Institutional Review Board

Institutional Review Board

The primary purpose of the Institutional Review Board (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 complies with 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 subjects.

The IRB application and templates for supporting documents are available in the Carroll College Portal, under  Campus resources and IRB Documents, linked here.

There are set deadlines for review with an expectation for completion of the initial review of your application. Applicant and IRB deadlines for the 2018-2019 academic year are as follows:

September 10 (initial review completed by October 5)

October 8 (initial review completed by November 2)

November 5 (initial review completed by November 30)

December 3 (initial review completed by February 1)

February 4 (initial review completed by March 1)

March 1 (initial review completed by March 29)

April 1 (initial review completed by April 26)

May 6 (initial review completed by September 9)

If you are experienced with the IRB application process at Carroll College you may access the linked documents now. Or you may read ahead for additional instruction.

What Types of Projects Require IRB Approval?

As a student, faculty or staff member of Carroll College, if you are doing research (including a class project or honors thesis) 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 involve human subjects in your research.
  • If you do not have IRB approval for your research, your research project cannot be recognized by Carroll College and will not be accepted to fulfill academic requirements that require IRB approval.
  • The IRB is not allowed to review and approve in retrospect research that has already been conducted.

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, 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.

In-class projects that involve human subjects usually require IRB approval. Class-based research conducted with human subjects must be approved by the IRB if results from the research are presented outside of a classroom setting (e.g. SURF, at a local, regional or national conference) in any form (e.g. poster presentation, talk).

Projects not involving information about human subjects never require IRB approval. Also, class projects that are conducted solely for educational purposes do not qualify as research, and do not require IRB approval. Faculty should consult the IRB Guidelines for Student Projects document (in IRB documents) to determine if your research requires IRB review and approval.

Apply for IRB Review

Carroll College IRB Members

  • ALAN HANSEN, IRB Chair, Communication
  • RUSS BELL. Off-campus
  • STARLA BLANK. Off-campus
  • JAMIE DOLAN. Sociology
  • JOE HELBLING. Education
  • GERALD SCHAFER. Public Health
  • ALEX STREET. Political Science
  • CATHY DAY, IRB Administrator, Office of Academic Affairs
  • MARIA LARSON, Administrative Support, Office of Academic Affairs

Contact Information

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