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 DateDeadline for Full Review Submission
May 25, 2022 May 1, 2022
July 28, 2022 July 1, 2022
September 21, 2022 September 1, 2022
October 19, 2022 October 1, 2022
November 16, 2022 November 1, 2022
December 21, 2022 December 1, 2022
January 18, 2023 January 1, 2023
February 15, 2023 February 1, 2023
March 15, 2023 March 1, 2023
April 19, 2023 April 1, 2023
May 17, 2023 May 1, 2023