Institutional Review Board
Mid-State Technical College encourages and supports the scholarly endeavors of students, faculty, and staff as well as educational researchers. We realize that the pursuit of scholarly work and research often involves the use of human subjects for data collection and analysis. Mid-State Technical College's Institutional Review Board (IRB) evaluates research proposals involving human subjects to ensure that:
- The rights and welfare of human subjects used in research studies are protected.
- Risks are minimized.
- The potential for benefit is maximized.
- All human subjects are provided with legally effective informed consent.
- All private information is handled with confidentiality.
- All research is conducted in an ethical manner and in compliance with established standards.
Mid-State Technical College's IRB must approve research projects prior to the participation of subjects or collection of data.
- Does Your Project Require IRB Approval?
The first step for researchers is to determine whether their proposed project requires IRB approval.
Some research projects involving human subjects are exempt from IRB approval requirements. They typically include normal educational practices such as work undertaken as a part of a course, educational tests in which subjects are not identified, and surveys or interviews in which subjects volunteer and are not personally identified.
See the US Department of Health and Human Services website for more information about IRB approval requirements.
- Starting the IRB Process
Once you have determined that your research requires IRB approval, please contact the manager of Institutional Effectiveness, Accreditation, & Quality to initiate the IRB process. The college's IRB does not assume the role of evaluating proposed research, its merits, or its potential contribution to scholarly literature, or assist with recruiting of test subjects. Rather, the IRB is charged with evaluating each project’s compliance with ethical standards.
- Types of IRB Review
- There are two kinds of IRB review at Mid-State: exemption and expedited review. The design of the research and what participants will be asked to do are the primary determinants of which type of review applies.
Some kinds of research only involve human participation in a peripheral way. For instance, the research may involve data that already exists, anonymous surveys, or comparison of instructional methods. There is a specific set of criteria defined in 45 CFR 46.101 (b) that can qualify a project for exempt status.
For projects that are not exempt but involve no more than minimal risk to participants, an expedited process exists for obtaining IRB approval. As with an IRB exemption, there are specific criteria that must be met in order to qualify for expedited review. Research already approved by another regionally accredited IRB generally qualifies for an expedited review.
Mid-State does not provide full reviews of research proposals involving more than minimal risk or using certain protected populations.