When Should You Involve the IRB In your Research Proposal?
Research is often challenging, especially if the subjects of your study are people. Most higher learning institutions and organizations receiving federal funds have instituted an Institutional Review Board (IRB). This board analyzes all proposals that seek to use humans as subjects of study or during data collection.
Such boards exist to protect the fundamental ethical rights of the human subjects who have been identified as participants of a study.
How to Determine Whether Your Research Proposal Needs IRB Approval
Your proposal needs approval from an IRB if your data collection plan entails interacting with several people. Your institution probably has the laid down procedures on how you should involve the board. If some of the procedures are unclear, your instructor will clarify them.
Is the IRB Review Process Complicated?
An IRB usually consists of members who have demonstrated that they have the skills and experience to review research proposals that involve humans as subjects of a study. The skills of the members allow them to complete the review process within the stipulated timelines.
However, it is worth noting that the review might take longer, depending on the research risks. Specific unique populations such as pregnant women, kids, and prisoners are considered vulnerable; hence, the review might take longer than usual. The evaluation's primary purpose is to ascertain that the benefits derived from the study will outweigh all the risks involved.
Before approving or rejecting any proposal, the committee reviews all the material to establish whether the proposed procedures protect all human rights and whether the physical, economic, or psychological risks are reduced to a minimum. The committee can approve proposals, request researchers to make amendments for procedures that might violate people’s ethical rights, or reject them if they infringe on human rights altogether. An IRB can also reject a proposal if it establishes that it has no benefits to the subjects even if minimal or no risk is involved.
Should You Involve an IRB If You Are Conducting an International Study?
If you are doing research that uses humans as subjects in a foreign territory, you may need to get the approval of an IRB from that specific country. You will need to demonstrate to the country’s IRB that you are aware of the human rights policies in that country, and your study will not violate them. Additionally, your proposal should prove that you are aware of the country’s culture and that your research won’t violate that.
Do Class Projects Need IRB Approval?
If an instructor wants to teach about research that uses humans as subjects, they do not require the approval of an IRB if the sample research procedures will be confined in the classroom. However, if the processes take place beyond the school, an instructor might need approval from the board.
Before proceeding with a project that uses humans as subjects, it would help if you got approval from an IRB. If you do not, your procedures might violate people’s rights, resulting in lawsuits.