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Research Ethics

What is the Research Ethics Committee?

A Research Ethics Committee (or IRB) is a review board established in accordance with federal regulations for the purpose of reviewing potential research to assess the level risk to human subjects. Research involving human subjects cannot be conducted without the approval of an IRB. Among other minimum requirements, research must not involve greater than minimal risk to subjects except in cases involving greater than minimal risk but presenting the prospect of direct benefit to the individual subjects. The job of the REC is to make this determination by reviewing and approving or denying research proposals. 


What does the Research Ethics Committee do?

The Spalding University Research Ethics Committee reviews proposals following the regulatory guidelines of Health and Human Services Codes of Federal Regulations pertaining to the protection of human subjects (Title 45, Part 46). It uses the Expedited Review Procedures as outlined by part §46.110 of the aforementioned Federal Regulations.

All proposals are reviewed by one committee member as well as the committee chair. Only proposals posing less than minimal risk are approved using this procedure.

Proposals involving greater than minimal risk but present the prospect of direct benefit to the individual subjects require a majority vote of all committee members. The committee has the responsibility of reviewing approved research proposals at minimum once per year, and for this reason an approval by the Spalding University REC is valid for exactly one year from the stated date of approval. Research extensions are granted when appropriate for at most one year at a time. 

Role of IRBs