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Institutional Review Board (IRB)

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 of human subjects policy: Exempt and Non-Exempt.  The determination of whether a study involving human subjects is exempt or non-exempt is made by the IRB. 


  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.  


Application for the Conduct of a Study Involving Human Subjects, Institutional Review Board. The format of this form constitutes information about the research project that will be necessary for the IRB to make an informed decision. The Principal investigator will sign the form. Student projects should be co-signed by the appropriate faculty sponsor Informed Consent Forms. Written informed consent must be obtained from each subject who is legally, mentally, and physically able to provide it. For subjects who are not able to provide informed consent themselves, written informed consent must be obtained from others (e.g., parents, guardians). The student should provide two copies of the consent form, one for the subject, parent, or guardian to sign and return and the other for him/her to keep. A completed copy of the consent form for each human subject must accompany the Application.  

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


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