History of the IRB at SAIC

Organizations and agencies receiving HHS funding are mandated to report any human participant research being conducted under their auspices, and assure the federal government that such projects have been reviewed regarding ethics and safety. All manner of healthcare, social service, rehabilitation, correctional, community service, and educational institutions (including SAIC) receive HHS funds, yet not every organization—particularly smaller ones—has its own IRB.

As early as 2007, a handful of SAIC art therapy graduate students were encountering difficulties in getting permission to conduct thesis projects at their internship site without a formal ethics review. In 2010 an ad hoc committee was formed to explore the development of an institutional review board at SAIC and to review projects on an as needed basis.

Since then the processes and structure of our IRB have become more formalized. Today the board functions out of the Office of the Provost and is available to review projects from students in a variety of departments, as well as proposals from SAIC faculty and staff.