Institutional Review Board

The University of the District of Columbia (UDC) Institutional Review Board’s (IRB’s) mission is to protect the rights and welfare of human subjects recruited to participate in research activities conducted under the auspices of UDC.  In the realm of human subject research, the UDC IRB promotes students, faculty, professionals, and staff and to observe good professional and ethical practices. This site explains the responsibilities of the researcher, the IRB and the IRB’s processes and procedures.

The purpose of the UDC IRB, and IRB in general, is to protect human research subjects. Human research subjects are individuals about whom an investigator (student, faculty, staff or professional) conducts research to obtain:

  1. data through intervention or interaction with the individual, or
  2. identifiable private information (45 CFR 46.102)

Such research can be found in, for example, education, psychology, sociology, economics, and biomedical engineering but may involve almost any discipline involving humans. In order to ensure human subjects’ protection, the UDC IRB conducts monthly reviews, on the 3rd Friday of each month throughout the academic year, of initial research protocol submissions to ensure that the researchers provide informed consent to the prospective human subjects (participants) and detail procedures that ensure that human participants are not exposed to unreasonable discomfort or risks. All study applications (i.e.: Exempt, Expedited, Limited, and Full) must be submitted to UDC’s IRB for review and approval. The IRB will also conduct the continuing review (yearly) of approved long-term projects to make sure that subject protections remain in place.

This site and documents herein provide the baseline for commonly accepted considerations involving human subject research, and a standard review process. However, these statements cannot substitute for the researcher’s own sound professional judgment and careful attention to the ethics of conducting research; individual cases and projects may require additional and specific safeguards. The UDC IRB and University have broad discretion in the management of these individual cases, and from time to time the UDC IRB and/or University may issue additional guidelines towards the protection of human subjects in these individual cases.

The UDC IRB has registered with DHHS Office of Human Research Protections (IRB #00003641) and has filed an assurance with DHHS called the Federalwide Assurance (FWA #00013788), that the University will comply with these regulations and ethical principles.