Two researchers with study participant

Purpose of IRB

The University of Mary is committed to ensuring that all research involving human subjects is conducted in accordance with ethical and professional standards. The primary mission of the institutional review board is to protect the public and protect research participants. However, the students' research advisors have primary responsibility for guiding research projects and selecting appropriate methodologies. Research advisors are required to review all applications prior to the student researchers submitting them to the institutional review board. The University’s Scientific Misconduct Policy can be found in the Teaching Faculty Handbook (2015), page 23.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services IRB Guidelines

The University of Mary has adopted the Guidelines of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for Institutional Review Boards. The University IRB follows the HHS guidebook for IRBs in the conduct of institutional review (available at: IRB Guidebook). The University complies with the processes and procedures identified in this guidebook regarding basic IRB review, considerations of research design, biomedical and behavioral research, and special classes of participants.

Research Involving Animal Subjects

Currently, the University of Mary does not have an Animal Care and Use Board for approving animal research. The Institutional Review Board’s scope and focus is solely on the review and approval of research involving human subjects. Because the university does not have the infrastructure in place to review research involving animal subjects, research of this type will not be approved by the university. If you are a faculty member interested in exploring the development of an Animal Care and Use Board, please reach out to the Office of Academic Affairs directly to discuss.

IRB Quick Tips

Researchers who intend to work with human subjects are required to submit for IRB review and approval prior to beginning any data collection. You will find the materials on this page to be useful as you begin planning your submission. Here is a quick overview of the materials you should review.

IRB Resources:

  • Instruction Documents: download the documents here first and read them carefully. They will help guide you through the IRB process. Failure to follow the process will result in approval delays and returned submissions.
  • Drafting Forms: download the Word version of the forms and applications here, to use as your drafting document prior to beginning the online form.

IRB Forms & Links:

  • IRB Forms: after you have completing drafting in the Word document, and after your Project Advisor has reviewed and approved your IRB submission, you can transpose the information from your Word draft into the online form and submit for IRB review.
  • IRB Links: these are links to external resources that will be helpful to you as your plan for your IRB submission. There are also more useful links at the bottom of the IRB page under Additional Resources.

University of Mary IRB

The Institutional Review Board (IRB) is composed of a diverse body of members appointed for three-year terms, with no limits on number of terms served. The Vice President for Academic Affairs appoints the board leadership team.

The IRB Office shall call meetings as needed to accomplish the work of the board.

All proposals for research involving human subjects done under University auspices (research by students, research by faculty, and research by outside agents conducted within the University community) shall be reviewed by the IRB. Research protocols will be reviewed by the IRB Office and assigned to one of three review levels: Exempt, Expedited, or Full Board. 

The board is charged by the University with reviewing each research protocol and participant consent form to ensure that human rights and the welfare of participants are adequately safeguarded and that there are no undue risks to participants or others. The board may also review the research design in terms of producing reliable results, although ultimate responsibility for approval of research methods rests with the qualified methodologist attached to the project.

Current Board Members 

  • Dr. Jenna Herman, Chair for Biomedical Research, Associate Professor of Nursing 
  • Dr. Melissa McDowall, Chair for Social/Behavioral Research, Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs & Registrar
  • Dr. Deborah Cave, Assistant Professor of Graduate Nursing and MSN Program Coordinator
  • Dr. Amy Duchsherer, Assistant Professor, Communication
  • Dr. Jason Hogan, Assistant Professor, Physical Therapy 
  • Dr. Wade Kooiman, Assistant Professor and Director of Physical Education Teaching and Athletic Administration
  • Dr. Michael Lares, Professor, Biology
  • Dr. Chad Litton, Professor & Chair, Criminal Justice
  • Dr. Jason Lawson, Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy 
  • Dr. Mary Cordero, Academic Advisor, Student Success Center
  • Penny Natwick, Outside Member