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Institutional Review Board (IRB) for Research with Human Subjects

The mandate of the institutional review board is to provide comprehensive protection for human subjects of research conducted by students, staff, faculty, or visiting researchers at Hampshire College. The intent of this board is to assure

  • that investigators do not unduly put at risk or harm humans who are the subjects of research,
  • that the subjects of such research are aware of their rights, as defined in Title 45, part 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations, and
  • that all investigators engage in research that complies with ethical standards such as obtaining informed consent from those participating, minimization of invasiveness or harm, abstaining from or minimizing deception, and maintaining confidentiality and privacy for participants.

Information about the procedures and forms required for submitting a research proposal to the IRB for review can be found on the following web pages: information for students / information for faculty.

Please Note: The IRB is not the only entity that is concerned with ethics in research, as there are other ethics of scholarship that may apply to your research or project. For example, if your research involves animals, consult Cindy Gill ( about the institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC). Regarding intellectual property, consult the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Information about Institutional Review Board
Research that uses human subjects must be reviewed and approved by an independent committee called an institutional review board (IRB). The IRB provides an opportunity and place for individuals with different backgrounds to discuss and make judgments about the acceptability of projects, based on criteria set out in Common Rule ("systematic investigation, including research development, testing, and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge").

Under the Common Rule, IRBs must have at least five members and include at least one scientist, one non-scientist, and "one member who is not otherwise affiliated with the institution and who is not part of the immediate family of a person who is affiliated with the institution." IRBs have the authority to approve, require modification of (in order to secure approval), and disapprove all research activities covered by the Common Rule. They are also responsible for conducting continuing review of research at least once per year and for ensuring that proposed changes in approved research are not initiated without IRB review and approval, except when necessary to eliminate apparent immediate hazards to the subject.

For more information, please visit the IRB guidebook from the Department of Health and Human Services

Institutional Review Board Members


IRB Membership, 2013-2014

Jane Couperus, associate professor of developmental cognitive neuroscience, IRB faculty chair
Patrick Taylor, community member
Nancy Apple, director of environmental health and safety
Shannon Rosa, assistant dean of faculty
Lynn Miller, faculty representative
Talya Kingston, faculty representative
Rachel Conrad, faculty representative
Maureen Mooney, executive assistant to the dean of faculty, IRB secretary

2013-2014 Institutional Review Board Committee Meeting Dates

***IMPORTANT: IRB proposals are due one week prior to committee meeting dates. Proposals received after the due date will not be processed until the following IRB meeting date.***

Proposal due date IRB meeting date
September 10, 2013 September 17, 2013
October 8, 2013 October 15, 2013
November 12, 2013 November 19, 2013
December 10, 2013 December 17, 2013
February 11, 2014 February 18, 2014
March 11, 2014 March 18, 2014
April 8, 2014 April 15, 2014
April 29, 2014 May 6, 2014

All meetings are scheduled at 3:30 p.m. in the dean of faculty office.


Contact Us

Institutional Review Board
CSC Room 115
Mail Code DO
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002
Fax 413.559.5676

© 2014 Hampshire College 893 West Street Amherst, MA 01002 . 413.549.4600