About the IRB

Grinnell’s IRB reviews proposed research projects that use human research participants. Any faculty, staff, or student conducting research on humans, even with minimal risk,  needs to submit a proposal of the research project to the IRB. Electronic submission of proposals is expected; the form and well-written project description are emailed to irb[at]grinnell[dot]edu.  Please allow up to 10 days for a new submission to be reviewed and a decision rendered.

Please note that the IRB is modifying its procedures and policies as it moves closer to meeting federal compliance rules and regulations. 

The decision procedure beginning March 1, 2013, is as follows:

1)  Is the project research?  and 2) does the research project involve human subjects?

If no to 1) or 2), no irb submission is required.

If yes to 1) and 2), then a research proposal must be submitted to irb[at]grinnell[dot]edu before the project can start, and all members of the research team, including sponsors of student research, must complete ethics training, and state where and when they completed the training on the proposal form (section III). For further guidance on whether the project is considered research, please see the Resources page.

 Once the proposal is received, the decision process is:

3) does it meet exempt criteria?  If yes, we document the research and note its restrictions.

4) does it meet expedited review critera?  If yes, one board member reviews the project and requests modifications to bring the project up to rules and regulations concerning data storage, informed consent, and ethical research practices.

5) does it meet full board review criteria? If yes, all members of the board review the project and request modifcations to bring the project up to the rules and regulations concerning data storage, informed consent, and ethical research practices.

Detailed information about these five decision steps will be added during or after spring break to the website to help potential researchers with IRB review of research with human subjects. Any questions in the meantime may be sent to trish[at]grinnell[dot]edu.

Completion of ethics training of all researchers involved in the project needs to be documented in your proposal (see section III of proposal form).  For faculty who have not completed ethics training and want to take Grinnell College's ethics training, directions to have Grinnell’s ethics training module appear in “My Organizations” in PioneerWeb are listed below under the “Community” heading; students are automatically enrolled and see the link in PioneerWeb without registering.  Once ethics training is completed, you do not need to retake the training for subsequent research proposals.

When significant modifications to approved research proposals (either procedures or participant populations) are planned, researchers with approval need to submit a protocol modification form to the IRB. If new research members are added, they must document the completion of ethics training.

The chair for AY 2014-2015 is Barbara Trish.

Committee Members: 

Jeff Jonkman

John Whittaker

Christoper Ralston

Barbara Trish