Institutional Review Board

While community colleges do not typically conduct medical trials and scientific experimentation, the research undertaken often includes the opinions of individuals, data on improved academic performance and the impact of programs on a category of constituents. Participants in these types of research and data collection are also considered to be human subjects. An Institutional Review Board (IRB) allows research involving human subjects to be conducted.
SCF uses research to make informed decisions on programs, policies, procedures and services. In addition, federal funding agencies require that outcomes from grant projects include some form of primary research that can potentially benefit other colleges and contribute to the general body of knowledge on the topic. The SCF IRB will guide research that involves employees, students, community members and business representatives.
Some facts about IRBs:
  • The IRB process implements the appropriate level of review for research and grant proposals to ensure that the rights, privacy and welfare of human subjects participating in research studies are protected (including appropriate disclosures and consent/release forms).
  • IRBs must approve research and data collection activities before any involvement of human subjects takes place.
  • Some research projects involving human subjects are exempt from extensive IRB review, with its rigorous approval requirements. However, exemptions may only be granted by the IRB chair (or other designated member of the IRB).

The IRB is composed of at least five members with varying backgrounds and expertise in special areas to provide complete and adequate review of the research protocol. At least one of the members must be from outside the College.

For more information, please contact:

Bryce Pride, PhD
Associate Vice President, Institutional Effectiveness and Research

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