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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
July 15, 2020 July 1, 2020
September 16, 2020 September 1, 2020
October 21, 2020 October 1, 2020
November 18, 2020 November 1, 2020
December 16, 2020 December 1, 2020
January 20, 2021 January 1, 2021
February 17, 2021 February 1, 2021
March 17, 2021 March 1, 2021
April 21, 2021 April 1, 2021
May 19, 2021 May 1, 2021