SIT Institutional Review Board

The SIT Institutional Review Board (IRB) shall serve as a consultant and resource to all faculty, academic directors and program directors in interpretation of the procedures and policies of the human subjects review process. IRB members will not participate in the approval of projects in which they have a conflicting interest.

  • Extremely sensitive topics or cases whereby a decision cannot be reached at the level of the Local Review Board (LRB) may be submitted for full review by the SIT IRB.
  • The SIT IRB approves or disapproves each project submitted by the faculty advisor or academic/program director following initial review by the LRB. The IRB can also stipulate conditions for the conduct of any research involving human subjects and require certain changes in the research plan. Changes must be indicated (highlighted) when resubmitted to IRB.
  • The SIT IRB will convene and review proposals requiring a full review once a month. Proposals for full review must be received by the IRB administrator (irb@sit.edu) at least one week prior to the next IRB committee meeting.
  • The SIT IRB will review proposals requiring an expedited review within two weeks for receipt of referral.
  • The IRB committee will publish its meeting schedule at the start of each academic term.

SIT’s IRB exists to uphold the ethical principles of respect for persons, beneficence, and justice for all human subjects of research. The IRB specifically considers the aspects of informed consent, risks, and benefits, and the selection of subjects.

In developing the Human Subjects Research Policy, SIT has considered guidelines of various federal agencies, the ethical codes of principal scholarly associations (e.g. the American Association of University Professors) and other relevant sources of information. The intent of these policies and procedures is to ensure that the rights and safety of human subjects in research are protected. Faculty, academic directors (ADs), program directors (PDs), students, and staff are expected to fulfill their obligation to protect the rights of people involved in their research.

Definitions

  • Research: Systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge.
  • Researcher: Human Subject Research policies apply to all research at the School for International Training conducted by faculty, academic and program directors, students, and staff.
  • Human Subjects Review (HSR): The process by which research proposals are reviewed so as to protect participants from harm.
  • Institutional Review Board (IRB): SIT’s institution-wide board charged with reviewing research proposals and determining whether they comply with human subjects guidelines established by federal law .
  • Local Review Board (LRB): The SIT Study Abroad program-level board charged with establishing appropriate standards and reviewing research proposals to insure Human Subjects Review Policy compliance, with particular attention to in-country ethical norms. The LRB operates under the auspices of the IRB committee and may refer HSR applications to the IRB for further review.

All proposals must be submitted to the IRB administrator at irb@sit.edu for review and approval before research can begin or, in the case of SIT Study Abroad, to the LRB for review and approval before research can begin. The IRB/LRB reserves the right to disapprove an application.

The IRB will notify the researcher of comments and recommendations via email within two to three business days of receiving exempt proposals and two weeks of receiving expedited proposals.

Proposals requiring full review must be submitted to the IRB administrator at irb@sit.edu at least one week in advance of the next IRB committee meeting. The IRB committee’s decision with regard to a full review proposal will be provided via email within one week of the IRB Committee meeting at which a full review proposal is reviewed. The IRB committee meeting schedule will be published at the start of each academic term.

The timing of SIT Study Abroad proposals submitted to the LRB will vary by program, but a one-week proposal review period, at minimum, is recommended to allow thorough review of all proposals submitted to the LRB.

The IRB meets the first Tuesday of each month at 9:30 am. Questions pertaining to a proposal submitted to the IRB committee should be directed to irb@sit.edu

Brian Hammer, Academic Dean, Asia and the Pacific: chair

DeBorah Alexa, Administrative Operations Manager: administrator

Davina Durgana, Assistant Professor, Sustainable Development

Danial Putman, Academic Director, Nepal

Karla Sarr, Assistant Professor, International Education

Rachel Slocum, Associate Professor, Sustainable Development

For more information about human subjects research from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services please see:

http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/humansubjects/index.html http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/humansubjects/guidance/45cfr46.html

Human Subjects Regulations and Policy decision-making charts:
http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/regulations-and-policy/decision-trees/index.html#c8

Informed Consent Checklist, developed by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:
http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/regulations-and-policy/guidance/checklists/index.html

Research with Children:
http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/regulations-and-policy/guidance/special-protections-for-
children/index.html
http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/policy/childrenfaqsmar2011.pdf