Everything You Need to Know About Institutional Review Board

Everything You Need to Know About Institutional Review Board


In the world of research, ensuring ethical standards and protecting participants' rights are paramount. This is where Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) come into play. IRBs are the mandated body that oversees and approves research involving human subjects. The primary goal of an IRB is to safeguard the rights and well-being of research participants. An IRB can grant approval, request modifications, or reject research projects if it deems that the rights or welfare of participants are inadequately protected. For newcomers to the research field, understanding the role and importance of this committee can be overwhelming. In this beginner's guide, we'll dive into the fundamentals of IRBs and highlight their purpose, structure, and review process.

What is an Institutional Review Board (IRB)?

The IRB is an independent committee established by research institutions to evaluate and monitor research studies involving human subjects. Its primary purpose is to protect the welfare and rights of individuals participating in research, ensuring that ethical guidelines are followed.

Who Serves on an IRB?

The composition of an IRB is surprisingly diverse, encompassing individuals from various backgrounds, such as lawyers, accountants, local church members, or any community member who expresses interest in serving, applies for membership, and is accepted. The members of these committees may have affiliations with private institutional bodies or academic institutions that oversee their IRBs.

Composition of IRB

Typically, this group of people consists of diverse individuals with expertise in various disciplines. This may include researchers, practitioners, ethicists, legal professionals and community representatives. Various viewpoints within the Board help ensure a comprehensive review of research proposals.

IRB Review Process

The IRB review process includes several key steps:

    1. Submission: Researchers must submit their research proposals to the IRB for evaluation. The proposal includes detailed information about the study design, objectives, methods, and participant protection measures.
    2. Preliminary Review: Upon submission, the IRB conducts a preliminary review to determine the study's compliance with ethical guidelines, regulations, and institutional policies.
    3. Informed Consent: IRBs pay special attention to the informed consent process, ensuring that participants receive clear and comprehensive information about the study's purpose, risks, benefits, and rights.
    4. Ongoing Monitoring: Once a study is approved, IRBs may review it periodically to ensure that the research is conducted as intended and that the safety and welfare of participants are maintained.
    5. Reporting Adverse Events: Researchers are obligated to report any adverse events or unexpected problems during the study to the IRB, which then assesses the situation and takes appropriate action.

Importance of IRB

IRBs play an important role in research ethics and participant safety. Their involvement ensures that potential risks to participants are minimised, research is conducted ethically and scientifically sound, and the data generated is reliable and valid. IRB approval is often a prerequisite for publication and securing funding for research projects.



Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) play a crucial role as gatekeepers in ethical human subjects research, providing vital assistance with SPSS help. Their primary duty is to safeguard the rights, welfare, and dignity of participants. Through adherence to rigorous ethical principles and comprehensive evaluation of research proposals, IRBs guarantee that studies are carried out responsibly, ultimately benefiting the scientific community and society at large. As researchers and aspiring professionals, it is imperative for us to acquaint ourselves with the responsibilities and operations of IRBs to uphold the utmost standards of ethical conduct in our research pursuits. Best of luck with your research, and remember that SPSS experts can further enhance your analytical capabilities!

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