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 Study Abroad Board (SARB) may be submitted for full review by the SIT IRB.
  • The SIT IRB approves or disapproves each project submitted by graduate students, faculty, or staff. For undergraduate (SIT Study Abroad) research the Study Abroad Review Board (SARB) approves or disapproves each project submitted by students. 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 ([email protected]) 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 meets the first Tuesday of each month.

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.


  • 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 .
  • Study Abroad Board (SARB): 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 SARB operates under the auspices of the IRB committee and may refer HSR applications to the IRB for further review.
IRB/SARB Proposal Submission Process

Before submitting an HSR Application, researchers (except for undergraduate students) are required to complete CITI Program’s Social-Behavioral-Educational Basic training course for Human Subjects Research. Although CITI training is not required for undergraduates, it is accessible to undergraduate students with an SIT email account should they choose to participate in the CITI training course. The 4- to 8-hour course can be accessed at

All graduate, faculty, and staff proposals must be submitted to the Institutional Review Board (IRB) administrator at [email protected] for review and approval before research can begin. Please see the Human Subjects Research Policy and Forms section for forms that are required for submission.

All undergraduate (SIT Study Abroad) proposals must be submitted to the Study Abroad Review Board (SARB) for review and approval before research can begin. Undergraduate students will submit their proposals to their Academic Director, who will submit to the SARB on their behalf. If an undergraduate student’s proposal requires a full review, then the Academic Director will assist the student in preparing the submission forms and submit to the IRB on their behalf.

The IRB/SARB reserves the right to disapprove an application.

For graduate students, faculty, and staff 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. For undergraduate students, the Academic Director will notify the researcher of any comments and recommendations once the SARB has completed the review. The timing of SIT Study Abroad proposals submitted to the SARB 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 SARB.

Proposals requiring full review must be submitted to the IRB administrator at [email protected] 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 meets the first Tuesday of each month. Questions pertaining to a proposal submitted to the IRB committee should be directed to [email protected]

Human Subjects Research Policy and Forms

The Human Subjects Research Policy document provides additional information and policy on upholding the ethical principles for conducting research with human subjects, details on the HSR submission process to the SIT SARB/IRB, information on data collection, and examples of consent forms.

SIT IRB Policy and Procedure Handbook

Graduate Application for HSR

If you are a graduate student, faculty, or staff conducting research, please complete the application for Human Subjects Research.

School for International Training – Human Subjects Review Application Form

For help filling out this form, please see our HSR Form Tutorial and our guide on how to markup a PDF.

Undergraduate Application for HSR

If you are an undergraduate (SIT Study Abroad) student either conducting research for your Independent Study Project (ISP) or participating in an internship please fill out the application for Human Subjects Research.

School for International Training – Human Subjects Review Application Form

For help filling out this form, please see our HSR Form Tutorial and our guide on how to markup a PDF.

Fillable IRB Forms

Minor Assent Template
Parent Notification Letter Template
Parental Permission Template
Participant Informed Consent Template

IRB Members
  • Alex Alvarez, Academic Director, Peru   
  • Alla Korzh, Associate Professor, International Education and Program Chair, Doctorate in Global Education, Chair of IRB
  • Deepa Srikantaiah, Senior Education and Research Specialist, Global Development
  • Daniel Poblete, Academic Director, Chile
  • Peter Weinberger, Senior Advisor, Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning
  • Melissa Whatley, Assistant Professor of International and Global Education
Additional Resources

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

Human Subjects Regulations and Policy decision-making charts:

Informed Consent Checklist, developed by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

Research with Children: