The purpose of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) is protection of human subjects in research projects. Egregious violations of human rights in medical research prompted congress to pass laws setting standards for protection of human subjects. These standards, now articulated in the Code of Federal Regulations, set criteria for IRB review of applications for research with human subjects at all institutions.
Azusa Pacific University IRB members are mostly faculty with an interest in research. They grapple regularly with drafting proposals that meet guidelines and promptly gain approval for data collection.
The full board meets monthly, usually the third Wednesday of each month to review proposals that pose more than minimal risk, include vulnerable populations or address sensitive issues. Subgroups or individual IRB members review proposals with less risk. In social and behavioral research, risks are often encountered in protecting participants’ right to privacy and confidentiality. The challenge is to balance benefit and risk in research with human subjects.
We suggest that persons new to the IRB application process start by reviewing the FAQ at the beginning of the IRB Handbook (PDF). We update the IRB Handbook annually to reflect new federal regulations and to clarify questions encountered by researchers.
We wish you well with your research.