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 or 630.752.5774.

IRB 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 Date Deadline for Full Review Submission
September 20, 2023 September 1, 2023
October 18, 2023 October 1, 2023
November 15, 2023 November 1, 2023
December 20, 2023 December 1, 2023
January 17, 2024 January 1, 2024
February 21, 2024 February 1, 2024
March 20, 2024 March 1, 2024
April 17, 2024 April 1, 2024
May 15, 2024 May 1, 2024