Institutional Review Board

[Faculty Handbook Category #2]

The purpose of the St. Olaf College Institutional Review Board (IRB) is to safeguard the rights and well-being of human subjects in projects conducted at or sponsored by the college.  The IRB is a college-wide body appointed by the Dean of the College and registered with the Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  Its membership and responsibilities are governed by federal regulations pertaining to the protection of human subjects and by the terms of the Federalwide Assurance (FWA) for the Protection of Human Subjects filed by the college with OHRP.

Responsibilities include:

  1. Developing and disseminating federally-compliant policies for the protection of human subjects;
  2. Developing and implementing institutionally-appropriate procedures for ensuring the protection of human subjects in all projects conducted at or sponsored by the college, in collaboration with other members of the St. Olaf community;
  3. Promoting professional development within the St. Olaf community about the ethical and legal obligations associated with human subjects projects;
  4. Conducting reviews of generalizable research project proposals as required by federal regulations, to ensure that such research will be carried out in a manner which safeguards the rights and well-being of the subjects.

Personnel shall in all instances be selected to comply with federal legal requirements, but generally shall consist of:

  1. A member of the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  2. A member of the Faculty of Social Sciences
  3. A member of the faculty with disciplinary expertise in ethics
  4. The Director of the Office of Academic Research and Planning
  5. The Director of the Office of Institutional Research and Planning
  6. A member of the staff of the Office of Government-Foundation Relations
  7. An individual with relevant expertise or experience who is not an employee of St. Olaf College
  8. A student observer (non-voting)

The individuals appointed to serve on the Institutional Review Board shall be selected in accordance with federal regulations to the protection of human subjects.  The Dean of the College shall appoint one member of the IRB to serve as chair.

The term of appointment for members of the Institutional Review Board shall be three years.  Appointments are renewable.  The terms shall be staggered.