Institutional Review Board Policies

The Agnes Scott College Institutional Review Board (IRB) conforms to the federal policy for the Protection of Human Subjects also referred to as “The Common Rule.” The Common Rule defines “research as the systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge.”

With representation from a wide range of academic disciplines, the board provides individualized attention to the various research projects at the college.

As part of its work at the college, the IRB:

  • Ensures that risks to subjects are minimized, proper informed consent is collected, and privacy is protected.
  • Conducts continuing review of ongoing projects at intervals appropriate to the degree of risk involved.
  • Requires all extension requests, changes and/or modifications to proposals be approved by the IRB prior to the initiation or continuation of work on a research project.
  • Requires prompt reports from researchers of any unanticipated problems involving risks to subjects or others, or any serious or noncompliance with the IRB’s requirements or with the regulations.

The IRB has the authority to suspend or terminate IRB approval of research that is not being conducted in accordance with the IRB’s requirements or that has been associated with unexpected serious harm to subjects.

The Department of Health & Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) oversees the operation of the IRB, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) enforces regulations for the use of experimental drugs and devices.

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