UW Research

Frequently-Asked Questions

Zipline Frequently Asked Questions

If you do not see your question or topic below, email hsdinfo@uw.edu.


How do I log in to Zipline?

What should I do before I begin a Zipline online application?

HSD highly recommends that you check out our education page. There are great resources to help you create your Zipline study!

Zipline Help for Researchers

We especially recommend the Tutorial, Video, or Instructions on Creating a New Study.

What do I do if my sponsor is not listed as a Funding Organization in Zipline?

You can search for part of the name of your funding source using the % symbol (e.g., if you’re looking for the ‘Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)’ you could search ‘%Patient’ ‘%Patient-Centered’ ‘%Research Institute’, etc.).

If your funding is internal to the University of Washington (e.g. internal department funds), the funding source will not be listed in Zipline. Select instead “OSP Not Involved”. Write N/A for the Sponsor’s Funding ID and Grants Office ID.

If your funding is a gift disbursed through the University of Washington, the funding source will not be in Zipline. Select “Gift through the UW” instead. Write N/A for the Sponsor’s Funding ID and Grants Office ID.

If your funding source is not internal to the UW, is not a gift, and does not appear on the list, contact HSD staff at hsdinfo@uw.edu before you complete your application, so it can be added to the list for you to select.

I cannot find the PI or my advisor in Zipline. Where are they?

Zipline question number 6 Who is the principal investigator?

The person who creates the study in Zipline is automatically listed as the PI and can be changed by clicking the “Select” button next to question 6 on the Basic Information SmartForm (the first web form of the application). If the PI is not listed in the selection window that appears when you click “Select”, it means she or he has not yet registered in Zipline. Similarly, if the faculty advisor is not listed in the selection window that appears when adding an ancillary review, it means that he or she has not yet registered in Zipline. Please see INSTRUCTIONS: Registering in Zipline for more details. Once a person has registered, they will show up as a selection option in Zipline.

How do I get access to Zipline?

Zipline users log in with their UW NetID. See how to get a sponsored UW NetID. For example, if you are affiliated with Seattle Children’s, and are requesting that the UW IRB review your study, you will need a sponsored UW NetID. For additional assistance with your UW NetID or password, contact UW IT at help@uw.edu, or 206-221-5000.

What automated notifications from Zipline does the PI receive?

The PI, PI Proxy, and Primary Contact will receive notifications when:

  • HSD staff request clarification during review of an application or Report of New Information
  • HSD staff send a formal letter with the study approval, conditional approval, deferral, determination, or signed Zipline Review Authorization with confirmation of external IRB
  • HSD staff close, suspend, or terminate the study
  • HSD staff administratively withdraw the study or Report of New Information
  • The deadline for submission of a status report is approaching (notification sent at 60 and 30 days prior)
  • The study approval lapses
  • The study team has not responded to requested clarifications within 30 days
  • A study team member is assigned as a Responsible Party for a Report of New Information (requires action by the study team member)
  • A Report of New Information is acknowledged by HSD
  • A comment is added to the study, and the PI, PI Proxy, or Primary Contact is/are selected as a recipient

I have limited time and need to start a new Zipline application right away! What are the key points I should know before starting?

  1. It is recommended that you prepare your study documents, including a completed IRB Protocol form (Required) before you create your study in Zipline. None of the work you do on the SmartForms can be saved in Zipline until the IRB Protocol Form is uploaded to the first SmartForm page. (This does not apply to those requesting to go through the External IRB process.)
  2. See TABLE: Zipline Attachments for a list of common documents that may be attached in Zipline.
  3. Complete the web-based SmartForm application in Zipline and upload your study documents, including the IRB Protocol. See INSTRUCTIONS: Create New Study.
  4. Faculty advisor review (if required) should be added to the study before submitting to HSD. See INSTRUCTIONS: Send Study for Faculty Advisor Review.
  5. When a new study is created, it is in Pre-Submission state until it is submitted to HSD for review. HSD will not begin review of the study until it has been submitted. See INSTRUCTIONS: Submit to HSD.

Where is my signed IRB Reliance Agreement, Individual Investigator Agreement, or Review Authorization Form?

For UW-reviewed submissions (you have not requested review by an external IRB), HSD staff will upload documents for the research team to the documents tab in the study workspace. The history log will display the following when documents have been uploaded by HSD staff:

Screen shot from Zipline of the history log

If you are requesting approval to have IRB review completed at another institution (seeking an external IRB approval), the Review Authorization form will also be uploaded to the Documents tab through the Confirm External IRB activity completed by HSD staff.

