The purpose of the Macalester College Institutional Review Board (IRB) is to protect the rights and safety of persons participating in research while safeguarding the academic freedom of researchers. In general, all research conducted by members of the Macalester community that involves the participation of humans must be reviewed by the Macalester College IRB or by a departmental committee formed for this purpose. The Macalester College IRB consists of three faculty members and one member of the staff. A community member is added to the IRB where federally supported research is involved. The committee must consist of men and women of diverse backgrounds, some of whom are specialists in the sciences that perform research involving human participants and at least one of whom is a non-scientist.
The Macalester College Institutional Review Board reports to the Provost. The decisions of the Institutional Review Board regarding research involving human participants cannot be appealed. The Provost has charged the IRB with the following responsibilities:
- Periodic review of guidelines for conducting research involving humans at Macalester College and recommendations for changes.
- Education of the community regarding legal requirements and ethics for conducting such research.
- Review of requests from outside agencies for research on campus.
- Review of research funded by the Federal Government.
- Review of research proposals by Macalester faculty, students, staff, and college committees.
- Consultation with those engaged in on-campus research as needed.
- Monitor the information provided to research participants to ensure their informed consent.
- Consultation with members of the community who might have complaints or concerns about on-campus research involving human participants.