. Towards this end, the committee requires the signature of the chairperson of the protocol author's academic or administrative department (or the Chair's designate) indicating that the chair has reviewed the proposal and to the best of his or her knowledge, the protocol satisfies the required criteria. Copies of correspondence regarding committee action on a protocol will be sent to the department chair or head. In the case of dissertation or thesis projects the IRB requires that the student's dissertation/thesis committee approve the proposal prior to IRB submission. The committee strongly encourages academic departments or units to form their own review committees to pre-review proposals prior to submission to the IRB. Chairpersons may delegate responsibility for departmental review to such a committee but will still receive copies of correspondence regarding the proposals.