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Institutional Review Board

What is the IRB?

The Institutional Review Board (IRB) is responsible for reviewing all human subjects research to ensure that it is conducted in an ethical manner that protects participants and promotes their well-being. The federal government sets forth the regulations that govern the work of the IRB. All human subjects research that is federally funded is required to be reviewed according to certain standards and procedures; Wheaton chooses to employ these guidelines to review all research with human participants. More information about the federal guidelines that describe the ethical principles relevant to human subjects research can be found on the federal Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP) website.

When reviewing applications, the IRB focuses on three main ethical principles, as defined in the Belmont Report (National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research, 1978):

  1. respect for persons (“individuals should be treated as autonomous agents, and…persons with diminished autonomy are entitled to protection”)

  2. beneficence (“maximize possible benefits and minimize possible harms”), and

  3. justice (which concerns “who ought to receive the benefits of research and bear its burdens”).

I've got lots of questions!

Please take a look at our list of frequently asked questions.

Who can I contact if I still have questions?

Dr. Sarah Hall, the IRB chair, can be reached at sarah.hall@wheaton.edu or 630.752.5774.

IRB 2019-2020 meeting dates & deadlines

Exempt and expedited reviews occur on a rolling basis year-round. The deadlines below apply only to applications that require full review.

Committee Meeting DateDeadline for Full Review Submission
September 18, 2019 September 1, 2019
October 16, 2019 October 1, 2019
November 12, 2019 November 1, 2019
December 18, 2019 December 1, 2019
January 15, 2020 January 1, 2020
February 19, 2020 February 1, 2020
March 18, 2020 March 1, 2020
April 15, 2020 April 1, 2020
May 20, 2020 May 1, 2020