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Institutional Review Board

What is the IRB (Institutional Review Board)?

  • Any institution engaged in research involving human participants must have an IRB to review and approve the research.  
  • An IRB is responsible to protect the rights and welfare of human research subjects who participate in research activities conducted at the college. 
  • The actions of the IRB may also protect the college and the principal investigator.
  • The IRB focuses on privacy, confidentiality, and informed consent for research participants.

Does my study need IRB approval?

If the answer is YES to any of these questions, you need IRB approval.

  • Is it academic research?
  • Does it contribute to generalized knowledge?
  • Do you plan to publish or present this research?
  • Is risk involved?
  • Will students be presenting outside of the college?
  • Does your grant/funding agency require IRB?
  • Find out first thing!
  • Example: NSF/NIH

If yes, do I need a full review or expedited review?

  • If your study involves vulnerable groups (such as minors), then you need a full review.
  • If your study involves more than minimal risk, then you need a full review.
  • If an expedited review is not approved, then the full committee must meet.

Below are examples of instances that DO NOT require IRB approval.  Keep in mind that “yes” to any of the above questions requires IRB approval.

  • Is this for a class project?
  • Is the project in regard to internal processes at the college?
  • Is the project in regard to program effectiveness or assessment?
  • Is the project using public data?
  • Is the research about deceased individuals?

For more information: San Juan College has put together Guidelines for Research Activities Protecting Human Subjects in Research to help you determine what types of activities are considered research and thus subject to review by the IRB.  Procedures and guidelines may be downloaded from these links for research requiring IRB review. 

IRB Guidelines

Directions for IRB Application Submission

Information and Application

Application for the Use of Human Subjects

Consent Form Instructions and Samples

All files will be maintained in the Office of Institutional Research.

For a project to be considered at an IRB meeting, all paperwork must be submitted to:
Dr. Andrea Cooper, IRB Chair (505) 566-3373

All those applying for IRB approval must successfully complete the San Juan College IRB tutorial and submit with your filled-out application a certificate of completion, which is provided at the end of the tutorial.  Please click on the link below to go through the tutorial.

IRB Required Tutorial

Other Important Information:

San Juan College has received a Federal Wide Assurance and has an active IRB registered with the Department of Health and Human Services. All IRB members receive Human Subject Assurance Training.  The IRB has the authority to approve, require modifications in, or disapprove research activities that fall within both federal and local regulations and policy. Proposals must be submitted a minimum of three weeks before the project start date.

IR (Institutional Research) must be notified of all surveys conducted at San Juan College, even if the research does not require IRB approval. (505) 566-3035. 

Phone: (505) 566-3035

30th Street Education Center
3401 E. 30th St. | SJC 2nd Floor Entrance

M-F 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.