The Institutional Review Board (IRB) is a committee that reviews all research which involves human subjects. Investigators cannot begin research involving human subjects until a complete application has been submitted, reviewed, and approved by the IRB.
Determining whether your work is research that involves human subjects can be surprisingly complicated and depends on a variety of factors. There are a number of questions to think about as you determine whether you will need IRB approval:
- Is my work research? For purposes of IRB review, "research" is defined as "a systematic investigation designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge."
- Do you intend to collect identifying information?
- Will you publish your findings or disseminate your work to a public audience?
- Will you be conducting interviews, surveys or focus groups?
- Will you need access to sensitive data or records?
- Are you seeking grant funding?
If the answer to any of these questions is "yes," your work may require IRB review.
Research at the undergraduate or graduate level such as thesis, honors, or seminar projects may also be considered human subjects research and may require review.
For more information and application instructions please visit the IRB