Carroll College, Helena Montana

Institutional Review Board

What Types of Projects Require IRB Approval?

As a student, faculty or staff member of Carroll College, if you are doing research (including class projects and honors theses) that involves collecting information or data about human subjects, or testing/measuring human participants in any way, you need to know the following:

  • You need to have Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval before you begin.
  • If you do not have IRB approval for your research, your research project cannot be recognized by Carroll and will not be accepted to fulfill any academic requirements.
  • The IRB cannot review research that has already been conducted.
  • The IRB review must be conducted before you involve human participants in your research or project.

Federal regulations and Carroll College policies require IRB approval for research and projects involving the gathering of information about living human subjects. These regulations and policies serve to protect the rights and welfare of human participants and apply to human subjects research conducted individually or collectively (i.e. as a class or in groups) by Carroll College faculty, staff, or students.

Independent student research projects in which human subjects are involved, either directly or through use of data about them, always require IRB approval. Examples of such projects include research projects conducted by Carroll College honors students in conjunction with honors requirements; projects by students individually enrolled in an independent study or research practicum with a professor; and projects by students planning to present their findings at a state, regional, or national conference.

Some class projects that involve human subjects will require IRB approval. Faculty should consult the "IRB Guidance for Class Projects" document (available in the right side bar) to determine if their planned project will require IRB approval.

Projects not involving information about human subjects never require IRB approval.

IRB Mission Statement

The primary purpose of the IRB is to assure the safety, rights, welfare and dignity of human subjects. The mission of the IRB is to determine whether research conducted by faculty, staff, employees, and students affiliated with Carroll College complieswith applicable law, institutional policies, and standards of professional conduct and practice while embracing the mission of Carroll College. Specifically, the IRB is the group given responsibility by Carroll College to review research proposals that involve the use of human participants.

Instructions for applying to the IRB

Contact Information

For information concerning application for IRB review, or to report problems with this site, please contact IRB Chair, Dr. Alan Hansen at or 406.447.5401.

For information about how to submit an applicaiton, contact Maria Larson at or 406-447-5510.