Institutional Review Board (IRB)

 

What is IRB?

Institutional Review Board (IRB) is an AUCA Faculty Senate Committee that is responsible for conducting review and clearance of all research projects within the AUCA that entail collecting data from human subjects. In its proceedings, IRB is guided by general principles of ethics in research and internationally recognized documents, such as the Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research (“The Belmont Report”). 

 

What projects require an IRB clearance? 

The IRB reviews all research projects (including) involving human subjects in accordance with the IRB Charter. Clearance from the AUCA IRB is absolutely required to have been obtained prior to any contact with the subjects and data collection. In carrying out its role the IRB is authorized to review, approve, require modification or disapprove proposals.

It is NOT the role of the AUCA IRB to evaluate the soundness of the proposed research and research design. Instead, the IRB is responsible for evaluating each project’s compliance with ethical standards regarding issues such as informed consent, confidentiality, and assessment of risks to the participants. 

IRB approval must be obtained for all theses and dissertation research even if there is no intention to publish or disseminate the results. IRB approval is not required for class projects if results are not intended for distribution and publication.

 

What projects DO NOT require an IRB clearance?

  • Anonymized secondary or archival data that has been previously collected for the purpose of research.
  • Data collection from human subjects for non-research purposes. Therefore, research that does not contribute to generalizable knowledge. (Note: student thesis is considered as research work contributing to generalizable knowledge)
  • Data collected from human subjects where the subsequent output does not include the publication of findings in the form of conference presentations, thesis defense, journal or conference publications, whitepapers, or public opinion posts.
  • Data collected from human subjects in commonly accepted educational settings and involve standard educational practices (for example, data collected to illustrate a concept in a class). Such research should not lead to the contribution to generalizable knowledge.
  • Research where no data is collected about or from human subjects (e.g., animals and weather).

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