Policy on Research Involving Use of Human Subjects

Albion College is committed to the ethical treatment of all human research participants who take part in research conducted by its faculty, staff and students. The College’s policies and procedures pertaining to the treatment of human research participants are designed to conform to the Department of Health and Human Services Title 45, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 46 (as amended).

Albion College’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) is responsible for assuring that research activities conducted under the College’s auspices do not violate the rights and welfare of human research participants. All research using human research participants that falls under the federal definition of research must be approved by the IRB. Research activities that are subject to IRB review include: faculty research, administrative/staff research, and student research (e.g., independent studies, thesis research, student-designed research for courses). Group projects, assignments, and classroom demonstrations that involve data gathering from human participants for pedagogical purposes only and not for publication or presentation do not require IRB review. However, faculty are strongly encouraged to consult with the IRB if data are collected from anyone using invasive procedures or in a way that involves increased risk. Collection of data from students for the purposes of educational assessment (e.g., use of standardized tests) is exempt from IRB review, as are public discussions or publications of pedagogical practices and their results. Except to the extent necessary to protect the rights and welfare of human research participants, the IRB will not infringe on academic freedom. The IRB will maintain confidentiality of activities that the IRB reviews.

If an investigator does not comply with the IRB policies, the IRB may require appropriate remedies up to and including the suspension or revocation of the privilege to conduct or supervise research at Albion College. The IRB may amend its operating policies as mandated by the federal government; all other changes to IRB policies must be approved by the Faculty Steering Committee. IRB procedures may be amended by the IRB.

Members of the IRB committe will be Albion College faculty members and at least one member of the Albion community who are appointed by the chief academic officer of the college. The IRB will consist of at least five (5) members. At least four fifths of the IRB members must be Albion College faculty members of varying backgrounds, including at least one member whose primary concerns are in scientific areas and at least one member whose primary concerns are in non-scientific areas. The IRB must also include a member of the Albion community unaffiliated with the College and who is not part of the immediate family of a person who is affiliated with the College. The chair of the IRB must be a tenured faculty member. Other faculty members of the IRB will ordinarily either be tenured or hold tenure-track appointments. No IRB will consist entirely of men or entirely of women, or entirely of members of a single profession.

For further information about federal guidelines:

For further information about ethnography: