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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 2020-2021 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
May 19, 2021 May 1, 2021
July 28, 2021 July 1, 2021
September 15, 2021 September 1, 2021
October 20, 2021 October 1, 2021
November 17, 2021 November 1, 2021
December 15, 2021 December 1, 2021
January 19, 2022 January 1, 2022
February 16, 2022 February 1, 2022
March 16, 2022 March 1, 2022
April 20, 2022 April 1, 2022
May 18, 2022 May 1, 2022