The Institutional Review Board (IRB) is a committee that reviews all research that uses human subjects. Its primary purpose is to ensure that human research subjects are protected. This includes protecting the privacy of subjects, respecting the autonomy of subjects, preserving the dignity of subjects, minimizing risks while maximizing benefits to subjects, and providing adequate information for subjects to make informed decisions. The IRB also ensures that the benefits and risks of research are equally distributed and that vulnerable populations such as children are given extensive protection.
In addition to promoting quality research, protecting human subjects also protects the researcher, the advisor, and the University. Through IRB review, the IRB assists researchers in developing the best possible methodologies to ensure the best possible research outcomes. Human Subjects Protection is a shared responsibility and the IRB is happy to assist in this process!