Calvin College affirms the importance of research involving human test subjects. Additionally, the college affirms that human research subjects should be treated with profound dignity and respect befitting their creation in the image of God. To protect these values, the college provides for an Institutional Review Board (IRB).
What does the IRB do?
The IRB reviews all research involving human subjects, performed under college auspices, for compliance with federal government principles and with ethical standards. “Research” means a systematic investigation designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge. Research projects that involve the use of humans as subjects must be approved by Calvin's IRB.
How does the IRB process work?
Before starting a research project, you must complete and submit the following documents for IRB approval:
- Proposal cover sheet
- Proof of human subjects protection training »
(this certificate must be submitted with every proposal)
Proposals describe the research plan, explain the provisions to protect participants, and outline what steps will be taken to comply with federally-mandated legal and ethical guidelines. Each question in the protocol should be answered using non-technical language so that IRB members will have ample information to understand the proposed research project.
Research proposals are given three possible types of approval:
What credentials do investigators need?
All investigators involved with the project (even students) must complete the NIH on-line training for research with humans subjects (link below). Include an NIH certificate dated within three years of the project's proposed start date. Save a copy of the certificate that appears at the end of the training to include with your proposal. Submit as a hard copy or a PDF.