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Office of the Provost

Institutional Review Board

The Institutional Review Board of Carthage College ensures the safety and well-being of human participants in research. IRB Guidelines apply to research conducted at Carthage and/or by Carthage investigators.

All human studies reviewed by the IRB require a Principal Investigator (PI) who is a Carthage faculty member or administrator. Researchers who plan to use human participants must file a proposal with the Institutional Review Board Office that explains the research and its use of participants.


As of Sept. 25, 2017, the Carthage Institutional Review Board is using IRB Net, of the National Research Network, to manage submissions, review, and oversight of our research protocols.

  • All IRB projects must utilize IRBNet.
  • Researchers should utilize the resources below to create an account in IRBNet.
  • IRBNet is intended for Carthage faculty.
  • Carthage students who are conducting research involving human subjects should work with their faculty supervisor to submit a project to the IRB.
  • All Principal Investigators are required to obtain the signature of their Department Chair on IRB project submissions. This means Department Chairs must have an IRBNet account.

For more information about using IRB Net, please contact IRB Chair Leslie Cameron, Professor of Psychological Science, at

Ethics Training

Starting in Fall 2018, all Carthage student and faculty researchers submitting IRB proposals must have completed an ethics training course. The Carthage IRB accepts either CITI or NIH human subjects research ethics training. 

NIH Human Subject’s Ethics Training

  • The NIH human subject research ethics training can be completed online:!/
  • This training is free
  • IMPORTANT NOTE: On 8/28/2018 NIH announced that the NIH Office of Extramural Research (OER) will no longer offer the Protecting Human Research Participants course as of September 26, 2018Users should complete any in-progress courses and/or print their course certificate before this date.  Investigators are still required to comply with all aspects of the NIH policy Required Education in the Protection of Human Research Participants.  To read the complete notice click here.

CITI Training

CITI Program is the leading provider of research ethics, compliance, and professional development education. CITI Program offers professional development, research ethics, and compliance courses for researchers, students, faculty, IRB members, research administrators, and IACUC members. A full course list is available online. CITI Program is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in research ethics, compliance, and professional education. CITI courses are peer-reviewed courses developed by experts in their fields. CITI trainings and course offerings are updated regularly to ensure they meet new compliance regulations and standards of practice. 

  • CITI is now available to Carthage faculty, staff and students 
  • Utilizing CITI enables Carthage to streamline & manage required and optional training across the institution, particularly for those faculty, staff and students engaged in research efforts.
  • Visit the CITI website
  • Guide to Starting a Carthage Affiliated CITI Account

Forms and Guidelines

All forms and guidelines are available on IRB Net. For your convenience, we also provide the following forms below. Please be sure to rename your file before submitting on IRB Net.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the IRB?
The Institutional Review Board (IRB) reviews and approves proposals for research affiliated with Carthage College.  The IRB assesses each proposal from the perspective of the participant and ensures that the research meets ethical standards, preserves confidentiality, and safeguards the welfare of the participants.

Which studies need approval?
Any study that involves Carthage community members as participants; or any study by a Carthage community member that targets human participants on- or off-campus. (Note: a study performed as an exercise or assignment as part of a class curriculum is protected by academic freedom. Once that study includes participants outside of that class, it requires IRB oversight.)

What kinds of research does the IRB review?
In addition to assessing the use of humans in physiology and psychology studies that may expose participants to physical or emotional risk, the IRB also screens demographic surveys, instructional technique assessments, opinion questionnaires, food quality and consumer preference studies, and interview questions to ensure that the participants are informed and their welfare is protected. 

What does “Exempt” mean?
If the principal investigator believes the proposed study involves no risk to participants (ex. attitude survey, anonymous questionnaire, analysis of public data) and that no informed consent is required, he or she can file a request for determination of exempt status with the IRB. The proposal is reviewed by the IRB chair to confirm that it meets the exempt criteria.

How do I initiate the process of an IRB review?
All applications are initiated by faculty on IRB Net. The application is also available for download above.

How long does approval take?
Exempt proposals are reviewed weekly. Expedited proposals require 1-2 weeks for approval. Proposals that involve the use of a protected population (ex. minors, physically or mentally handicapped, pregnant women, prisoners) require full IRB review. These proposals will be considered at the monthly meetings of the IRB Committee, and should be submitted at least one week prior to the meeting at which they will be considered.

What if my proposal is not approved?
The IRB review process gives investigators the opportunity to modify procedures or amend consent forms to satisfy IRB concerns. Sometimes the IRB may request additional information for clarity or may ask for further justification of a procedure before granting approval. If the requested changes are adopted, the study can be subsequently approved.

How long does approval last?
Approvals last for 12 months. If the project must continue beyond the expiration date, the Principal Investigator can request an extension on IRB Net by submitting the Amendment/Continuation form. (That form is also available for download above.)

Can approved studies be modified?
Approved IRB proposals can be amended. The Principal Investigator can request an amendment on IRB Net by submitting the Amendment/Continuation form. (That form is also available for download above.)

IRB 2018 Commitee Meetings

  • Aug. 28, 2018
  • Oct. 24, 2018
  • Dec. 5, 2018