The role of the WCSU Institutional Review Board (IRB) is to review and to approve, when in compliance, all proposed research at WCSU or by WCSU faculty, staff or students to ensure that the research meets Federal standards for the safety and protection of any human subjects involved in the research. Our 2013-14 committee is composed of 12 voting members and 1 non-voting member (i.e., Grants Offices Administrator).
The Institutional Review Board (IRB) for an institution is a committee mandated by federal law to protect the rights and welfare of human subjects participating in research activities. Compliance is monitored by the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The law is specific to research conducted or supported by a federal department or agency. However, a majority of research institutions voluntarily apply this regulation (45 CFR 46) to all research conducted at their site, regardless of status or source of funding. The IRB achieves its primary function, protecting the rights and welfare of subjects participating in research, by educating researchers. An educated investigator makes the IRB's job easier. Educating researchers about the requirements assists them in complying with the regulations before problems occur.
PLEASE NOTE: It is not the role of the IRB to comment on design or to determine or improve the quality of research protocols (i.e., submitted proposals' methods), except insomuch as those methods affect the well-being, rights, and/or other protections of those involved in the research. As such, it is the role of the researchers involved, particularly as representatives of WCSU, to educate themselves regarding basic research procedures involving human participants. WCSU's IRB approval of a protocol indicates that the proposed method of study maximizes protection of human participants involved; IRB approval does not indicate research quality or otherwise endorse the overall design of a particular study.