Skip to main content

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

Please note: IRB Net is intended for Carthage faculty. Carthage students who are conducting research involving human participants should work with their faculty supervisors. 

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. The NIH human subject research ethics training can be completed online:!/

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.

2018 IRB Committee meetings:
Feb. 28, 2018
April 4, 2018
May 2, 2018

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.)