Academic Resources

What is the IRB?

The purpose of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) is to demonstrate the respect and value for human dignity held by Lourdes University through ensuring that the rights and welfare of human subjects are protected in research activities. The committee follows Federal Regulations set forth by the Department of Health and Human Services. The IRB reviews protocols for adherence to guidelines for the protection of human subjects in research activities conducted by students, faculty, and staff of Lourdes University. Additionally, the IRB assists in reducing Lourdes University’s exposure to legal liability that could arise if unethical practices were used in research projects involving human subjects, and maintains protocols to allow for systematic review of applications for use of human subjects for research purposes. All research activities that involve human subjects must be reviewed and approved by the Lourdes IRB before collecting data.

What Research Must Be Reviewed by the IRB?

All research involving human subjects that is conducted by a Lourdes investigator (student, member of the faculty, staff or administration), or by an investigator from another organization who wishes to use Lourdes University as a research site, must comply with federal and college requirements for the protection of human subjects. The Lourdes University Institutional Review Board (IRB) is responsible for ensuring that all Lourdes research meets these requirements. Therefore, any investigator who plans research associated with Lourdes must first apply to the IRB for review and approval of their research. The Lourdes IRB protects the rights of human research subjects and supports excellence in research endeavors. ( Institutional Review Board)

Research Conducted by Students:

Students will work closely with their instructor and/or faculty advisor to develop a research application and to conduct the research. The student, faculty advisor and program director must all sign the IRB application to provide assurance that human subjects research requirements will be met.

  1. Capstones, independent study, and personal scholarship: All independent research projects conducted by a student principal investigator must be submitted to the IRB for review and approval. No research activities (including, but not limited to interaction with subjects, gathering preliminary data, or pilot studies) may begin until the investigator has received an approval letter from the IRB.
  2. Classroom Projects: Classroom projects or assignments that involve systematic data collection that is intended for use outside of the classroom or that which contributes to generalizable knowledge, including surveys, interviews, focus groups and experiments must be submitted for IRB review and approval. At the option of the instructor, classroom projects involving only students from the class may be discussed with or submitted to the IRB.

Research Conducted by Faculty, Staff or Administration:

Researchers are reminded that any project that gathers data by interacting with human subjects in order to contribute to generalizable knowledge must be submitted to the IRB for review. This includes preliminary studies as well as research applications in final form. Upon review, the IRB may determine that the project is exempt from further IRB oversight.

  1. Pilot Studies, Preliminary Studies or Feasibility Studies
    Data gathering or subject interaction of any kind, even with a small group of subjects, requires IRB review and approval. The research application and informed consent process should indicate that the study is a pilot.
  2. Research Involving Secondary Use of Data
    Projects that use human subjects data that has been previously gathered, whether from Lourdes or other sources, require IRB review and approval. If Lourdes data is to be used, researchers must include a Permission to Access to Lourdes University Institutional Data for Research form with their Application.
  3. Research Conducted At Another Institution or Off-Campus Site
    Irrespective of the research site, any human subjects research conducted by any Lourdes student, employee, faculty or staff member requires IRB review and approval. Researchers using an outside agency as a research site should include an Agency Permission for Data Collection for a Research Project form.

The Research Application Form

The required PDF Application Form is located in the Forms section. This form must be used for research proposals initiated in Spring Semester, 2011 or thereafter.

Other Forms

Sample consent forms and other documents that may be required are located in the Forms section.

IRB Information and Education

Links to ethical standards, federal regulations and definitions are provided on the left side of the main page.

Required Researcher Education
Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (C.I.T.I.). Beginning with January, 2011 only C.I.T.I. education will be accepted.