INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD (IRB)
The Institutional Review Board (IRB) is a group comprised of full-time faculty members and staff tasked with ensuring the protection of human subject research. Fisher College requires that, prior to commencing research, all projects involving human subjects be reviewed and approved by the IRB. Funded and non-funded research involving human subjects undertaken by faculty, administrators, staff, and students of Fisher College must meet the same standards. This applies to researchers and research participants inside and outside Fisher College.
DO I HAVE TO SUBMIT AN IRB APPLICATION?
If you are starting a project it may need to be reviewed by the Fisher College Institutional Review Board (IRB). Before you start your project you must determine if it is research that involves human subjects. In order to determine if your project is research that involves human subjects, you must answer YES to BOTH of the questions below.
Am I conducting Research?
You are conducting research if your project meets ANY of the following criteria:
1. You are going to publish the results of your proposed project now or at some future time.
2. You are going to present the results of your proposed project at a conference now or at some future time.
3. You are faculty or a staff member doing this proposed project in fulfillment of your master's thesis, Ph.D. dissertation, graduate coursework, or comprehensive examination for a graduate degree.
If you meet ANY of these three criteria your answer to question 1 is YES you are conducting research.
Does your research involve human subjects?
Your research involves human subjects if statement 1 (below) is met and if ANY of the three other statements (2-4) are also met.
1. People are the participants of the proposed project.
2. The proposed project involves working directly with living people.
3. You are gathering private information (e.g. personal philosophical beliefs) for the proposed project.
4. You are observing behavior in a generally accepted private space (e.g. church, home, bathroom) for the proposed project (observing people in a public place is not human subject research).
If your project meets criteria point 1 and at least one other of the criteria points (2-4) your answer to question 2 is YES you ARE conducting human subject research.
If you answer yes to both questions 1 and 2 you must complete an IRB application and submit it to the IRB chair. All applications submitted to the IRB chair will receive a full review by the IRB. If you answered no to question 1, 2 or both, you do not need to have your research reviewed by the IRB.
These steps apply even if the research is being conducted with students as part of a class. In other words, research being conducted as part of a class is not exempt from IRB review if it qualifies as human subject research.
If you are starting a project with students you must answers question 1 and 2 above. If the answer is YES to both you must submit an application for review to the IRB. If you answer no to either or both questions you do not have to submit an application to the IRB.
SCENARIOS REQUIRING IRB AND/OR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW/APPROVAL:
1. If you are requesting a course reduction to do research with human subjects - IRB and administrative review and approval.
2. You are requesting a course reduction for research that does not involve human subjects - IRB review (no approval needed) and Administrative approval.
3. You are requesting to use Fisher resources or information for a research or a project (e.g. dissertation or master's research, graduate course project, etc.) with human subjects - IRB review and approval and Administrative review and approval.
4. You are requesting to use Fisher resources or information for research or a project (e.g. dissertation or master's research, graduate course project, etc.) without human subjects - IRB review and Administrative review and approval.
THE INFORMATION BELOW IS FOR RESEARCHER WHO NEED TO SUBMIT AN APPLICATION TO THE IRB
All Fisher College faculty, staff, administrator or student who is the lead investigator on a project that qualifies as human subject research needs to submit a Fisher College IRB application and informed consent form to the chair of the IRB before the 15th of each month during an academic semester. The IRB will review all applications and will render a decision in a timely manner. The RIB application and the informed consent forms are available via the links below. Furthermore, Fisher College requires all Principal Investigators to obtain an ethics training course. We recommend the NIH ethics training course (https://phrp.nihtraining.com/users/login.php
) however an equivalent course will be sufficient. The certificate abstained upon the completion of the ethics course should be submitted to the IRB chair.
External Requests: In addition to the information stated above for internal requests external applicants must consider the following. Three research applications/requests will be accepted per academic semester (six applications in an academic year). Requests will be vetted by the Fisher College IRB for relevance and purpose. If a researcher from outside of Fisher College has received IRB approval from a different institution, documentation should be submitted to the Chair of the Fisher College IRB. In such cases, Fisher College IRB approval may not be required.
IRB Application Form (.pdf) (MS Word)
Fisher College requires all Principal Investigators to complete the NIH certificate or similiar and submit their application along with their certificate of completion. The NIH certificate may be obtained here.
For information, please contact:
Chair, Fisher College Institutional Research Board