All research involving human participants must be submitted to and approved by the IRB prior to starting the research.
What is an Institutional Review Board?
An Institutional Review Board (IRB) is a group of a minimum of five professionals from different fields of expertise, one of which must be from a “non-scientific” field (e.g. English, Religious Studies, or Art). Each IRB is also required to have one additional member from outside the campus community who has no personal relationship (professional may be okay), with anyone on campus.
All institutions that receive federal money for research (which MAC does) are required by law to have an IRB. If research is conducted on such a campus without the use of an IRB, there could be implications regarding federal funding.
The purpose of the IRB is to review all research using human participants to ensure that participants are treated ethically and that the research itself is ethical. Often people believe that it is the researcher’s job to determine whether her research needs to be reviewed by the IRB. It is not the researcher’s prerogative to determine whether she should contact the IRB. The researcher must complete the IRB paperwork, and the IRB determines whether the research is exempt from IRB review.
IRB Application Process
Below is the appropriate way to go through the IRB process.
1. The researcher(s) should read the MAC Policy on the Protection of Human Participants in Research.
2. The document labeled “Application for the Conduct of Research Involving Human Participants” should be downloaded and completed in its entirety (see Application for the Conduct of Research below).
3. The completed application should be printed and signed by the appropriate individuals (for students that includes the student researcher, the supervising faculty member, and the dept. chair).
4. An e-copy and the hard copy of the application, along with the supporting materials, need to be sent to the IRB chair, Dr. Laura Lansing, at LLansing@mtaloy.edu. Supporting materials include copies of questionnaires/survey instruments, along with informed consent documents.
5. The IRB chair and one other IRB member will determine whether the research is exempt. If it is not exempt, the chair will send the appropriate IRB members a copy of the proposal.
6. The IRB will meet to review the research.
7. The IRB will either send a letter, usually via e-mail, to the researcher approving (or exempting) the research, or the IRB will send a letter indicating how the research must be altered to gain approval.
8. Only after receiving an approval letter can the researcher solicit participants and begin the study.
If you have any questions regarding the process, please contact Dr. Laura Lansing at 886-6435 or LLansing@mtaloy.edu.
Application for the Conduct of Research
To have your research approved, please complete the following application:
If the principal investigator is a student, the application must be signed by the applicant’s faculty sponsor and the Department Chair.
After acquiring the necessary signatures, scan your completed application into a PDF file. Email this electronic version, along with all supporting materials, to:
Dr. Laura Lansing
Academic Hall, Room 106
Supporting materials include copies of questionnaires/survey instruments, along with informed consent documents. Experimental studies should also include a debriefing statement.
Also, send a paper version with original signatures to Dr. Lansing via campus mail, along with the supporting materials.
- Informed Consent Form Template
- Guidelines for Exempt and Expedited Submissions
- Sample Application for Conduct of Research Involving Human Participants
- Sample Informed Consent Form
- Sample Debriefing Statement
Institutional Review Board Members:
- Dr. Laura Lansing, Chair
- Dr. Anthony Dragani, Co-Chair
- Dr. Joseph Bobak
- Mr. Michael Bradley
- Dr. Penny Lescher
- Dr. Sara Rutledge