Institutional Review Board

Introduction


Wofford College encourages the conduct of research in each of its departments, and in collaboration with other educational institutions, agencies, and organizations. In this regard, the College, while respecting the right of faculty to full academic freedom in research, is firmly committed to adhering to the basic ethical principles underlying the acceptable conduct of research involving human subjects, as set forth in The Belmont Report: Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research. These three principles respect for persons, beneficence, and justice are particularly relevant to the protection of human subjects in biomedical and behavioral research, and are the accepted requirements for the ethical conduct of such research.

Moreover, the principle of respect for persons underlies the need to obtain informed consent; the principle of beneficence underlies the need to minimize risks; and the principle of justice requires that subjects be fairly treated.

Wofford College has set standards for the conduct of research which mandate well-conceived and well-conducted research. To assist in maintaining those standards, an Institutional Review Board (IRB) has been established, and this Policy and Procedure Manual for Research with Human Subjects has been prepared for distribution to the College community. The manual provides detailed information to support institutional initiatives for guaranteeing compliance with federal regulations governing the protection of human subjects and to guide principal investigators in procedures relevant to the development of research protocols that include human subjects. Throughout this manual, humans whose physiologic or behavioral characteristics, or whose understanding of their experiences, and responses are the object of study are referred to as subjects; however, the College in no way intends to demean the humanity and individualism of such persons. Recognizing that regulations and policies and procedures are no guarantee of ethical conduct, it is the responsibility of individual researchers to make ethical considerations central in the conduct of research and to have a clear understanding of their duties to human subjects.

This Policy and Procedure Manual for Research with Human Subjects was developed under the direction of the Institutional Review Board Task Force established by the the Senior Vice President and Dean of the College. Special recognition and thanks are extended to the members of the Task Force for their commitment of time and significant contributions to the development of this document.


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