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Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the Protection of Human Subjects
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Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the Protection of Human Subjects

Lindsey Wilson College is committed to following high ethical standards in fulfilling its mission of teaching, research, and public service.  This commitment is safeguarded by the Institutional Review Board (IRB).  The IRB reviews the ethical suitability of all projects (research, simulation, or training) involving human subjects as participants.  The following guidelines and ethical principles apply to the IRB in its review of the projects:

  1. All activities involving humans in research, training, and simulation must provide for the safety, health, and welfare of every individual.  Rights, including the right to privacy, must not be unduly infringed.
  2. The direct or potential benefits to the subject and/or the importance of the knowledge gained must outweigh the inherent risks to the individual.
  3. Participation in projects must be voluntary. Informed consent must be obtained from all subjects, unless this requirement is waived by the IRB.
  4. An individual has the right to withdraw from a project at any time or may refuse to participate without loss of benefits to which he/she would be otherwise entitled. In case of a class requirement, this restriction may be waived.
  5. Maintaining confidentiality of information gained about an individual during a project is a primary responsibility of the investigator.  

Research proposals may be divided into two categories for purposes of the protection under this policy:  Exempt and Non-Exempt.  The determination of whether a study involving human subjects is exempt or non-exempt is made by the IRB. 


Exempt

  1. Research involving the collection or study of existing data, documents, or records if these sources are publicly available or if the information is recorded by the investigator in such a manner that subjects cannot be identified directly or through identifiers linked to the subjects.
  2. Research and demonstration projects that are designed to study, evaluate, or otherwise examine:
    • Public benefit or service programs
    • Procedures for obtaining benefits or services to those under these programs
    • Possible changes in methods or levels of payments for benefits or services under these programs
  3. Research conducted in established educational settings, involving normal educational practices, such as:
    • Research in regular and special educational instruction strategies, or
    • Research on the effectiveness of the comparison among instructional techniques, curricula, or classroom management methods.
  4. Research that involves the use of educational tests (cognitive, aptitude, achievement), surveys, interview procedures, or observations of public behavior UNLESS
    • The information is recorded in such a way that human subjects can be identified directly or through identifiers linked to subjects
    • Any disclosure of the human subject's responses outside the research could reasonably place the subject at risk of criminal or civil liability or be damaging to the subject's financial standing, employability, or reputation.

Non-Exempt

  1. Research, including surveys that involve minors, the elderly, prisoners, clinical populations, inclusive of any clients in any therapeutic setting/relationship with a potential researcher, or any other vulnerable populations, should undergo IRB review.
  2. If data can be linked to a participant's identity, and thus there is a lack of anonymity or confidentiality, or if there is explicit or implicit coercion, inclusive of a therapeutic relationship, IRB review is required.
  3. A completed proposal, including an informed consent form and debriefing statement must be provided.  Detailed information may be found in The Faculty Handbook or by contacting the Academic Affairs office. 

Information on membership and guidelines for submitting proposals are available from the Academic Affairs office, in the online Faculty Forms folders, and The Faculty Handbook.

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