The signed form(s) will be located in the documents tab:

Screen shot from Zipline of the documents tab

If you cannot find your form, please contact HSD staff.

When do I submit the status report for a conversion application?

You will submit the ZIPLINE APPLICATION: Status Report, Conversion Study along with your conversion application by uploading it to question #9 on the Basic Info SmartForm.

For more information on conversion studies, see our Zipline Conversions page.

I made the changes requested by HSD. Does the PI need to submit again?

Yes, only the PI or PI Proxy has the ability to submit the study or to submit a response to HSD requests for clarification. For instructions on how to add a PI Proxy to your study, see INSTRUCTIONS: Assign PI Proxy.

NOTE: For External IRB submissions, only the PI can submit.  There is no PI Proxy functionality in Zipline for external IRB applications.

My conversion is due soon and I need to do a mod. What do I do?

In most cases, it is best to wait until the conversion is approved in Zipline. However, if the modification is urgent, please contact the Team Operations Lead for your department.

I can't find the Submit or Submit Response button. how do I actually submit the application or respond to requests for clarification?

Look for the ‘Submit’ or ‘Submit Response’ button on the left hand side of the study workspace under My Current Actions. Only the PI or PI Proxy has the ability to submit the study or to submit a response to HSD requests for clarification. For instructions on how to add a PI Proxy to your study, see INSTRUCTIONS: Assign PI Proxy.

Screen shot of the submit activity in Zipline

I submitted but I forgot something. How do I make a change right now?

You can withdraw your study during Pre-Review to change something you have forgotten. However, you will have to re-submit your study after you have made the changes (the review will start over):

Zipline screen shot withdraw activity








Or, once the IRB Coordinator has requested changes, you can make changes during the ‘Clarification Requested’ state:

Zipline screen shot Clarification Requested state





Why can't I respond to your request for clarification?

Only the PI or PI Proxy has the ability to submit the study or to submit a response to HSD requests for clarification. For instructions on how to add a PI Proxy to your study, see INSTRUCTIONS: Assign PI Proxy.

Why hasn't IRB review started yet?

If the item is still in Pre-Submission, you have not yet submitted the item to HSD.

Zipline screen shot pre-submission state

After you have completed the application forms and SmartForms, you must click the Submit button as the PI or PI Proxy for IRB review to begin:

Screen shot of the submit activity in Zipline

The HSD reviewer asked for a specific revision to a SmartForm, but I can't find the page they are talking about.

First, open the application by clicking the ‘Edit Study’ action under My Current Actions. This is found on the left hand side of the study workspace:

Screen shot of the Zipline edit study action

Once in the application, you will be in the Basic Info SmartForm page. To find a specific SmartForm page, locate the ‘jump to’ menu from the SmartForm navigation and select the page you are looking for. For more information, see INSTRUCTIONS: Edit Submission.

Screen shot of the Zipline drop down menu for jumping between SmartForms

I added a funder in Zipline, but now I need to revise it. How do I edit the funding source?

Once you have added a funder, click on the Funding Source name to open the specific funder information:

Screen shot of Zipline funding source SmartForm

A dialogue box will open and you can edit the funder information from there:

Screen shot of Zipline funding dialog box

How do I download and fill out the Study Roles Addendum?

The Study Roles Addendum is a PDF Smartform and may download differently based on the browser you use. See the FAQ “I’m having problems downloading interactive PDFs, like the Study Roles Addendum”.

Note that we only want the study role, not the name of the individual (this reduces the need for modifications to your study when study staff changes).

Once opened, complete the “Add a study team role” section of the form. Click ‘Add’.

Screen shot of the Study Roles Addendum form

Each addition will populate the table “Current study team roles”.

You can delete roles or re-do a role if added in error. Deleted roles will populate the “Former study team roles” table. Re-doing a role will delete the role from the tables completely.

Screen shot of the table in the Study Team Roles Addendum form

Save the file to a location on your computer after you have completed the form. Return to the Study Team Roles SmartForm in Zipline and click Add or drag and drop the file.

Screen shot of the Study Team SmartForm in Zipline

How do I know that I have successfully submitted my application?

Your application has been successfully submitted to HSD when it is no longer in pre-submission, and is instead in pre-review. This will be indicated by the application workflow graphic and also in the upper left hand status box:

Screen shot of the Zipline workflow diagram showing the study in the pre-review state

How do I modify the IRB Protocol or other study documents when I am completing a modification?

When completing a modification, it is important to use the most up to date forms from your application. For detailed help, see the VIDEO: Edit Study Documents for a Modification.

