Human Subjects Research

Committee Meeting Dates: TBA


Berry College’s Policy on Human Subjects Research confirms our commitment to “safeguarding the welfare, rights, and privacy of all persons who participate as subjects in research projects….” Therefore, Berry College requires that all research projects involving the participation of human subjects be reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects Research (IRB). The college’s policy on human participants meets the ethical and legal requirements mandated in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 45 Part 46 – Protection of Human Subjects.  

Before beginning a study using human participants, you must complete and submit the appropriate Request for Approval of Research Involving Human Participants form for IRB review and approval. The protocols should describe your research plan, explain how the privacy and safety of the participants will be protected, and explain and document how informed consent from the participants will be obtained. If you are carrying out research with minors (under age 18), you will need to explain how you will seek parental or legal guardian consent as well as the child’s assent.

Whenever possible, to save your time and IRB time, written communication pertaining to the review process will be handled electronically. You will be notified of the status of your application via e-mail, and, in addition, you will receive your signed approval via campus mail. You must retain all approved forms and research records for three years after the completion of the study.

If the IRB requires substantial revisions to the original protocol, you will receive details of the changes needed in writing. In the case of minor revisions or questions about the protocol, however, the IRB chair (or, in some cases, the administrator) may contact you directly via e-mail. In the case of student protocols, faculty mentors will always receive copies of all IRB paperwork and correspondence.

Applications requesting an exempt review generally processed within three to five days (excluding weekends and holidays). Projects requiring expedited review usually require seven days (excluding weekends and holidays). The IRB meets monthly during the academic year and “as needed” during the summer months. Protocols that require full board review must be submitted at least 10 days (two work weeks) prior to a scheduled meeting.

For answers to frequently asked questions regarding the IRB, please read the FAQ section of the website or contact Donna Davin, IRB administrator ( or ext. 2163). In addition, we welcome suggestions for additions and improvements to the IRB web pages. Please send your suggestions to the IRB administrator.

Office for Human Research Protections