Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

Institutional Review Board (IRB)

The Institutional Review Board (IRB) of Oberlin College seeks to provide a clear and comprehensive policy to safeguard the welfare, rights, and privacy of all persons who participate as human subjects of research conducted by Oberlin students, faculty and staff.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Institutional Review Board (IRB) has issued some revised policy related to human participant research. Effective immediately and until further notice, ALL research involving face-to-face contact with participants must strictly adhere to the current COVID-19 polices set out by Oberlin College (e.g., masking, distancing). Up-to-date information on Oberlin College policies can be found on the ObieSafe website. Refer to the full IRB policy for further details.

More generally, the IRB seeks to foster the core ethical principles of beneficence, justice, and respect of individuals’ dignity and autonomy as defined in the Belmont Report  and set forth in the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Code of Federal Regulations (The “Common Rule”) Title 45, part 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations  (Revised January 15, 2009, effective July 14, 2009).

All colleges and universities are required by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to have IRBs in order to protect human subjects involved in research. Members of the committee come from a variety of disciplines, including at least one member whose primary concerns are nonscientific and one member who is not affiliated with the college. It is the responsibility of the IRB to ensure that investigators comply with the relevant federal regulations and ethical guidelines set forth by the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP).

For details of the responsibilities and rules governing the IRB and investigators refer to the Office for Human Research Subjects Protections (OHRP) .

All students participating in course based or independent research MUST take the appropriate CITI course training before submitting an IRB protocol.  Instructions on how to take the course can be found in the training tab of the IRB website.