When updating a previously submitted document with a modification:

  • The version of the study document that is currently in Zipline should be used when making revisions. You can find a current version under the documents tab in the main study workspace either in the Draft or in the Final column.

Screen shot of Zipline showing where to find documents needing revision when completing a modification

See INSTRUCTIONS: Edit Submission for information about where to locate study documents for editing.

I need to respond to a request from HSD. How do I submit my response?

HSD staff will send a letter to the research team via the Clarification Requested activity or the Letter Sent activity (for Modifications Required). You can find the request and the attached letter under the History tab.

Screen shot of Zipline History tab and pre-review letter

Download the letter, make the requested changes/clarifications to the study using the Edit Study action under My Current Actions, and then navigate to the Submit Response activity in the study workspace.

Screen shot of the Zipline submit response activity

This activity will open a dialogue box where you can attach your response letter and submit study changes back to HSD.

The consent form watermark is cut off when I print.

The watermark located in the upper left hand corner will sometimes be cut off when printing out the finalized consent form. Select “Fit” or “Fit to Page” from the print menu before printing.

When I'm using Internet Explorer and I right-click to download a document, the instructions are different than when I use Chrome. What is happening?

The wording displayed when right-clicking to download a document will vary somewhat depending upon the browser being used. For example, if right-clicking on a document link in Internet Explorer, the pop-up box will state “Save Target As”. In Chrome and Firefox, the pop-up box will state “Save Link As”.

'Printer Version' looks jumbled when I'm using Chrome.

There is a known issue when attempting to use “Printer Version” with some versions of Chrome. One workaround is when you click on Printer Version -> Print, locate “PrintPageBreak=True” in the URL, and change the value from True to False and then click ‘Print’. Another workaround is to simply use a different browser.

I'm having problems downloading interactive PDFs, like the Study Roles Addendum.

The problem is most likely that your browser is attempting to open the interactive PDF. There are two work-arounds: right click on the link; or update your browser.

Right click on the link

  1. Select “save-as” or “save target=as”.
  2. Save the document to your desktop or a folder.
  3. Open Adobe Reader, and use the file menu to open the PDF.

Update your browser
Here are instructions for the top three browsers on how to disable that feature, and force interactive PDFs to be opened in Adobe Reader.

Internet Explorer:

  1. Open the “Tools” menu
  2. Open the “Manage Add-ons” window
  3. Click “Toolbars and Extensions” in the Add-on Types box, then click the “Show” drop-down box
  4. Select “All Add-ons”, then scroll down the list until you find Adobe PDF Reader
  5. Select “Adobe PDF Reader” and then click the “Disable” button


  1. Enter URL chrome://settings/content
  2. Scroll down to PDF Documents > Enable “Open PDF files in the default PDF viewer application”
  3. Click “Done” to save changes


  1. Click the menu button and choose “Options”.
  2. Select the “Applications” panel.
  3. Find Portable Document Format (PDF) in the list and click on it to select it.
  4. Click on the drop-down arrow in the Action column for the above entry and select Adobe Reader.

What are the best browsers to use?

Platform Browser
Microsoft Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10

Server 2012, Server 2012 R2

Internet Explorer: version 11

Edge: latest version

Firefox: latest version

Chrome*: latest version

Apple Mac OS X 10.9, 10.10, 10.11, 10.12 Safari: latest version applicable to OS

Firefox: latest version

Chrome: latest version

Apple iOS 9, 10 (iPhone and iPad) Safari

*If you install a theme in Chrome, vertical scrollbars might disappear in pop-up windows.

Can I access Zipline on my Mac, iPad, iPhone, tablet, etc.?

Zipline is accessible from most any internet connection; however there is no mobile version or app. There will be slight differences in how documents open or download depending on the browser used. Please see “What are the best browsers to use?” for more information.

I received the error below after entering my UW NetID and password:

Shibboleth error screen
Your internet session was inactive for too long and Shibboleth timed out. Close your internet browser, relaunch, and log in again.

My UW NetID and/or password is not working.

Your UW NetID and password are used to access various programs/sites at the University. Try to access MyUW. If you are able to log in to MyUW, you may use the same ID and possword to log into Zipline.

  • If you cannot log into MyUW, please contact UW IT at help@uw.edu, or 206-221-5000.
  • If you can log into MyUW, but not Zipline, please contact hsdinfo@uw.edu.

Why isn't Zipline more like Turbo Tax?

Zipline is at its core a document management system. In order to maintain flexibility with the ever-shifting regulatory landscape, it is more cost-effective to use documents to deliver pertinent information to the IRB, rather than constantly having to re-program SmartForms.