Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

IRB Response to COVID-19

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Institutional Review Board (IRB) has issued some revised policy related to human participant research.

To Oberlin College Faculty and Staff:

Effective immediately and until further notice, ALL research involving face-to-face contact with participants should be performed in strict accordance with current Oberlin College policy concerning COVID-19 (e.g. masking, distancing). If research will occur in an off-campus location with additional COVID-safety policies in place, all research must comply with those local polices as well.  Up-to-date information on Oberlin College policies can be found here

Currently, the IRB is still accepting new applications for review and will continue to review application revisions throughout the academic school year. If a new protocol has face-to-face contact with human participants, it will not be approved unless it includes a clear description of how this research will be conducted in accordance with current Oberlin College COVID-19 policy.  Additionally, faculty advisers of student research projects are required to notify their students and ensure that all research conducted is compliant with these policies.

As we experience the impacts of COVID-19, the IRB wants to reiterate that the primary concern and responsibility of the IRB is for the safety of research participants and researchers. We appreciate your flexibility and patience.

Any questions can be sent by email to the IRB at

Michael Parkin
Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences
Chair, Oberlin College Institutional Review Board