Research conducted by American University affiliates using human participants is overseen by American University's Institutional Review Board (IRB). Its purpose is to facilitate human subjects research and to ensure the rights and welfare of human subjects are protected during their participation.
What is the IRB's Mission?
American University upholds the highest standards in the ethical conduct of research, including the protection of human participants, while enabling its faculty, staff and students to conduct research in a timely and efficient manner. The primary mission of the American University Institutional Review Board (IRB) is to facilitate those objectives by reviewing, approving, modifying or disapproving research protocols submitted by AU researchers.The IRB process is based on rules and regulations for federally funded research, primarily the provisions of Protection of Human Subject in the Code of Federal Regulations (45 CFR 46), and supporting materials such as the Belmont Report. The AU IRB strives to create on campus a culture of respect for, and awareness of, the rights and welfare of human research participants, while advancing knowledge and facilitating the highest quality research.
What needs IRB approval?
All Human Subjects Research must receive approval from the IRB. Therefore, if your research meets the definitions of both research and human subjects, you must complete the IRB process.To view the definitions based on federal guidelines, click here. The IRB has determined that most classroom research, many oral history projects, and some review of preexisting data will not require IRB approval. Click here for details and exceptions.
What is the IRB Process?
There are several mandated steps to receive IRB approval for your research. Click here to review the process.
Have you completed required human subjects training?
Information on training opportunities, on campus and online.
Meeting Schedule and DeadlinesAll completed protocols are reviewed as they are received. Most protocols will be reviewed for exemption or fall under expedited review. Protocols requiring Full Board review must be received two weeks prior to a meeting. Meetings generally convene on the first and third Wednesday of each month, holiday weeks excepted. Completed protocols received after the deadline will be reviewed at the following IRB meeting.
Noncompliance Investigations and Actions
To review the procedures for IRB review of allegations of noncompliance, click here.