Information About IRBs

What is an IRB?
An Institutional Review Board (IRB) is a committee designated by an institution to review, approve, and conduct periodic review of research involving human subjects. The primary purpose of such review is to assure the protection of the rights and welfare of the human subjects.

IRBs have been implemented around the world to prevent unethical treatment of human subjects. IRBs in the United States were established as an outcome of Senate hearings (1972) and legislation passed in 1974. Currently, the federal government regulates IRBs.

The IRB's role at Gallaudet extends to all research involving human subjects whether conducted by faculty, staff, graduate students, undergraduate students, or non-Gallaudet researchers. ALL research projects involving human subjects or information previously obtained from human subjects must be submitted to the IRB before recruitment of subjects begins. The purpose of the IRB is to inform and protect human subjects used in research. The IRB acts as an advocate for the research subject. This means that the IRB, during its review of a research project and the informed consent, has the right and responsibility to ensure that the research subject is fully informed of the procedures involved in the study as well as the risks.

Who is on the Gallaudet IRB?
The Gallaudet Institution Review Board currently has 18 members representing various components of the Gallaudet University campus and community. There are 2 community members and 2 graduate students/alternate on the Board. There are also two staff members of the Board who do not vote during meetings.

Important Links
The University of Minnesota's Informed Consent tutorial
The Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP)
The Food and Drug Administration Guidance for IRBs
Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research (PRIM&R)
IRB Forum - a discussion group for IRB administrators
NIH Training