IONA

Definition of IRB

The Human Subjects Review Board/Institutional Review Board (IRB) is a committee established to help protect the rights and welfare of human research participants, including biological materials (blood, tissue, etc.).  Federal regulations require that an IRB review and approve research involving human subjects if it is funded or regulated by the federal government.  Most research institutions, professional organizations, and scholarly journals, including Iona College, have chosen to apply the same requirements to all human research, regardless of the funding source.

The IRB at Iona College is guided by the principles outlined in the Belmont Report of the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research (April 18, 1979). In order to fulfill its mission, the IRB carefully reviews research proposals to determine the following:

  • Respect for persons
  • Risks to subjects are minimized and are reasonable in relation to expected benefits of the research
  • Selection of subjects is equitable
  • Informed consent is obtained from each subject or legal representative
  • Data collection is monitored where applicable
  • Privacy and confidentiality of research subjects is protected

Responsibilities of Iona College IRB

To ensure compliance with ethical standards, the IRB has the responsibility for:

  • Approving or disapproving human subjects research
  • Requiring modifications to human subjects research
  • Approving or disapproving modifications to research projects
  • Conducting continuing reviews of research projects
  • Suspending or terminating approval of human subjects research

Researchers who wish to use resources of the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning or conduct institutional research (i.e., research in which the institution is the subject of the study) must consult the Provost/Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Membership

The membership of the IRB may vary at any given time, depending upon people's availability/work requirements, etc. As a general rule, however, the IRB is composed of at least five members, including one member not affiliated with Iona College, representing varied academic disciplines. In addition, regulations also stipulate that the members are chosen based on their experience and expertise in all areas of research being reviewed; diversity of backgrounds; knowledge of institutional commitments, regulations, and standards of professional conduct; and knowledge and experience with vulnerable populations.

Membership Qualifications and Responsibilities are described in a separate section. In addition to the criteria specified in that section, hearings of the IRB may also include the following:

  • Consultant: A consultant shall be considered when the IRB determines that the proposal demands a consultation from an outside source.
  • Representatives of special groups: In cases where research proposals focus on vulnerable populations, consultants or members knowledgeable about that population should be included in the review.

Investigators not Affiliated with Iona College

Proposals from researchers not affiliated with Iona will be considered only as part of a collaborative project between the external researcher and a full-time Iona College faculty or staff member. An approved application from the external researcher’s institution will be required as part of the review process.