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Institutional Review Board

Any research, surveys, interviews, focus groups, or other data-collecting activities that involve the participation of students or employees at the College must be reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB).  That means most studies or research projects that include collecting data from students or employees require a formal IRB review.

A number of state and federal regulations exist to protect privacy and other rights of human subjects, and the College's Institutional Review Board helps ensure those requirements and considerations are observed.  Following the procedures and protocols outlined here helps to protect human subjects, researchers, and Montgomery College.

If, after reviewing the information,  you are still unsure as to what to do next, please send a description of your proposed study or research project,new window and we will help guide you through the process.

MC IRB Membership

  • An IRB must have at least 5 members
  • The IRB Chair is, ex-officio, the Director of the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness
  • The Director of Grants and Sponsored Programs is, ex-officio, the IRB Certifying Official
  • One member whose primary concerns are in science areas, and one whose primary concerns are non-scientific areas
  • One member who is not otherwise affiliated with the institution and who is not part of the immediate family of a person who is affiliated with the institution
  • IRB members are required to receive annual training

The Process

Get an Application

You make an inquiry and the IRB sends you an application packet, or you can download the application (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader - Link opens in new window) and the application checklist (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader - Link opens in new window) . If you want to fill in the application online, you must first download it to your computer and open the document from there.

Submit Application

You complete the application (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader - Link opens in new window) and the checklist (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader - Link opens in new window) , then submit both documentsnew window to the Office of Institutional Research and Analysis, either on paper or online.

The IRB will let you know they received your application.  They will either ask you for more information or notify you of next steps.
Project Status

After reviewing your completed application the IRB will let you know its status.  Your project will probably fall into one of three categories:

1.  Exempt:  You project is exempt from IRB review.

2.  Expedited Review:  Your project may need to be or can be reviewed more quickly than others.

3.  Full Review:  Your project needs a more detailed review.

You will receive a formal notification of the outcome of the IRB review.
You will provide follow-up on your project implementation and results.

For Research Participants

Research involving human participants (often referred to as "subjects") is conducted by many colleges as well as departments and individuals at Montgomery College.

If you are considering participating in a research study, remember that participation is completely voluntary - you can choose not to participate or, if you do decide to participate, you can choose to stop participating at any time.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) offers more information onlinenew window. They present a series of short videos with basic information about research. These videos are intended to help potential participants understand how research works, what questions they should consider asking, and things to think about when deciding whether to participate in a study.  Contact IRB for any questions or concerns.