Institutional Review Board

Guiding Principles

Rollins College established the Institutional Review Board (IRB) to protect the rights of human participants and to promote professional research.  The goal of the IRB is to work with administration, faculty, staff, and student researchers in a collegial way to enhance the validity of their research by helping to ensure that projects involving human participants adhere to established ethical, moral, and legal standards.  The IRB also serves to weigh any potential risk to research participants against the benefits that the proposed research may provide.  Human research is any activity developed for the purpose of collecting and organizing data from human participants in such a manner as to test hypotheses, address research questions, or contribute to generalizable knowledge.  The IRB reviews proposals to confirm that the project design provides safeguards for research participants.

Research proposals at Rollins College involve human participants should guarantee that:
  • Ethical and moral standards are in compliance with federal guidelines
  • Informed consent has been obtained from all participants
  • Anonymity or confidentiality of the participants
  • Participation is voluntary and that participants may withdraw from the study at any time
  • Researchers will avoid the use of deception when ever possible (In the event that deception is essential to the integrity of the research, a debriefing must follow)
  • A full IRB review if participants include vulnerable populations such as minors, mentally compromised, or incarcerated people
  • A full IRB review if risk to participants is more than minimal

Threefold Rationale for the Rollins College IRB

Ethical

Rollins College affirms that human research subjects should be treated with dignity, respect, and with due regard to their welfare.  Those participating in research have the right to be informed regarding the nature of the research, including its methods and procedures (any aspect of the research that could reasonably influence a subject’s willingness to participate, the nature of any benefits for the research subject or for society, and its reasonable foreseeable risks); the right to withdraw from participation in the research without penalty; and the right to have the subject’s confidentiality respected.

Pedagogical

Fundamental to the work of Rollins College is the need to instruct both students and faculty as to the most appropriate manner in which to carry out academic research.  The review of research projects involving human subjects helps those engaged in such research to construct information-gathering devices (including interviews and surveys) so as to adhere to the ethical standards set out in point 1 (above).

Legal

Rollins College must comply with Federal Regulations concerning experimentation involving human subjects (45 C.F. R. Part 46, Protection of Human Subjects).