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Institutional Review Board of the Protection of Human Subjects in Research

Revision Date: Advisory Committee mandated by the National Research Act of 1974. Last revision, August 2017.

Purpose: The IRB is charged with the responsibility of safeguarding the rights and welfare of human subjects of research according to federal regulations, University policies and procedures, and ethical principles that underlie the conduct of biomedical and behavioral research involving human subjects. 

Membership: The committee shall consist of at least five voting members with varying backgrounds to promote complete and adequate review of research activities commonly conducted by the institution, and the Director, Research Integrity and Compliance as the non-voting representative from the Office of Research and Sponsored.

Programs: "The IRB shall not consist entirely of men or entirely of women, or entirely of members of one profession," (Protection of Human Subjects, 45 CFR 46, 1983) and shall not include two persons from the same academic discipline.  The membership shall have "at least one member whose primary concerns are in scientific areas and one member whose primary concerns are in nonscientific areas. . .and at least one member who is not otherwise affiliated with the institution and who is not a part of the immediate family of a person who is affiliated with the institution" (Protection of Human Subjects, 45 CFR 46, 1983).  The scientific members shall be qualified by training and experience in human subjects research.  All members shall receive in-service IRB member training upon appointment.  All members of this committee shall be appointed by the President. Term of service shall be three years with staggered terms so that a majority of the members are retained each year.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • To require all human subjects researchers to submit an application and receive approval for human subjects use prior to initiation of such human subjects use.
  • To review research protocols involving human subjects to safeguard the rights and welfare of people who may be subject to risk as a result of research activities. 
  • To approve or require modifications in (to secure approval) or disapprove all research activities covered by the National Research Act (PL 93-348) and Protection of Human Subjects Regulation 45 CFR 46. 
  • To update the IRB Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and conduct IRB workshops as appropriate.

Officers: Chair is appointed by the President. Vice Chair is to be selected by the committee from the membership. Administrative support to be provided by Research and Sponsored Programs. The Institutional Official is the Associate Vice President for Research.

Frequency of Meetings: Monthly meetings as required or more frequently if necessary during the academic year.  The chair may call a meeting during other times of the year at the request of an IRB member or the Director of Research Integrity & Compliance.

Reporting Channels: Advisory to the Director of Research Integrity & Compliance.

Recordkeeping: Open session minutes retained in Research and Sponsored Programs. Closed session minutes also retained in Research and Sponsored Programs and are confidential.

Support Services: Research and Sponsored Programs.




The procedure for resignation from a University Standing Committee is written notification to the University Standing Committee chairperson, Faculty Senate secretary, and the faculty member’s Department Chair. For the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research, the procedure is to notify the IRB Chair.  In the absence of a University Standing Committee Chairperson, the notification may be sent to the Faculty Senate secretary and the faculty member’s Department Chair.

  • Shannon Smith-Stephens, COS, 2020-23
  • Christina Conroy, CCAHSS, 2019-22
  • Lisa Mesa-Gaido, CCAHSS, 2019-22
  • David Gross, Community Representative, 2018-21
  • Michael Kessenger, COE, 2019-22
  • Elizabeth Perkins, CCAHSS, 2020-23, Chair
  • Manuel Probst, (Chair), COS, 2018-21

* All 3 year terms end Aug. 15.